What is Time?

There is no unambiguous answer to this question, but there is a lot of speculation. Do we need time to feel and describe reality? Is time travel possible?

“Time is the parameter for describing the reality. People perceive themselves in space and time, therefore, our sense organs perceive the three spatial dimensions: length, width and height. However, according to some suggestions, there is the fourth dimension [of space] and it is time,” – famous Georgian physicist Gia Dvali has said. Currently, he is a professor of theoretical physics at New-York University and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, he is also the Director at Max Planck Institute of Physics and the CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) scientist.

One of the founders of classical physics, Isaac Newton considered that there was no connection between space and time and generally, space is absolute. According to Newton’s law, time is invariable and flows equably without relation to anything external. Newton’s view on time and space is opposed by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, saying space has three dimensions, and the fourth dimension is time. This system of ideas has changed the fundamental views of the classical physics on space and time and their ties with the matter.

Physicist Gia Dvali notes that there is acceleration or deceleration of relative time – what does this mean? for example, the well-known “twin paradox”, one of whom makes a journey into space in a high-speed rocket (close to the speed of light, which is approximately 300 000 km /s), when he returns home he finds out that the twin who remained on Earth has aged more. It happened because of the time dilation, it’s an ordinary physical effect, which has been verified experimentally.

Deceleration and acceleration in different parts of the space occur due to gravity. If we come close to the black hole, our biological clock will slow down, because the area of the gravitational field is very strong. Scientists say the nuclear fuel can be exhausted in the solar core and everything can be absorbed due to the gravity. People have long been asking: is it possible to travel through time? As it was mentioned in the example of the twin paradox, it turns out that the theory of relativity makes possibility of time travel to the future. As for the travel to the past, many scientists believe that this is impossible. There will be the cause and effect problem here, for example, they are talking about the “grandfather paradox,” it is a paradox of time travel in which inconsistencies emerge through changing the past. The name comes from the paradox’s common description as a person who travels to the past and kills his/her own grandfather, preventing the existence of his/her father and therefore his/her own existence. British physicist Stephen Hawking has said that the fundamental laws of the nature rule out possibility of such travel. Georgian physicist Gia Dvali says : “I can sit in the spacecraft,  travel at light speed, then return back and I’ll appear in the far future because my biological clock runs more slowly and a thousand years pass on the earth. But I cannot come back. As for the travel to the past, I can tell you that it is impossible, because it does not gives us the self-coherence, by traveling to the past, you could change the present, while the nature does not like paradoxes.”

It should be noted that each individual perceive the flow of time differently. It flows slowly or quickly. Time perception depends on various factors, for example: psychological development, health condition, temperament, metabolism, age. Apart from a lot of theories and experiments, it is believed that time only exists in the human mind and does not exist independently. Humans have the demand of measuring time in general. That is why they have developed various time measuring devices, including the water, sun, sand, digital and mechanical clocks. The fact is that it is possible to measure the time and humans need it to establish order.


Author: Nini Mshvenieridze

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”

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“Georgian as a Foreign Language” – E-learning Effectiveness

The programme on “Teaching Georgian as a Foreign Language”  is being developed at the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. The teaching and methodological e-materials which are developed within the program, provide a full package of teaching and learning the Georgian as a foreign language for students and teachers. The program is being implemented in cooperation with the Language Policy Division of the Council of Europe (LPD) and in accordance with the general European linguistic competence.

Scientific portal “Doctrina” has interviewed Marika Odzeli, the author and the head of the programme.


-There are a lot of analogical programmes in the various countries of the world, but it’s unprecedented one in Georgia. How the idea came up and what triggered the development of a platform in our country?

Several years ago we developed the European Language Portfolio (ELP), which includes linguistic competence, both in native and foreign languages. Primarily, it was intended for ethnic minorities living in Georgia who were interested in learning the Georgian language. Later, in 2012, the fragments, methods or approaches, offered by the program, encouraged the first standard of the “Georgian as a Foreign Language”.   Until 2012 there was neither level nor frequency based vocabulary in Georgia, respectively, the program is still in development and we are making attempts to improve it.


-As for the methodology, how the teaching process is being implemented?

– Based on the program’s German and French analogies we have elaborated the first textbook for the methods of teaching the Georgian as a foreign language. Afterwards, we decided to elaborate textbooks based on language levels. It should be noted that until that time there was not a monolingual textbook of the Georgian language for foreigners, therefore it must be stressed that it is not designed for self-study, but for individual or group trainings. There is the textbook “Aghmarti” as well as a relevant workbook, the material includes writing and listening tasks. The natural and lively dialogues, together with relevant instructions, allow the interested person to easily understand the basic specification of the language.


–  What about the statistics of the countries, which use the program and actively cooperate with you?

-Nowadays there are bachelor’s degree courses in Georgian language and literature in several cities of Turkey and there are two generations of the graduated students. 20 students are enrolled into each course, though we hope that the number will rise in the future.  Last year on the initiative of the Education Ministry the Turkish students visited Georgia for one week and we tried to familiarize them with the Georgian culture. The program is successfully used in Petersburg, where there are special courses in the Georgian language.  It should be noted that in order the learning process to become easier for their students, the above-mentioned countries try to adapt the program and make some modification in agreement with us.

Brazil, China, Iran, Russia are among the countries which use our program, but according to the statistics, the users living in Georgia are dominated.


-Whether the program has any restrictions or not and who has an access to it?

-The program is available to all individuals who visit our site, after visiting the site they will have free access to the online textbooks and other materials. They can also put us any questions and make comments.


-What was the global response to the program on Teaching Georgian as a foreign language?

-It is very important that we are contacted from different countries; they give us thanks for services rendered by us. Some of them have even published their reviews about us on their own will. One of them is Yasuhiro Kojima. Here is the quote from his review: “Internet books will be available for everyone around the world and this will be a unique opportunity for them to study Georgian language. The series will particularly be useful for Georgian children living abroad and more, I would like to use these books to my son in Japan as well.” (It is notable, that Mr. Yasuhiro Kojima’s spouse is a Georgian woman).


– Are there any planned changes regarding the program in the nearest future and

how are you working on the program development?

-Now, we think to develop a bilingual dictionary within the frameworks of the program. Simultaneously, we are improving the existing levels (A1-A2, B1-B2) and after that we’ll start working on the C-level appropriate materials.


Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”


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Route Maps for Tourists to be Placed at Tbilisi Metro

Subway route maps will be placed at Tbilisi metro stations in the nearest days.

The project, which is initiated by the Tbilisi Transport Company and  the “Urban Laboratory“ organization, aims to offer more comfort to the citizens of Georgia as well as to the foreign visitors.

The bilingual maps contain route schemes and the capital’s sights, allowing passengers to easily plan their travel.

The competition for the maps’ design was announced few months ago.  Designers from the various countries participated in the contest, which was held in two stages. Young designer Iana Shavganchuk has been selected by the jury under the criteria, agreed with the Tbilisi City Hall and the Tbilisi Transport Company.  His work is notable for the synthesis of the capital’s sites and the subway route scheme.

Merab Mamulashvili, deputy head of the Transport Municipality Service, told media representatives that the maps would help not only foreigners, but also the citizens of Georgia, arrived in the capital from various regions of the country.

The project is financially supported by the NGO “Orbeliani” and the Swedish government.


Author: Tamar Devdariani

Translation: Tamar Tabatadze

 The Hall of Young Scientists & Analysts – “Doctrina”


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