In this video, Stephen Hawking talks about his most significant theory, Imaginary Time.
“People think it’s something you have in dreams, or when you’re up against a deadline. But it’s a well defined concept. Imaginary time is like another direction in space. It’s the one bit of my work science fiction writers haven’t used. Because they don’t understand it.”
The expansion and contraction of time within stories and dreams is in fact something which has long been explored by stories. Characters disappear through a wardrobe and live a lifetime of adventures before returning as though no time had passed at all. Alternatively, children disappear into the land of Faery and return to their home to find their parents long dead and everyone they know old and almost forgetting their existence.
“Put your hand on the a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like minutes. That’s relativity.” – Albert Einstein
The journey a soul or imagination goes upon during a story, is a fascinating one, one Science Fiction writers should explore more. Journey into dream and travel in “another direction in space”.