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Why Time Only Goes Forward: A Theory I Call Time Gravity

As an educational content writer with a Master of Science degree, I review my scientific research on fascinating subjects such as this.

Time Gravity

Time Gravity

Everything we know about time and space-time is based on theory. I'm going to discuss a theory of mine that causes time always to move forward and never backward. I call it Time Gravity.

I base my theory on two known concepts, Gravitational Time Dilation, and Fluid Dynamics. Let's begin with a quick explanation of the first concept.

Gravitational Time Dilation

Einstein described Gravitational Time Dilation in his general theory of relativity:

"Clocks that are far from massive bodies run faster than clocks close to massive bodies." 1

That means time passes slower wherever gravity is the strongest, so we know that gravity affects time. Clocks on GPS satellites tick faster than clocks on Earth since the satellites are about 12,550 miles above the Earth, where gravity is weaker. A correction is put into the GPS programs to account for this difference.2

My Theory of Time Gravity

With this theory, I'm referring to the direction of time and not its speed. Time Gravity implies that there is some force pulling time from the past to the future.

In our three-dimensional world, we are very aware of the gravitational pull between objects. All mass is attracted to one another. I have carried this concept to the next dimension, the fourth dimension­—which is time.

Time can be described mathematically as being a 90-degree angle to our three-dimensional space. In this fourth dimension, a force exists that overcomes the inertia that would otherwise cause time to stand still. This force is similar to the gravity that we are aware of in our three-dimensional world.

I propose that this gravity is what propels us forward in time. Without this Time Gravity, everything would remain in the present moment. Time wouldn’t march on. Clocks wouldn’t tick. The Universe wouldn’t evolve.

Can you imagine being stuck in a moment without time moving forward? You really wouldn’t exist even to think about it. Something is making “time” happen. Could it be Time Gravity? That would explain that time passes because Time Gravity pulls everything in space forward—in time.

Why Time Only Goes Forward: The Force of Time Gravity

If all this is true, why don’t we drift backward in time? What is stopping us from going backward?

Something must be causing this gravitational-pull to become weaker as we go forward in time so that there is less force attracting time backward.

I gave a lot of thought to this, and I found a mathematical formula to show why time can only go forward. The formula shows that as momentum increases, the force required to go backward would be so extreme that it can’t be achieved.

You may remember the equation taught in High School science class that is used to calculate the gravitational force on an object. It’s a function of the masses of both objects and the distance between them.

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F = G (m1  m2) / r^2

F = G (m1 m2) / r^2



Force due to gravity


Gravitation constant (6.673 x 10^11 Nm^2/kg^2)


Mass of one object


Mass of other object


Distance between the objects (from the center of each)

Since the value of the formula decreases as the denominator increases, we see that the gravity force (F) is reduced by the square of the distance (r2) as the distance increases.

I propose the idea that this same formula would apply to Time Gravity. I call it the “Force of Time Gravity.” There must be a force on both ends, the past and the future.

As time moves forward, we leave the past behind. The farther we move away from the past, the weaker the gravitational pull of Time Gravity. Its force lessens by the square of the time that elapses similar to how the force of gravity between two masses becomes less by the square of the distance.

That means that the pull of the past continues to become weaker and weaker, and the thrust into the future becomes stronger. Hence, we continue to move forward in time with a force F based on that formula.

Is Time Consistent?

There is a good reason why time must only go forward.

If it were possible for time to go backward, there would be no past, present, or future. It would just be a mumble jumble field of chaos because events would repeatedly happen in different ways, causing an uncertain and inconsistent present and future. That is impossible, logically.

Everything that happens leads to achieving another outcome later on. If the past were to be continually modified, the result of the outcome could not be depended upon. You can see how that would lead to utter chaos.

We know that the three dimensions of space are very reliably defined. We can measure length, width, and height with complete accuracy. But what about the fourth dimension through which time is measured? Is that as stable as our three-dimensional space?

The fact of the matter is that space is not consistent. It can be warped. Einstein proved that the force of gravity bends light traveling through space. That makes space appear to become warped. Therefore, time most likely can be warped, too, just as gravity bends light.

This warping effect won’t bring back the past, but it will affect the passage of time. However, we will never know it because we are traveling along for the ride, and as time slows and speeds up, we will remain consistent relative to the movement of time.

What Gives Time Forward Inertia?

There's one last detail that needs explanation. What contributes to the inertia that continues the flow of time?

The formula I used above indicates that the force of gravity between two objects is a function of mass. However, no mass is involved with time. That dilemma can be solved by showing that time behaves similar to mass. I do that with the concept of fluid dynamics, which will illustrate how time builds inertia.

Flow of Time

Flow of Time

Fluid Dynamics and the Flow of Time

The Navier–Stokes equations3, named after Claude-Louis Navier (a mechanical engineer) and George Gabriel Stokes (a physicist), describe a fluid's flow velocity with a set of equations that also relate to weather patterns, ocean currents, water flow, and other physical phenomena.

I take these equations a step further and apply it to the flow of time. You may have heard how plumbers talk about water always seeking its level, especially if you ever had a flood in your house. Well, time might also seek its level—the future.

To Conclude in Summary

The points I made explain why time will always slip into the future. Based on my theory, the strength of future time gravity continually has more force, pulling time forward to its level point, while past time gravity becomes weaker and has less of an effect.

Time flows forward by the same principle as the Navier–Stokes equations describe fluid dynamics and with the same certainty.

So due to the differential of those forces, the tendency is to continually move forward in time.


  1. Johan F Prins, "On Einstein's Non-Simultaneity, Length-Contraction and Time-Dilation" - Cathodixx
  2. Clifford M. Will. (Retrieved April 2021). “Einstein's Relativity and Everyday Life” -
  3. "Navier-Stokes Equations" - Engineering Wiki

© 2017 Glenn Stok


Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on June 05, 2020:

Being motivated by questions I received from my readers, on June 5th, 2020, I revised this article, making it easier to follow with clearer explanations. Feel free to give it another look.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on August 29, 2019:

Stephane Souron - I read your explanation a few times to try to understand how it related to my article. Then I got to the part where you said it has no direct relation. LOL.

That’s okay, but to answer your question, I would suggest you do research with Google search to see if you can find any forum discussions online that support your postulation.

You might just find other people thinking along the same lines, and a mutual discussion might lead to some new discovery. One never knows what can come of it. No theories should ever be dismissed unless proven wrong. I give you credit for reaching out. Good luck with that.

Stephane Souron on August 29, 2019:


Even if I have a good and strong scientific knowledge (I'm engineer), it's not an enough one to discuss further about all of it.

However, I'd like to share a vision I had during a very deep meditation:

It had been "presented" to me a explanation telling why the relativity theory was false, and so on why it doesn't fit with quantum theory.

This vision told me that Einstein was wrong by following the postulate that mass creates gravity, and then gravity influences time.

The reality could be different: Imagine that it is the mass that directly influences the time, creating zones of "high time" and others of "low time". Then gravity could be a flow between these time gradients.

This could be seen like what happens in atmosphere: temperature shifts cause pressure shifts, and the pressure gradients cause wind. In the vision, mass corresponds to the temperature, pressure to the time and gravity to the wind. Like in the atmosphere, we don't feel directly the pressure (time) but we feel the wind (gravity).

What seems to be wrong is like if we thought that the difference of temperatures cause wind, causing in turn pressure differences.

I am absolutely unable to scientifically discuss further about that vision, got in a mystic moment, and it's very far from myself to giving it as a thruth ! I just want to know if any research already explored that idea, and if yes, are there some theorical advances about it ?

I know it has no direct relation with your article, and I'm again sorry to present it that way, but it was the only place I know to expose this...

I hope I do not disturb... ;-)

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on July 12, 2019:

Michael - You are still confusing gravity with time. What Einstein pointed out is that time decreases as speed increases. That has noting to do with gravity.

It's also incorrect to say "in a magnetic zero field gravity does not exist." Magnetism has nothing to do with gravity. The Earth has a metal core of iron and nickel which is why we have the magnetic poles. Planets with no metal core, still have gravity.

Michael on July 12, 2019:

I was reading in Einsteins theory of Time dilation that gravity has a direct impact on time. As gravity increases speed of time decreases. I know Magnetic force is different, however in a magnetic zero field gravity does not exist. My Theory would be that if a petri dish of cells were left in this environment then time would be accelerated and we would see faster growth of cells compared to petri dish in normal environment.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on July 12, 2019:

Michael - Thanks for your comment, but just to set the record straight, gravity has no effect on time. In this article I was talking about the possibility of a force that makes time proceed—and I simply call that "time gravity." You may have missed that part.

In addition, magnetic force is very different from gravity to which you refer. Confusing one with the other is misleading.

As for growing colonies of fungi in petri dishes, that is being experimented with on the International Space Station to determine the effects of weightless conditions on cellular growth.

Michael on July 12, 2019:

Im no scientists, however I time gravity is interesting, as gravity decreases so does the speed of time. I could be wrong but I dont believe gravity can be measured. However if we created a zero magnetic field physical objects can float upwards which would indicate there is no forces pushing down on them. In this field could we leave a petri dish with cells and check to see what rate they age compared to normal environment and space environment. Using the three comparisions we could find out if the petri dish in the zero field competely stops to age. If so then we could say gravity has a direct impact on time/aging.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on March 29, 2019:

Nick Briggs - Interesting explanation. Your analogy with going backwards in a train to experience a past event gave me something to think about.

You did make it clear in your example that things have changed and therefore you have not gone back in time. I can add a mathematical analogy to prove the same point. The train goes in reverse within the three-dimensional space, while the fourth-dimension continues going forward.

I get your point about time not really existing, but the 4th dimension is simply a mathematical way to create the concept of time. Math algorithms can be used to create a model of anything, real or not real (Cartoon animation, for example).

Nick Briggs on March 29, 2019:

I am no scientist and whilst I find this subject fascinating I would be interested to know what anyone thinks of this idea.

Time is not real. It is only a concept we have invented to better manage our lives. Existence is dynamic, the universe and any other universes are subject to constant change. The rate of change is what we call “Time” However, the speed with which change can happen is not constant - it is slowed by gravity just as the speed of walking would be slowed by walking through a deep sludge. And this is true for the largest of objects, offset by their own gravitational fields, down to the tiniest particles. My central point is that whilst Clocks do tick faster at the top of Everest, this does NOT mean time is passing more quickly, (time does not exist), but because every part of the clock down to the smallest atom and everything within each atom within the clock is subject to less “ sludge” I.e. gravitational pull from the earths core enabling everything to happen at a faster rate. And Time cannot not unwind because it does not exist. It is an artificial concept, and even if you were on a train experiencing the same thing as a reoccurrence, it would not be because time is going backwards, but because the train is now travelling in the opposite direction, hence there is the tree you saw earlier, there is that broken down old house, but maybe there is someone standing outside the house now,and even if you think it is the same scene, something will have changed if only in a microcosmic way.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 06, 2019:

Dr Vinayak - Interesting theory. The expanding universe might just be another explanation for our perception of time. This could use some additional study.

Dr Vinayak on February 06, 2019:

Is there any role of electromagnetism or any other element in pulling time forward? Because if the universe is expanding then there might be some force which is pulling it in outward direction.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on December 29, 2018:

Erudite Scholar - Since you express a strong interest in the concept of time, you might like two other articles I wrote on the subject. All my “time related” articles are at the bottom of my list of science topics that you can find at

Erudite Scholar on December 29, 2018:

I have always been fascinated by time. This is a very thoughtful article Glenn. I have always questioned the existence of time. Is time absolute or does it exist only in our minds?

Thanks for the great article. I certainly look forward to reading more of your work.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on December 29, 2018:

Jeff Carl - That’s an interesting consideration for the explanation of time. Yes, it’s similar to what I was theorizing. Thanks for your input.

JeffCarl on December 28, 2018:


I was laying in bed contemplating the nature of time, gravity, and the big bang and had a thought that I think is very similar. What if time is a function of gravity pressure? From the Big Bang, all of the mass in the universe pushing outward would create a pressure wave that would then also be pulled by the vacuum of space. Two opposite but equal forces working in tandem to expand things outward. Could be what is causing the increasing rapidity of universal expansion. Time could just be the expression of that pressure wave and why time is only moving in one direction. Think of forward as outward instead. What do you think? Are we thinking along the same lines?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on October 21, 2017:

Jyotsna Mishra - I wrote another article where I discuss the answer to your question:

“Why Time Travel to the Future Is More Likely Than to the Past”

Jyotsna Mishra on October 21, 2017:

Can you explain the gravitational pull of time considering one day in past or one day in future? The distance i.e r2 remains the same, so the pull force should be the same. Then Why cant we go back in past for one day or one sec in past then?

PS: M a process engineer, dont know much physics. Just curious about this amazing theory you described. Looking for any explanation regarding life.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 07, 2017:

Oh, you are too kind, Glenn. No, I'm not on to anything hahaha ...just when you say time gravity, made me think of waves being pulled forward at a certain time ...but not really "time" as you say. And that you say we are being "pulled" forward in time. Way over my head, obviously, but still fascinating to me.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 07, 2017:

Thanks Faith. That's an interesting analogy. Of course tides are low when the sun and moon are at 90°, so I don't see a relationship to time. But maybe you can elaborate on that. You might be onto something that I'm not thinking of.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 07, 2017:

Wow, Glenn, I found your essay to be fascinating and I believe you are on to something! Time has always intrigued me. When you are talking about being pulled forward in time, I am reminded of waves or tides and the gravitational pull of the sun and moon for some reason. ...but then there is low tide?

I will be back to read again to soak in more of your fascinating theory here! You are brilliant. I love the way your mind thinks.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 07, 2017:

Thanks for your interest Brandon. I actually have about a dozen science-related articles, some with a philosophical twist. They are categorized for easy reference on my author site (link from my profile). I'll have to check out more of your articles too.

Brandon Lobo on February 07, 2017:

I should take a look at your other articles, hopefully this weekend. Even though I've known you for so long on HP, I never realized you wrote in the science domain.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 07, 2017:

Brandon, That is a very good possibility that there are forces in all directions. It still fits with my analogy that the forces behind are diminished by the square of the distance (or time in this case). This causes everything (including time) to move with the inertia in the direction that it began.

I used the Butterfly Effect as an example in my other article I mentioned in my prior comment. I agree that if time speeds up or slows down we would not be aware since, as you said, we are in the same domain. Just the other day, one of the astronauts in the ISS through a football. To him it looked normal, but in reality we know the football was moving at over 17,000 miles per hour. Everything is relative to his domain in the ISS.

Brandon Lobo on February 06, 2017:

Yup, that's exactly what I was proposing. The possibility of time travel or rather go backwards in time. You may not be able to warp back in time like in the movies.

Another crazy idea could be that there are forces pulling us in all directions of the space-time domain and we move along the resultant direction.

Any small change (the butterfly effect), even at the subatomic level influences this resultant forces direction and maybe even its magnitude fluctuates (we could just not be aware of time passing quicker or slower as we are entities in this domain) .

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 06, 2017:

Brandon, I understand what you are saying and your example in your first comment makes it clear. What you are proposing can be accepted as an alternative theory. The problem I have with that theory is that it seems to prove that backward time travel is possible – Or am I reading too much into your example?

My analogy using the equation with the square of time in the denominator shows mathematically why time cannot go backwards. Your analogy shows that there is equal force in both directions. We have yet to discover which is correct. Maybe time travel will be possible someday. I wrote another article about that where I propose the notion “Why Time Travel May be Possible if Only One Way”.

The idea that there might be another relation not dependent on time that has already passed, or will pass, opens up a whole new concept to consider. You gave me something to think about.

As I said before, I appreciate your comments. Your way of thinking and your thoughtful analysis adds value for all readers and I welcome your input. Consider this an open forum. I enjoy hearing alternative deliberations.

Brandon Lobo on February 06, 2017:

Glenn, you have not mixed up gravity and time gravity and you have clearly said it's similar and not the same when you talk about the relation.

I think a lot about the space-time continuum too. What I was trying to point out or understand (from your perspective) is the reasoning behind the forward progression of time. You use the analogy of the mass gravity equation to say the time gravity equation would most likely be similar having a square of the time in the denominator and then proceeded to say this is the reason time only moves forward. But if you read my previous comment where I consider a timeline you will see how this cannot be (in my understanding).

I'd like to think there's another relation which is not dependent on the time that has passed or is to come.

P.S: I'm only commenting since I really like the way you related the two and it's a pretty interesting take. I hope I'm not intruding with my own thoughts on the matter. This isn't a forum thread after all :)

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 06, 2017:

Brandon, Thanks for your interest in understanding what I was discussing. I tried to make it clear in the intro that I am not referring to gravity between masses. My discussion is about a new concept of a force that “pulls” time forward. Maybe time-gravity is not the best term for this. I’m beginning to see that it is easily confused with gravity between masses in the Universe.

Your question about what started the momentum of time going forward brings up many theories, many of which require assumptions since little is known about time.

I referred to one idea – that being the Big Bang. My proposal is that time didn’t exist before the Big Bang. In the same line of reasoning, time couldn’t exist in a black hole either, as you had indicated.

As for the squared power of time, I was making a point in my article that the force that tries to keep time from moving forward (time-gravity) is reduced by the square of the time that passes, just the same as the force of gravity between two masses is reduced by the square of the distance. Please let me know if that was not clear in my article, because that is the most important part of all this that I was hoping to convey.

I appreciate your putting into words that came to your mind and I would be pleased to continue this conversation if you have more thoughts.

Brandon Lobo on February 06, 2017:

Hi Glen, amazing article and I like the way you think. I like the analogy where you compare time to a fluid.

Then again, I do not agree or I failed to understand your relation between gravity between masses and the forward flow of time. Let me try to explain what I mean, and you could then hopefully explain what I failed to understand:

Let's say we have time in seconds projected onto a number line. Our current moment being at 0 seconds, the future at 2s and the past at -2s. Just these three time-steps to keep the question simple.

If time gravity were related to matter gravity, what's stopping me from saying that it is just as easy to go to 2s as -2s from our initial time at 0s? If the time gap is squared I see no difference, the sign plays no role anymore and the magnitude of force (or another phenomenon) to get to either of the two points must be the same. I would propose that it's not time squared or any positive power.

Let us just say we agree that it's an exponent of 3 rather than 2. We have a negative sign, but the sign is just mathematical. In my opinion there needs to be another factor that plays a role in moving it forward. Something that got the ball rolling in a particular direction. Some sort of momentum. Maybe this momentum can be altered both in magnitude and direction by objects on the space-time continuum.

A very heavy object such as a black hole would have a huge impact on the space-time continuum (relatively speaking) and maybe, just maybe time and gravity are inversely proportional. This would lead to time almost stopping at a black hole and that's why even light cannot escape. Maybe it's still moving trying to reach the other side, it's just not got there yet or it just doesn't have the energy to get out of there (E = mc^2) due to the steep climb the dense black hole has left on the continuum.

I blabbered a lot and just wrote whatever came to mind while writing the comment. I initially just wanted to talk about the squared power of time in the equation :)

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 04, 2017:

Blond Logic - You brought up a lot of good questions. As far as differences of gravitational force has to do with the speed of time, as Einstein was investigating, you have to realize that it's all relative. If the sun were smaller, everything else would coincide and you wouldn't notice the difference. That's, of course, assuming that human life would be exist on the earth with a change like that.

The same goes for Pluto. Clocks would run slower when compared to clocks on the earth, but time itself remains constant. This is all fact for that matter. We know only too well because clocks on our GPS satellites need to be adjusted to coincide with time on earth.

As for time running backwards, go back and read that section in this article where I gave a reason why it can never happen. I guess you might've missed that part. I know there was a lot to grasp. And by the way, that also is a different form of gravity as I mentioned in the introduction.

In reference to your philosophical question, end of life experience is another subject that deserves its own discussion. I did make minor references to it in a couple of other articles.

Mary Wickison from Brazil on February 04, 2017:

I don't think I understand everything you've said but it's interesting nonetheless.

Just as an example, if the mass of the sun was reduced and lessened the gravitational force on the earth, would time then slow down?

Since Pluto would have less gravitational pull, could time almost stop there?

If this creates a concave net of force, what could create a convex? If this did occur would time go backward as the gravitational force is pushed away?

On a philosophical note: Couldn't that be what happens when we die as we see our life flash before us. Although the theories are applied to the universe, if you attach it to a human life, time is constantly moving forward (as in the video of the man standing still). However, when our energy, (life force) is drawing out of us, the brain emits flashes of memories or is it rewinding?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 03, 2017:

tsmog - Just imagine, you can leave it alone for a year and then set it back and feel like you're gaining an extra 8 hours to live. I have a cookoo clock that stopped working, but it still shows the correct time twice a day.

Tim Mitchell from Escondido, CA on February 03, 2017:

Pretty Cool Glenn! Interestingly I have an electric LED clock beneath my TV on the stand. It looses time. But, it moves forward and not backward. Huh! I have never seen that before. I reset it 01/01/17. It is now 4 min ahead of the clock on my TV. hmmmm . . . does that prove your theory in an odd way? I dun'no . . . Great article Glenn that is giving me much food for thought this morning. Thank you!

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 02, 2017:

MsDora - My mind exercise not only gives a clue why time only goes forward, but I also wrote another article about "Why Time Feels Like It Passes Faster As We Get Older".

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 02, 2017:

This Time Gravity concept is not the most difficult of your philosophies to follow. Now I can explain why time only goes forward. I like the mind exercises you create.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 02, 2017:

Nadine May - I'm glad you found the relationship between time and gravity interesting. When I did my research, I was surprised to discover that Einstein worked on that too. But he had a different view of it as I talked about in this article.

Nadine May from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa on February 02, 2017:

Loved reading your post especially about the relation between time and gravity.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 02, 2017:

MizBejabbers - Interesting analogy. I actually discuss an answer to your question in another article about "Evolution of Time and Space Since the Big Bang." Based on your comment I think you might find that interesting as well.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on February 02, 2017:

Interesting theory. Some scientists say that time is just an invention to help people keep track in 3 Dimensional space. That would mean there has to be some way to anchor it, and your theory is as good as any. Some theorists have likened the universe to cake batter, folding over and over on itself, and the Big Bang as just another fold. Would the next fold in our space be another Big Bang, and the time "clock" be reset with it?

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 02, 2017:

Coffeequeeen - Time gets beyond me too. I'm always running out of it.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on February 02, 2017:

To be honest, time and gravity has always been a bit beyond me. But reading your hub has proved most interesting and informative. I've learned something today. Thank you.

Glenn Stok (author) from Long Island, NY on February 02, 2017:

FlourishAnyway - Thanks for the compliment. That's great news that you grasped the concepts of all this! Must be your intelligence!

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 02, 2017:

Wow, you write on such an impressive variety of topics and this one is thought provoking. I'm challenged to wrap my mind around concepts such as space time but I digested your ideas a little easier for some reason. Must be your writing!

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