Teaching STS: Teaching that time does not exist


Times does not exist. At least, we think time does not exist.

According to Ferenc Krausz at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany, time is unlikely real.

Efforts to understand time below the Planck scale have led to an exceedingly strange juncture in physics. The problem, in brief, is that time may not exist at the most fundamental level of physical reality.

Check out the original Discovery reading here. It is an easy read and would do well if presented students in-class to read on-the-spot and then immediately discuss it. It has worked well for me to get at issues of “reality” in a surprisingly concrete way. Admittedly, this might seem like a no-brainer for long-time friends of social constructivism. Still, time is generally a great concept for an STS class, especially issues of “standards” and so on. We’ve discussed it once before on the blog here.

One of the comments is particularly nice for students to chew on:

This article was written in 2007, and I am responding to it and commenting on it in 2013. Why? Because “time” doesnt exist.

Also, of interest: notice that you have to raise time as real to tear it down as not real, signifying the significance of real-time for understanding the un-realness of time.