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The concept of time has always captured the imagination of physicists and laypersons alike. But is it really possible? That’s exactly right. We do it now, don’t we? We all go to the future one second at a time.
But that was not what you thought. Can we go a long way in the future? Certainly. If we were to move near the speed of light, or to approach a black hole, time would slow down and allow us to move abruptly far away from tomorrow. A really interesting question is whether we can go back to the past.
I am a professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and I first heard about the concept of time travel at the age of 7, from the 1980s episode of Carl Sagan’s old TV series, Cosmos. I decided then and there that one day I would pursue an in-depth study of the concept behind such creative and marvelous ideas: Einstein’s Relationship. Twenty years later, I received my Ph.D. in the field and I have been an active researcher in this field since then.
Now, one of my medical students recently published a paper in the Classical and Quantum Gravity magazine explaining how to build a time machine using a very simple construction.
Closed curves like time
Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows for tension time to be so high that it wraps itself up, leading to time lag. Imagine that you are walking this route; that means that at some point, you would end up a moment in the past and begin to experience the same moments from, over and over again – like deja vu, unless you would not understand.
Such constructions are often referred to as “closed curves like times” or CTCs in research literature, and are more commonly referred to as “time machines.” Time machines are a product of schemes that work faster than light and self-awareness can improve our understanding of how the universe works.
Here is what scientists call a time loop. The green shows the shortest way through the caterpillar. Red indicates the longest route over normal space. Since the travel time of the green path can be very short compared to red, the caterpillar can allow for the passage of time. Image by Panzi / Wikimedia Commons.
Over the past few decades well-known scientists such as Kip Thorne and Stephen Hawking have produced seminal work on models related to time machines.
A common conclusion that has emerged from previous studies, including Thorne’s and Hawking’s, is that nature prohibits the suspension of time. This is perhaps best explained in Hawking’s “Chronology Protection Conjecture,” which clearly states that nature does not allow for change in its past history, thus saving us from the controversies that may arise over time.
Perhaps the most famous of these paradoxes is the so-called “great-grandparents” of the past when a traveler goes back and kills his own grandfather. This changes the course of history in such a way that the contradiction arises: The traveler was not born and therefore cannot exist. There have been many movie and novel programs based on the paradoxes of the passage of time – perhaps the most popular of Back to the Future movies and Groundhog Day.
Depending on the details, different body parts can intervene to prevent the curved curves such as time from appearing in the body’s systems. Most often there is a need for some kind of “exotic” story that must exist in order to exist. To put it bluntly, a rare issue is a serious matter. The problem is that bad sizes are not known to exist in nature.
Caroline Mallary, a medical student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has published a new model of the time machine in the journal Classical & Quantum Gravity. This new model does not require bulky bulk items and offers a very simple design.
Mallary’s model consists of two very tall cars – made of non-abrasive materials, and with good weight – configured in the same way. One car moves quickly, leaving the other parked. Mallary was able to show that in such a setup, a time loop can be found in the space between cars.