What is Time? We live by it in set increments that move our society, larger quantities help document the events in the past, and the uncertain amounts aid us in determining what's to come. But what it is boggles most who try to understand it. Is time simply a human invention of explanation for the natural progression of everything, or is it a distinct part of nature, like the atoms a distinct part of mass? Can it be harnessed or manipulated? Or can it even be changed and built upon or destroyed outright? These questions and many more are only part of the uncertainties that surround it.
If there was ever a beginning of time, it would certainly be astounding to know exactly how it came about, but assuming the law of continuity, everything begins as the outcome of something else. In other words, the start of time for anything we know it as, came about as the end or change from something else. Also, time is neither an absurd nor abstract title placement over something that goes to describe something that isn't there. Time is an energy - very real and very important - with any quantities of it taking the form of spheres, not lines, as most commonly interpreted. Thus when noting any semblance of events, a "time sphere" as opposed to "timeline" is more accurate, unless using the line only to denote the one particular segment being observed.
Knowing that it is an energy doesn't help to explain it or where it comes from or how it interacts with matter. However, it is known that time energy is a byproduct of the universe. That means that wherever a universe exists, time will exist. This fundamental principle also means that wherever the universe doesn't exist, time also is absent. This means that if the universe is expanding outward in a giant sphere, so too would time, or more correctly, as time energy expands the universe is allowed to grow larger. Why? It's because without time energy movement is impossible.
It is important to remain skeptical of the explanation of time because it is not fully understood. Yet given photographic evidence time is proven at the most simplistic of levels, the infinitesimal. It doesn't matter to what fraction of progression a picture is taken, motion will never be shown to exist within the picture. But the motion occurs; otherwise things would not be moving. To say motion simply happens is abstract and obscure. Instead the explanation of something too fine to ever view allows this object in question the ability to shift is due all in part to the time energy.
Enthralled with time and the natural flow throughout history many people have played with the science fiction idea of manipulating time in order to stop it, alter the speed of objects, or travel along different planes of time, past future, or even alternate realities. As for whether any of this is possible the answer is yes. Only the difficulty lies in the manipulation of the energy's flow which may never be determined. However, adding more time energy to speed things up, less to slow it down, depleting it from an area to stop motion, and isolating it in order to exchange equal energy masses at different aspects of the time sphere is indeed possible. The only aspect of "how" remains the largest difficulty.
With many discoveries and questions remaining the true mystery of time may never be revealed, but just by understanding an aspect of it makes it easier to search out. However the most important factor in time isn't its origins or attributes, but the fact that it does exist.