Time and all physical quantities have units. These units vary in size and can be defined with arbitrary criteria. Some may even be illogical (any reference to imperial system is purely wanted). In physics, however, units occupy a very special place. In addition to their usual role, units can also lead physicists to some higher truths about the universe in which we live.
One of the best examples of this is the Planck length. It is a base unit in the Planck unit system. It is defined by three fundamental constants: the speed of light, the Planck constant and the gravitational constant. Coincidentally, it is also the minimum distance over which current physics can make meaningful statements.
Time in a model based on relativity is just like any other dimension.
A newly emerged theory suggests that the shortest possible time may be no larger than one millionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a second.
This theory sheds light on the concept that there may be a "clock" embedded in the universe or at least a fundamental property similar to a clock.
The implication of the new theory could have far-reaching consequences.
This intuition could help in the formation of a "Theory of everything", a noble attempt by physicists to resolve the disagreements of the two pillars of modern physics: mechanics quantum and relativity.
The other "minor" implications of this discovery are however intriguing. The biggest question this theory poses is: "what is time?"
While for the general public, time may not be a very complicated topic, for scientists it is the most complex of all.
The short answer: we don't know. For quantum mechanics it is a continuous flow of events, while for relativity theory it works like any other physical dimension, which can contract and expand.
How do we divide time?
The concept of "compartmentalized" time is not new. The quantum gravity model proposes that time is quantized and has a certain frequency. The minimum universal frequency is the smallest "time brick" there is, and no measurement of time can be less than that. This theory has some implications, for example, for atomic clocks that we use in modern equipment.
How do you find the smallest unit of the time?
The new theory uses actual physical measurements from real atomic clocks to put a limit on the minimum possible time.
To explain the effects of gravity in a black hole, quantum gravity theory is needed. The model is beautiful as well as stunning (as abstract) but also uses physical evidence for its arguments. The pure implications of this theory on the future course of physics have yet to be determined.
However, they would not be insignificant at all.