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

Updated on October 29, 2017
Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok has a Master of Science degree and he enjoys studying, researching, and discussing fields of science, physics and philosophy.



What I discuss in this article is a theory of mine. I’m proposing that time moves from the past to the future due to some sort of “pulling force” that I call Time Gravity.

Everything we know about time and space-time are based on theory. 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

My concept is not the same as the gravity between masses. I am not talking about the effect of gravity on time. That's being studied by scientists such as Holger Müller of the University of California Berkeley and Steven Chu, former United States Secretary of Energy in office from 2009 thru 2013.

For that matter, the clocks on our GPS satellites tick faster than clocks on Earth since the satellites are about 12,550 miles above the Earth and the gravitational pull is weaker. A correction is put into the GPS programs to account for this difference.

Once again, my concept of Time Gravity is different—It’s a force that pulls time itself.

You may think of this article for entertainment purposes only. However, I wouldn’t hesitate to let it be considered an essay for further scientific study. After all, we really don’t understand time. Everything being examined today is all based on theory.

My Theory of Time Gravity

In our three-dimensional world, we are very aware of gravitational pull. 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 3D space.

My proposal is 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 materialize.

Can you imagine being stuck in a moment without time moving forward? You really wouldn’t exist to even have the ability to think about it. Something is making “time” happen. Could this be it—Time Gravity?

Now that I explained all that, you may have a better understanding of what I’m talking about. Time passes because of Time Gravity pulling everything in space forward—in time.

How Consistent is Time?

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

If it were possible for time to go backwards, then there would be no past, present, or future. It would just be a mumble jumble field of chaos because events would happen repeatedly in different ways, causing an uncertain and inconsistent present and future. This is logically impossible because all events in time can only occur as long as there is a reliable means to an end.

Everything that happens in time leads to achieve another outcome later in time. If the outcome cannot be depended upon due to the past constantly being modified, then you can see how this would lead to utter chaos.

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

The fact of the matter is that space is not consistent. It can be warped. As I mentioned earlier, Einstein has proven that the force of gravity bends light traveling through space. This makes space appear to become warped. Therefore, time most likely can be warped too, just as light is warped by gravity.

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 just remain consistent relative to the movement of time.

Why Time Only Goes Forward

Now, 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 clearly show why time can only go forward. The momentum increases and the force required to go backward would be so extreme that it can’t be achieved.

The Force of Time Gravity

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.

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)

As you can see, dividing by r2 (the square of the distance) the force of gravity is reduced by the square of the distance.

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.

Based on my proposal, as time moves forward, we are increasingly removed from the past. That is, we leave the past behind. The farther we move away from the past, the weaker the gravitational pull of Past Time Gravity becomes. It reduces in force by the square of the time that elapses, just as the force of gravity between two masses becomes less by the square of the distance.

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

At the same time, the Future Time Gravity continues to have more of an effect on time, “pulling” time forward.

Since the Past Time Gravity becomes weaker and the Future Time Gravity becomes stronger, something must have started the process. Maybe it was the Big Bang, and this would indicate that time didn’t exist until the Big Bang.

Isn’t that a mind-blowing thought? I’m not done yet, one more thing.

My Misleading Judgment

The formula indicates that the force of gravity between two objects is a function of mass. The larger the mass of either object, the greater the gravity. This is somewhat different when this formula is applied to time, since there is no mass involved with time.

Therefore, I have made a misleading judgment in the development of this theory. I can overcome that, however, by applying the meaning of "mass" to something more appropriate when considering the concept of time. I need to apply mass to time. I need to find a way to prove that time functions similar as mass. Can I do that?

Fluid Dynamics and Flow Velocity of Time

The Navier–Stokes equations2, named after Claude-Louis Navier and George Gabriel Stokes, can be used to describe flow velocity of fluid. I take this a step further and apply it to time.

If you ever had a flood in your house, you may have heard how plumbers talk about water always seeking its lowest point. Well, time also seeks its lowest point, in my opinion.

Time has an inertial frame of reference3 and tends to find its lowest point—the future. This is similar to how water is attracted by gravity and will seek its lowest level.

The frame of reference is not linear. Time passes at different rates dependent on the speed of motion of the observer, as explained by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. This fits perfectly with the way fluid dynamics has been described. I wonder what Einstein would say about that? I wish he were alive today so I could share this article with him. Just a thought.

I now return you to your normal state of mind. If you still have a few minutes, I think you’ll relate a lot of what I said to the concepts in this nine-minute video.

Gravity and Time

© 2017 Glenn Stok


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    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      14 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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”


    • profile image

      Jyotsna Mishra 

      14 months ago

      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 profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      22 months ago from southern USA

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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 profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      22 months ago from southern USA

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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.

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 

      22 months ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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.

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 

      22 months ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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.

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 

      22 months ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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.

    • lobobrandon profile image

      Brandon Lobo 

      22 months ago

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      22 months ago from Brazil

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      22 months ago from Escondido, CA

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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".

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      22 months ago from The Caribbean

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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 profile image

      Nadine May 

      22 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

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

    • Glenn Stok profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

      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.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James-MizBejabbers 

      22 months ago from Beautiful South

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

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

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      22 months ago from Norfolk, England

      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 profile imageAUTHOR

      Glenn Stok 

      22 months ago from Long Island, NY

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

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      22 months ago from USA

      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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