The relentless march of time can be a source of anxiety. Who hasn’t sometimes wished for the ability to freeze themselves in a happy moment or even prevent a loved one from slipping away.
Every once in a while, a science-fiction book, movie or TV show will feature characters who can do what we all wish: Stop time.
But is such a thing possible? Answering that question requires a deep dive into the farthest corners of physics, philosophy and human perception.
First, we have to define time. “To a physicist, it’s not that mysterious,” Sean Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, told Live Science. “Time is just a label on different parts of the universe. It tells us when something is happening.”