It's never really now: 4 ways your brain plays with time

We don't perceive time in an objective fashion; instead, the brain interprets time in a complex and amorphous way.

Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash
  • Time seems like it flows steadily from the past to the future. In fact, this is a complicated illusion that our brains work hard to create.
  • In reality, our brains are constantly managing our perception of time.
  • These four temporal illusions demonstrate the subjective nature of time and the influence the subconscious has over our lived experience.
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Mind & Brain

SpaceX is launching NASA's $80 million Deep Space Atomic Clock tonight

NASA JPL takes a first step toward a GPS for space.

Image source: NASA JPL/Big Think
  • Spacecraft have no independent navigation systems onboard. They rely on navigation instructions sent from Earth, which can take about 40 minutes to reach them.
  • The presence of an onboard atomic clock would radically streamline spacecraft navigation and is crucial to autonomous space exploration missions.
  • A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will take NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock up for a year-long mission starting June 24, 2019.
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Technology & Innovation

To sleep or to snooze? You probably know the answer, but you don't prefer it.

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Surprising Science

10 new things we’ve learned about death

If you don't want to know anything about your death, consider this your spoiler warning.

  • For centuries cultures have personified death to give this terrifying mystery a familiar face.
  • Modern science has demystified death by divulging its biological processes, yet many questions remain.
  • Studying death is not meant to be a morbid reminder of a cruel fate, but a way to improve the lives of the living.
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Culture & Religion

Researchers successfully sent a simulated elementary particle back in time

Don't start investing in flux capacitors just yet, though.

  • The second law of thermodynamics states that order always moves to disorder, which we experience as an arrow of time.
  • Scientists used a quantum computer to show that time travel is theoretically possible by reverting a simulated particle from an entropic to a more orderly state.
  • While Einstein's general theory of relativity permits time travel, the means to achieve it remain improbable in nature.
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Surprising Science