I can't think of the meaning of squaring the Time (multiplying it by itself). It makes sense in Mathematics. But how can you figure it out in nature (or physics). As an example, the formula $$s=ut+(1/2)at^2.$$


closed as unclear what you're asking by Kyle Kanos, tpg2114, Jim, Kyle Oman, JamalS May 27 '14 at 20:46

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you give a specific equation or example as a reference? $\endgroup$ – NeutronStar May 27 '14 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Joshua, maybe he means $x(t)=(1/2)at^2$ for example for an accelerating object ? $\endgroup$ – Nick May 27 '14 at 18:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Nick, that is what I was thinking he meant but I am hoping for the OP to clarify in case they are thinking of something else. I can't think of anything else off the top of my head quickly though... $\endgroup$ – NeutronStar May 27 '14 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ Is the question "What is a square-second?", an analog to when we have length squared and get a square meter? I don't think the question is why does it appear (since he says it makes sense in math) but more what is a square-second physically (if anything at all)... But I'm voting to close as unclear until it's clarified since we have different possible interpretations. $\endgroup$ – tpg2114 May 27 '14 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ Possibly related: physics.stackexchange.com/q/48391/17609 $\endgroup$ – Keep these mind May 27 '14 at 19:43

Well, think of it this way: Let's say you have a quantity that represents change over time. Could be velocity (distance travelled per unit of time), could be precipitation (inches of rain falling per hour), could be flow rate (liters per unit of time).

Now if you want to know how much stuff you get (distance travelled, inches of rain fallen, liters of water flown) after a certain amount of time, you multiply the rate with the time.

So, total distance travelled is velocity multiplied with time, total rainfall amount is rain fall rate multiplied with time, etc. etc.

Now, what if the thing that's changing over time also is something that depends on time? The easiest example here is acceleration. Acceleration tells you how much the velocity changes over time. For a car, you'd advertise how fast it can go from 0 to 100 km/h.

So, if you multiply acceleration with time, you get the resulting velocity, and to get a distance, you multiply that with time again. That's why you have "time squared"


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