## A New Mathematics of Time

According to the laws of physics, the passage of time is an illusion. To get around this apparent contradiction, one must rethink the mathematical concept of infinity.

The concept of time is one of the greatest mysteries of science: We seem to walk on a razor-thin boundary between the past and the future, but that present, strangely enough, does not appear in any of the existing laws of physics. What drives the perpetual flow? Does time always move in one direction, as we have experienced so far? These and similar questions have plagued physicists for centuries.

And the two fundamental and extremely well-tested physical theories have so far been unable to remedy the situation. On the one hand there is Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which turned our understanding of space and time upside down, and on the other hand quantum physics, which describes the behavior of the smallest particles amazingly well.

For a long time, experts have tried to combine the two in order to understand extreme phenomena such as the Big Bang or black holes that contain both quantum mechanical and relativistic aspectsâ€¦

The article "Does Time Really Flow? New Clues Come From a Century-Old Approach to Math" translated and edited by Spektrum der Wissenschaft. from "Quanta Magazine", a content-independent magazine of the Simons Foundation, which aims to disseminate research results in mathematics and the natural sciences.