STONY BROOK, NY — The silence in the room is interrupted only by the soft whirring of a computer and the punctual ticking of a clock mounted on the other side of the room. Jacob Bergman, a physicist at Stony Brook University, stares blankly at his computer screen; images faintly reflecting off his thick-rimmed glasses. This unassuming man is one of the leading figures in theoretical physics today, and he is seeking to unravel the mystery of time dilation.
The Christopher Nolan blockbuster Interstellar has popularized the concept of time dilation, the idea that time passes more slowly in the presence of a strong gravitational field. This phenomenon has long been known as an effect of general relativity, but another aspect of time dilation has traditionally been less understood.
“Even now, a century after Einstein’s theory of relativity, we still don’t know why it sometimes takes hours to watch a single episode of anime,” Bergman told Anime Maru.
“Seriously, I’ve been trying to finish this episode of World Trigger for the last 45 minutes and I’m not even halfway done,” he continued, gesturing towards his laptop.
Bergman and his team are trying to solve the mystery of why time seems to slow down when watching anime, and connect their theories to general and special relativity. According to their research, anime that are shit seem to demonstrate more dilation. However, they can’t quite come up with a model that explains the phenomenon.
An idea pops into Bergman’s head.
“Maybe it’s connected to quantum gravity, or string theory,” Bergman said as he paused the episode to scrawl some equations on the chalkboard. “Hmm… that’s not it. Maybe I need a cup of coffee.”
For now, the mysteries of the universe still remain hidden from our understanding. But Bergman is determined to press on, right after he browses Reddit for a little bit.
As of press time, Bergman has not yet completed episode 3 of World Trigger.