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Exploring particular issue themes, articles will be created by contributors via invitation, commission and open submission from subscribers.

What is time – and why does it move forward?

“Einstein’s special theory of relativity, shows that time is … relative: the faster you move relative to me, the slower time will pass for you relative to my perception of time. So in our universe of expanding galaxies, spinning stars and swirling planets, experiences of time vary: everything’s past, present and future is relative.

So is there a universal time that we could all agree on?”

Thomas Kitching is a cosmologist, Reader in astrophysics, and Royal Society University Research Fellow working at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at UCL. His interests are in dark energy, dark matter, statistics, and computer science. He is a manager in one of the worlds largest cosmology experiments, a European Space Agency mission called Euclid.

Deep time’s uncanny future is full of ghostly human traces

“Deep time represents a certain displacement of the human and the divine from the story of creation. Yet in the Anthropocene, ironically we humans have become that sublime force, the agents of a fearful something that is greater than ourselves.”

David Farrier is a senior lecturer in English literature at the University of Edinburgh, where his research interests include eco-criticism, postcolonial studies, and asylum and refugee contexts. He is currently working on a book about deep time in contemporary poetry

You thought quantum mechanics was weird: check out entangled time

“Up to today, most experiments have tested entanglement over spatial gaps. The assumption is that the ‘nonlocal’ part of quantum nonlocality refers to the entanglement of properties across space. But what if entanglement also occurs across time? Is there such a thing as temporal nonlocality?”

Elise Crull is assistant professor in history and philosophy of science at the City College of New York. She is the author, together with Guido Bacciagaluppi, of the book The ‘Einstein Paradox’: Debates on Nonlocality and Incompleteness in 1935 (forthcoming).

Language alters our experience of time

“My new study – which I worked on with linguist Emanuel Bylund – shows that bilinguals do indeed think about time differently, depending on the language context in which they are estimating the duration of events. But unlike Hollywood, bilinguals sadly can’t see into the future. However, this study does show that learning a new way to talk about time really does rewire the brain. Our findings are the first psycho-physical evidence of cognitive flexibility in bilinguals.”

Panos Athanasopoulos is Professor of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University. He works in the areas of experimental psycholinguistics, experimental cognitive linguistics, bilingual cognition, linguistic and cultural relativity, first, second and additional language learning.

Physical Time in Perspective

Most people would probably agree that the obvious feature about time is that it progresses (or flows). However, our everyday experience of the apparent ‘dynamic’ nature of time conflicts with the basic laws of physics which do not posit any passage of time. This clash between experience and fundamental physics has led a few physicists to develop theories of the universe in which time’s passage is an explicit feature. Two such theories are discussed along with a possible non-‘dynamic’ alternative.

Dr. Peter J. Riggs is a physicist and philosopher of science in the Department of Quantum Science at the Australian National University.

Visions of childhood

Penny Hay is an artist, educator and researcher. She is Director of Research for ‘5x5x5=creativity’, an arts research charity and is a part-time Senior Lecturer in Arts Education at Bath Spa University. Her doctoral research was focused on how adults can support children’s identity as artists.

Neva Delihas Setlow

“Color, light and science are my areas of artistic interest. My work explores both the abstract interactions of color and light as well as science in art. Whether I create a work of pure abstraction or one developed from a scientific concept, creating art holds an endless fascination for me. It is the excitement of discovering the unknown that I find moving.”

John Atkin: Access to Justice

The “Access to Justice” project has taken four years of careful negotiation and numerous visual concepts before The Law Society of Upper Canada eventually selected my landmark artwork for a prime location bridging Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square and University Avenue, via the pedestrianised promenade of McMurtry Gardens of Justice.

The art and beauty of general relativity

“In general relativity, reason and imagination combine to synthesise a whole that neither alone could achieve.”

Margaret Wertheim is a writer, curator and artist whose work focuses on relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. A two-fold perspective animates her work: on the one hand science can be seen a set of conceptual enchantments that delight our minds and senses; on the other hand science is a socially embedded activity intersecting with philosophy, culture and politics.