Time travel is perhaps the most anticipated science fiction technology. It has been around since the H.G. Wells’ Novel “The Time Machine” from 1865.
The physics of time travel are not well understood. Impact Nottingham explains that this is mainly because of the complex nature of time. Even the most optimistic futurists don’t believe that technology will ever be developed.
It could be possible. This article will explain the basics of time travel technology and the man who believes he holds the key to creating a working time machine.
Time Travel 101
Let’s begin with this bold statement: Time travel is possible. There are however certain conditions.
Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity states that time is relative and can be altered with the right factors. The only condition is that time can only be travelled forwards and not backwards.
Time dilation is one of the key features of the Theory of Relativity. This is the basic principle: The faster you move, you will experience slower time.
For example, if you are able to approach the speed of light with something like a warpdrive, it could be that you believe only minutes have passed, but hours have already passed here on Earth. Also, you would be slower than someone else on Earth.
This principle is the basis of our time travelers: the astronauts at the International Space Station.
That’s because clocks on the ISS have been proven to tick slower than clocks on Earth, effectively saying that ISS astronauts are traveling 0.007 seconds into the future every six months, according to Planetary-Science.org.
Why can’t we travel to the past?
It is theoretically possible to travel back in time into the future. Why not the past?
Stephen Hawking, a great physicist and scientist, said that the best evidence against us going back in the past is that “we haven’t been invaded by a bunch time travel tourists from future.” This was published in Hawking’s 1994 book, “Black Holes And Baby Universes”, Space.com.
CAMBRIDGE CAMBRIDGESHIRE – September 19: Professor Stephen Hawking attended the gala screening “Hawking” at Emmanuel College on the opening night for the Cambridge Film Festival. It was held in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, on September 19, 2013.
Due to extremely complicated physics, it is impossible to go back in time using a time machine. Live Science explains that the math isn’t correct.
Charles Liu, an astronomer, says you can only move forwards or backwards within three dimensions: width and breadth. However, time, or more precisely, space-time, is only able to move forward.
Any mathematical argument that would allow time travel to be possible would be in direct contradiction of accepted laws of physics and make it scientifically impossible.
The Building Of A Real-Life Time Machine
One man could have the key to building a working machine.
Professor Ron Mallett is his name. The BBC featured Mallett’s work in a series that looked at the “most promising ideas” for time travel. Mallett’s motivation for wanting to travel back in time is personal. He wants to save his father’s life.
Professor Mallett lost his father at 33 years old after suffering a heart attack. At the time, the soon-to be scientist was just 11 years old. Ron Mallett, a young boy, was devastated and decided to dedicate his life to making time travel possible.
Mallett’s ideas are also based on Einstein’s supreme theory. His time machine would allow time travel backwards by turning space time into a loop. According to Mallett’s calculations this will allow someone or something to travel from the future to past and back again, writes CNN.
He intends to create a circulating beam light that will allow him to turn space time. According to Mallett, the beams of light could produce a strong enough gravitational field that would allow for time travel backwards or forwards.
Time Travel is still possible
Time travel technology is still far away unless the most brilliant minds in the world find a way around the limitations.
One thing is certain: While fictional tech such as warp drives, lightsabers or self aware robots may come and go, they will likely never be as famous as a time machine.