‘Time is elastic’: an extract from Carlo Rovelli’s The Order of Time

What does it really mean to say that time ‘passes’? Why does time pass faster in the mountains than it does at sea level? The physicist explains in this extract from his latest book

Interview with Carlo Rovelli

I stop and do nothing. Nothing happens. I am thinking about nothing. I listen to the passing of time. This is time, familiar and intimate. We are taken by it. The rush of seconds, hours, years that hurls us towards life then drags us towards nothingness ... We inhabit time as fish live in water. Our being is being in time. Its solemn music nurtures us, opens the world to us, troubles us, frightens and lulls us. The universe unfolds into the future, dragged by time, and exists according to the order of time. What could be more universal and obvious than this flowing?

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