It turns out Doctor Who was right: “Timey-wimey” is, indeed, a bit “wibbly-wobbly.”
Scientists have confirmed, several times, that the speed at which time passes is both variable and malleable. We can speed it up. We can slow it down. In fact, you do so every day without even knowing it.
Now, before we explore the concept of time we need to first explore the concept of gravity. We would appear to experience gravity two-dimensionally: up and down. However, Gravity is not two-dimensional. If you were to drop a bowling ball off of a tower, it would fall down to the ground. If you were to drop a bowling ball off a tower in New York City at the same moment your Aussie friend dropped a bowling ball off a tower in Perth, both bowling balls would fall “down”—but they’d also be traveling in opposite directions. They’d be falling “down” as well as toward one another.
Earth’s gravity pulls all objects—from all directions—toward the center of the planet. We define “up” and “down” based on that gravitational pull and relationship to the center of earth. If you were to jump into a big underground drill and travel to the center of the Earth, you’d reach a point where there was no more “down”—only “up.” “Down” doesn’t exist at that point—at least in terms of the Earth.
All physical objects are manifestations within a Gravitational Field, and it is even a tiny form of Gravity that stuck those original particles to create the Mass in the first place. Mass creates gravitational force. The more mass an object has, the more gravitational force it exerts.
Now, let’s take a step off the surface of these planets and explore what’s going on in the space around them. Our moon is held in orbit by the Earth’s gravitational pull. The Earth circles the Sun because of the Sun’s massive gravitational force. That’s all basic stuff we learned in fourth grade, but here’s where it gets Wibbly-Wobbly: Gravity also tugs at time and space.
In his 1905 special theory of relativity, Einstein asserted that space and time were not two separate phenomenons or entities. Instead, space (height, width, length) and time (forward? now? backward?) were mixed together in one continuum—woven together in one fabric. This single continuum of time and space has come to be called “spacetime”—the physical manifestation of all space and all time.
I think of it as a soup. The noodles and vegetables are as much a part of the soup as the broth is, and together they have combined to create the entire wholeness of the soup.