Someone has stopped all time. Dont worry, some people realized someone was tampering with time and they managed to create bubbles of time where they live, trying to build more equipment that lets them expand the bubbles they are in and build new bubbles where they need it.

Ofcourse you need your own light inside that bubble, as light outside the bubble wont be reaching your eye. You also need your own power source for creating oxygen, recycling waste etc. Fortunately you figured out a way to turn individual molecules of matter into useable energy by making it think its an evaporating black hole, so power isnt going to be an issue any time soon. Fortunately gravity doesnt seem affected by time so you wont be flying off into the time barrier surrounding your tiny bubble of time.

But then I started thinking of the border of the bubble, what would it really do to any matter there?

Lets put up some restrictions:

  • the edge of the bubble no thickness but it does have a "grace period" where the particles slow down until they are too frozen in time (which takes on average 0.001 seconds if you need it). During this grace period it lends time to any matter it would normally interact with letting it push it out of the way or heat it up. However the ONLY interaction will be with particle on their grace period, any interactions the outside particle had before would not resume until full time re-asserts itself (to prevent one particle from displacing an entire atmosphere because it pushed one particle).
  • the matter outside the bubble can be assumed a normal earth atmosphere and ground.

So the question is, what would happen at the edge and how to describe it? (Or if this completely fails, do I need to alter the parameters of the bubble to make sure it remains liveable inside for extended periods of time).

Keep in mind the following:

  • all radiation such as light ends up across the border at some point.
  • the very air is constantly moving in all directions and constantly collides with the barrier.
  • matter that is stuck on the other side has no time to interact with the matter inside the bubble other than when grace-period matter interacts with it.

I would hazard a guess that at some point there would be so much matter at the edge that matter inside the bubble would simply bounce off, preserving the bubble.

  • $\begingroup$ your Q might be a duplicate of Maximum Survivable Time Distortion Factor?. At least it seems my answer to that Q is the same one I'd give to this Q, and I'm kinda of the opinion that two questions that have the same answers are duplicates. Would you read that question and edit your Q to explain why it isn't a duplicate of yours? Note that tiny details aren't enough to rationalize difference. Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Sep 30, 2022 at 2:25
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH because my question doesnt deal with if a person moves through but what the barrier would look like if time stood still on one end? You dont describe what it looks like, at best what it feels like (which would depend on where the pain centers are located rather than if you step into slowed/sped up time) and if it would kill you, which are both irrelevant to the question. Think of the question this way: if you were trying to push a metal bar through my barrier with one end stopped in time when you push it through, would you be stopped? Extrapolate from there. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Sep 30, 2022 at 4:43
  • $\begingroup$ What my answer deals with is not feelings, but what happens as time affects bodily systems during the transition phase. But let's take your question at merit and assume the transition region is infinitely thin. What would it look like? Black. No light can escape due to time having stopped. Can I push a metal bar through it? No, time stops instantly on the other side and the bar stops. What happens as matter builds up on the zero-time side of the transition? That's story-based. If you're not asking about the nature of a non-zero transition, then the question is trivial. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Sep 30, 2022 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH not really. I put some extra constraints in there which should prevent that answer. But I want to know how to describe the barrier, since if matter stops and you cant push the bar through, then it would stand to reason that some matter would create a barrier at the bubble border preventing other matter passing through, bouncing any extra matter (and possibly light) of that barrier. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Sep 30, 2022 at 6:04

2 Answers 2


Solid wand

Your bubble will need a solid wand. That would allow a separation of the tempo of time inside and outside of your bubble, in separate worlds. There's light inside, light outside.

But.. why would a bubble of matter grow by itself ?

You seem to assume the wand attracts matter by itself. But what brings matter significantly closer to the edge of the bubble? Why would air or matter accumulate at the time boundary ? Brownian movement won't be affected by a time discontinuity existing elsewhere. Light and radiation may "end" on the wand but they do not consist of matter.

Pitfalls of the boundary

A space time discontinuity seems dangerous to me: particles at the boundary could gain near light speed momentum, go oscillate between the two realms and warm up the wand, to e.g. 10e21 degrees or so. Not really convenient. Also take into account photons can loose energy ("ends" as you state) but they could also gain energy, at the boundary, when seen from the other side. Maybe not the kind of light you want to look into..

Two metal spheres separated by a vacuum

Isolate it. You need a construction. It may be more practical to have this time discontinuity exist inside a vacuum, inside the wand.

Proposal: your bubble consists of two separate spheres of rigid material e.g. metal, with a vacuum in between. The time boundary exists in that vacuum and the Casimir effect prevents the spheres from colliding.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ What does "wand" mean in this context? Like, a magic wand? I checked, and all the definitions of "wand" appear to be synonyms of "baton," which doesn't seem to fit here. $\endgroup$
    – Tom
    Sep 30, 2022 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ @tom my guess is its a dutch word for "wall". At Goodies: the bubble would accumulate matter due to pressure and regular movement. The air would push outwards against its "boundry", which would bring it outside of the time boundry. Individual air molecules are moving at high speeds, bouncing off one another and crossing the bubble border (unless you use a wall inbetween). $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Sep 30, 2022 at 4:15

Air Leaves the Bubble

The air molecules are vibrating back and forth chaotically. Molecules near the border will randomly move towards it and get stuck there and get frozen in time. Since they can leave but not return this leads to the amount of air in the bubble decreasing until it becomes a vacuum.

Depending on how the rule for molecules moving to make room for each other, you might get a dense shell of frozen-in-time air just beyond the border. However this shell is no barrier to new molecules leaving the bubble.


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