A World Without Time: Timelessness in Physics and Metaphysics

Does time really exist?

What would you do if you found out there was no such thing as time? Recent theories of gravity, physics and metaphysics suggest that time does not exist, conflicting with concepts central to science, reasoning and experience.

This UWA project investigates the concept of time and questions its very existence. The idea that time does not exist is a radical suggestion. Time, it would seem, is essential for a range of phenomena that we take for granted. Without time, morality, agency, decision-making and observation appear to be all but lost.

Supported by an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant, the goal of this project is to understand what it might mean for a physical or metaphysical theory to deny the existence of time. This understanding will then be used to explain how it is that we could ever have evidence in favour of a theory that genuinely denies the existence of time. 

This project aims to offer a new approach to time; one that allows the recovery of important concepts without the need for time itself. If you are interested in the topic of this project, you may want to study the Philosophy units, Logic: How to Defeat Your Foes with Reasoning and Metaphysics: a User's Guide to Time Travel.

Through this project, we aim to:

  • contribute to new physics
  • strengthen research ties between the arts and science
  • enrich our cultural understanding of time

Collaborate with us

The project is open to new collaborators on the topics of time, non-causal explanation and fundamentality. A great deal of the research in this project is both interdisciplinary and collaborative in spirit, therefore researchers from all fields are encouraged to contact project leader Dr Sam Baron to discuss the development of new research.

PhD opportunities

PhD students working on this project will investigate the role that time plays in physics and metaphysics with a potential to focus in detail on the notion that time does not exist.

Students must have experience working in metaphysics or physics, and must have a solid grounding in philosophy.

Contact Sam Baron on the details below for more information.

Contact Dr Sam Baron