The Idea of Time Travel and Understanding Time

The Idea of Time Travel and Understanding Time
Published On: 12-Mar-2021

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No matter how fortunate and privileged we are, we all look back and think about what we could have done differently. Maybe that’s where the idea of time travel was conceived. After all often when movie plots seem to be running dry, time travel is an interesting addition allowing far fewer probable outcomes to be achieved.

Yet how scientifically feasible is the idea really? Based on Albert Einstein’s ‘Theory of Special Relativity, time is malleable by gravity and relative based on speed. That’s why clocks in aircraft and satellites move at a different rate than those on earth. The speed of light is the fast measure of time that we know. To Einstein time was the ‘fourth dimension’. So, what about the idea of traveling forward and backward in time. According to NASA in theory it is actually possible, just very difficult.

Just probable is that we could bend space-time so far that time lines turn back on themselves to form a loop, technically known as a ‘closed time-like curve’. One theory even suggests that a time machine would have to be made of ‘an exotic form of matter with so-called negative energy density. This exotic matter would move in the opposite direction of normal matter. According to theoretical physicist Amos Ori, at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, they could just use a “doughnut-shaped hole in the normal matter”. Using a gravitational field, they could bend space-time upon themselves creating a ‘closed time-like curve’ inside this doughnut-shaped vacuum. To go back in time, a traveler would race around inside the doughnut, going further back into the past with each lap.

"If we were to create an area with a warp like this in space that would enable time lines to close on themselves, it might enable future generations to return to visit our time."

Of course, all of these theoretical possibilities have their own list of obstacles. So, in the end, all we really have is ‘what-ifs. Isn’t that how we end up missing out on the time we already have.

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