Countless attempts have been made to explain time by describing the many aspects of it, or how we perceive it, or how we measure it. To date, I don’t know of anyone else who has actually defined time. Time is the delay caused by velocity through space less than the speed of light. Or it may be accurate to say time is the delay caused by not traveling through space at the speed of light, since time would be fastest at zero velocity.
Time is not the consequence of motion, but the lack of enough motion. Since space and time are so intimately connected, we first need to define space.
Space is the three dimensional volume of the universe not occupied by matter. Mass does not slow time by saving travel time by shortening the distance between two masses but by slowing time itself inside the massive objects by what I will for now call, displacing space from inside the object. How it does this, we will have to save for later.
Gravity time dilation and velocity time dilation work, and in fact, they are the same. Gravity time dilation slows time by physically occupying (displacing) space. In velocity time dilation, time is slowed because the length contraction (Lorentz-contraction) corresponds exactly with the time dilation, because the space inside the object is displaced by length contraction.
In both cases when all space is completely displaced, time stops.
By displacing space, mass “warps” space out, not in, as is wrongly demonstrated in the “sheet” fabric of space illustration. Einstein predicted this with his theories of relativity, and it was confirmed with the solar eclipse experiments, where the stars appeared to move away from the sun. Warping space out it must be warped less than forty-five degrees and in all cases, it is much less. This causes major problems for people trying to tear holes in the fabric of space.
Time is the vacuum of space that we perceive as gravity. Not as John Keely argued, that gravity causes what we measure as time, but by warping space out and time slower, two massive bodies are attracted.
**Written for “The Nature of Time” essay contest by FQXi Community. View my entry here.**