Friday, 16 April 2010

Problems with Time Travel (PT. 1)

I know I have broken my New Years promise, everyone does it though, so get over it. I know this is the first post in over a month and this one will be kept short, in order to study for my exams (I have one tomorrow -_-)

This topic has come from a quiz I was looking over to help study. Light was traveling faster than light. So I immediately thought about time travel because something that travels faster than light, is said to be able to travel in time.

So what happens if we build a machine that is capable of traveling in time but the actual machine doesn't move? I became quite curious and came up with this postulate. If the machine is stagnant and travels back in time, then it must exist at the same spot, at all times. That is, if it travels back in time to an era before the invention actual was constructed, then it must stay in that place for all time in between.

For example, this time machine is built in 2020 (this is highly unlikely) and I want to travel to my birth year. I will end up in the same place but on the date of my birthday. Where should this machine be built, because the past didn't have access to it? Also, think about this, if built in public, how would the population respond to you sitting in this machine traveling back in time? What if you got shot while on the machine right before the crowd disperses (or while just assembles by your point of view), when would it happen? Near your beginning of the travel or near the end?

As I said this is a short post and hopefully thought-provoking.

1 comment:

Vasily said...

While time travel is a facinating subject, I see one flaw in your reasoning. To put it simply, with this method of travelling you need to move faster than light, therefore the machine cannot be stagnant by definition. If it is stagnant, relative velocity is 0 and the time flows normally. If it is moving at v>c, you will be outside solar system before you know it. At these speeds you could observe the Earth in the past if you have a powerful enough telescope I guess.
Now IMO higher dimentional travel, should such be possible, could lead to a stationary time travel of sorts, but it would not be a smooth rewinding of a clock, more like time jumps from one time to the next. Causality begone!