Back to the future: Science studies the possibility of time travel

Who doesn’t remember Marty McFly, back to the future and all the good times watching the awesome movies? Well, it seems that scientists love them as much as we and do not take movies like that lightly.

Before we start, I have to mention that no one is actually building a secret time machine and as things look, a time machine that can take you back and forth through time won’t be built anytime soon. Now, let’s get to the interesting part.

An international group of researchers led by experts from the University of Birmingham, England, opened the debate about the possibility of time travel and if it could be achieved.

Alastair Wilson, the head of scientific research raises key questions in order to investigate the phenomenon: The linear notion that we humans have about time is just our way of perceiving it. This proposes considering temporality as a dimension of the same nature as those that make up the space where we live today.


If we can travel so easily among the top three dimensions, why would it be impossible to make it through a fourth?

According to Wilson, the possibility is somewhere in the universe, near a black hole. There, we could find something physicists refer to as the gateway to the fourth dimension. The team of researchers devoted time to assess the known paradoxes about time travel and the possibility of travelling through time (The Grandfather Paradox).

Dr Nikk Effingham PhD had some interesting things to say about time travel in an interview:

“This ‘Grandfather Paradox’ seems to tell against time travel’s possibility. The most famous contribution to this debate is David Lewis’s ‘The Paradoxes of Time Travel’. We could travel in time, says Lewis, but don’t think you can thereby do the impossible.”

“If you go back in time and try to bring about a paradox, then something will get in your way. Perhaps you slip on a banana peel and miss; perhaps the gun jams; perhaps you bump into the woman of your dreams and decide romance is better than murder. Lots of things might stop you. These questions about the possibility of time travel are still live questions. What have received less attention are issues concerning the probability of time travel, and the project headed by myself and Alastair Wilson investigates just these questions.”

“Is Stephan Hawking as likely as Joey Essex to find his future self telling him how to build a time machine?”

“Am I as likely to meet myself coming from the future, telling myself how to build a time machine as I am to meet myself coming from the future telling me how to answer a tricky crossword puzzle?

"Answers to these questions are difficult to figure out. These issues feature in various attempts to reconcile quantum physics with relativity. Such theories talk about ‘closed timelike curves’ – effectively tunnels through space and time that go back to the past – and so what one says about probability and time travel will have bearing on these difficult questions in physics. So musing about people appearing from nowhere and the likelihood of slipping on banana peels is more than mere navel-gazing.”

As we can see, scientists are finally thinking outside the box which can lead to very exciting results. Despite everything, the team of experts rejects the idea that a machine that would allow mankind to travel through time can be built by ‘humans’.

Source and reference: University of Birmingham. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Source: ewao
Back to the future: Science studies the possibility of time travel Reviewed by Anna Li on 8:15:00 AM Rating: 5

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