Time is Not Real; It is Relative
Time does not exist. It is not real. It is only relative.
First, let us eliminate the scientific definition of "exist" so we can put that to rest. For something to exist scientifically, it must have form and location. Time has neither, nor do gravity, inertia, or centrifugal force. Unlike those Newtonian forces that also do not "exist" to the scientific standard, time is not universal. In other words, even though gravity, inertia, and centrifugal forces do not exist, they are universal laws that apply uniformly to physical objects in the universe. Time does not.
Even though time can be measured on things like clocks and calendars, it can also be distorted. The faster something moves, the slower time goes by. For example, if we were to take three clocks that can measure microseconds, coordinate them to exactly the same time, and leave them in the same location, the next day each will read the exact same time. However, if one were placed on a fast plane, and another in a rocket ship, and those two were flown at their highest speeds for a duration of time, and then compared to the one that was left on the ground, the clock on the plane would be microseconds behind the one on the ground, while the one in the rocket may be several seconds behind the one left on the ground.
If those clocks aboard the fast moving crafts were observed by someone accompanying them, they would have kept perfect time. Despite that the times on the clocks would differ slightly, time would also have slowed down for anyone on the plane or in the rocket ship.
Albert Einstein identified the speed of light as the universal speed limit. At that speed, which is 186,000 miles per second, time is no longer calculable. There simply is no relativity, and, consequently nothing to measure time against. So what might that mean in concepts we may be able to understand? Let’s look at a light year, a quantum leap, and what, in theory, would happen if the speed of light were exceeded.
When you look at a star that is five thousand light years away, you are seeing that star as it was five thousand years ago. If it is truly five thousand and day light years away, and it exploded five thousand years ago, you would see that explosion tomorrow. Even light from the sun takes a bit over eight minutes to be seen on Earth. If the sun were to suddenly blow up, we would continue to see it and be affected by its gravity for eight minutes. Then, of course, we would instantly freeze as the Earth became something like a meteor or asteroid and jetisoned through space.
Even though the light from that relatively close star that is five thousand light years away from us takes five thousand years, from our perspective, to reach us, it takes no time at all from the light’s perspective to get here. It travels at the speed of light, of course, and at that speed there is no time. The instant it is released, it also arrives.
The quantum leap is a phenomenon through which something that is here suddenly is there without motion being detected. Whatever "it" is, it moves at such a high rate of speed that it relocates itself elsewhere without seeming to move. It, of course, moved, or it could not be seen here and then there since "here" and "there" are two different locations. So, would it have moved at the speed of light? I have not studied these to the point that I can say whether or not it did through study, but, conceptually, it cannot have moved that fast. Nothing with mass can move at the speed of light, for there is not enough energy in the universe to propel something with mass that fast. Therefore, it must have moved faster than we can detect, but at a speed less than 186,000 miles per second.
Let’s presume that it moved at 100,000 miles per second. If we could somehow control the path of it sufficiently for it to move at that speed, we could actually watch it reappear a second later if that path were four times around Earth.
Though electricity through a switch to a light bulb is not considered a quantum leap, we could prove how fast electricity travels from the switch to the light by having the wire connecting the two wrapped around Earth seven times. We would then be able to flip the switch and observe that it takes the electricity roughly a second to go through the 175,000 mile long wire before it illuminates the light bulb. However, if we were traveling with the electricity, the illumination of the light bulb would be relatively instantaneous.
Understanding that time moves more quickly the slower we go, and at the speed of light there is no time, what would happen if, theoretically, something were to travel faster than the speed of light? If you apply the math, time would actually move backward. If that illumination from that star moved faster than light, we would see it before it was released. If that quanta were moving faster than light, it would be an illusion that it was here and then there; it would really have been there and then here.
Let’s reduce it to things we can more easily imagine. If we were to fire a gun at a target with a bullet that could exceed the speed of light, we would pull the trigger, and the bullet would have hit the target before we pulled the trigger. If we were to hop on a train that could exceed the speed of light, we would arrive at our destination before the train leaves the station. If I could type and publish faster than the speed of light, you could have read this article before I wrote it!
The point of all this, of course, is to help you understand that time does not exist. It is not real. It is only relative.
Some other things I've written about: