If you had a device designed to freeze time
for everything but you,
life wouldn’t be anything like what you’d expect.
You wouldn’t catch up on sleep,
or rob a bank while no one can stop you,
or cheat on an exam. Instead,
you’d be left blind,
deaf and unable to move a single muscle.
How can time freezing go so wrong?
这里是 WHAT IF
This is WHAT IF,
and here’s what would happen if you could stop time.
We know from physics that speed equals distance divided by time,
and that time equals distance divided by speed.
To make time equal zero you’d have to travel indefinitely fast.
And since we can’t overcome the speed of light,
stopping time withoutbreaking the laws of physics
is not going to be possible.
But let’s skip the improbabilities and imagine that time could be stopped somehow.
What will happen then?Absolutely nothing.
People would stop moving.
Water would stop running.
Every molecule would just stand still.
You wouldn’t even knowthat time had stopped,
because your neuronswouldn’t be moving either.
So let’s add a couple ofmodifications to our scenario.
What if you were the oneto hit the pause button? Oh,
that wouldn’t end up well for you,
not this time.
The ability to freeze time comes with some very unpleasant side effects. First,
you wouldn’t see anything.
That’s because stoppingtime would stop photons –
the particles of light normally moving at the speed of, well, light.
You wouldn’t hear anything either,
because soundwaves would stop traveling through the air
to your eardrums.
You’d be trapped in between thefrozen molecules surrounding you,
unable to lift a finger.
It would get even worse once you realized
that you can’t force oxygen molecules
down into your lungs. Blind,
deaf and asphyxiated –
hopefully you could resumetime before you passed out.
To get around this quick and senseless end, we’ll add another modification.
This time you’d be surrounded by a bubble
inside of which time would still be going.
You’d also be able totime-affect space around you.
That would give you theability to move and breathe.
You still won’t be able to hear anything outside of the bubble.
And how about seeing? Well,
you could move along and capture light from every direction.
But your brain probably wouldn’t be able to decode any of that information.
Everything would be washed out.
Not much fun either.
So what if instead of stopping time
you just slowed it down significantly? Well,
if you slowed down light,
it would shift into the realmof infrared microwaves.
While it could reach your eyes, it would be invisible.
Same thing goes for soundwaves –
they’d drop to a frequency below the range of human hearing.
Time freezing isn’t that practical after all.
Maybe going back in timebe would be a better option.
But that’s a story for another WHAT IF.