Our show is like an open book. Go ahead, ask us anything!
But today we’re looking at some research that shows something interesting happens when we’re trying not to reveal something.
When humans try to conceal something, time slows down.
The two lead researchers, from Aoyama Gakuin University and Osaka University, designed an experiment in which they asked students to take something from the laboratory and keep it concealed for the length of the study.
They promised a reward if the students could keep their item hidden the whole time.
Each test subject/thief then had to answer questions on a computer about whether they’d stolen something and what it was.
And they had to estimate how long they thought each image was on the screen.
The researchers said that the people who saw their concealed item in the list of pictures made longer time estimates than the people whose item was not among the pictures shown.
That suggested that to them, time was passing more slowly than it was for those in the other group.
The researchers don’t think this is probably going to lead to a new way to tell if someone is hiding something or not.
If you’re being questioned by authorities, for example, you might get nervous even if you didn’t do anything wrong, and that nervous, vigilant feeling can make you feel like time is passing slowly.
But as they put it, if time flies when we’re having fun, now we know a little more about what time does when we’re not.
We’re talking about time today, and a team at MIT says it’s developed a model for an atomic clock that responds to the way atoms act in quantum physics.
How accurate would such a clock be?
If it had been running from the beginning of the universe, it would be less than 100 milliseconds off today.
“Slow” written on pavement photo by Jerzy Kociatkiewicz via Flickr/CC