Why Does Time Slow Down and Speed Up?

December 4, 2019

Time contracts, expands, swallows and spits you out into this instant, which feels—depending on your perspective—either impossibly remote from where you were two years ago or barely removed from it at all. Flight delays, breakups, bouts of serious illness—all can bring you back to the high school classroom where it’s somehow slo-mo clock.

You feel every tick. Meanwhile, an uneventful year can spool out in what feels like six days. Or maybe the reverse is true for you.

The perception of time is intensely personal, not to mention effectively unmeasurable. But few if any internal clocks are synced to UTC—no one experiences time at an even, unvarying rate. For this week’s Giz Asks, we’ve reached out to a number of experts to find out why.

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