What would you do if you could travel in time?

Posted: November 15, 2012 in Misc

Today I did a short talk at the crewe 4Networking breakfast business meeting and I thought I would share with you what I talked about.  I know  I have already blogged about “time travel” before so some of it you may have read before but some of it is new. Enjoy :).

Here goes……

Before I start I wont to pose a question.

What’s one thing that once you lose it you can never get it back? No amount of money, resources or effort can ever get it back….

Time, once you lose that time, the moment is gone.

Which leads me to the question, What would you do if you could travel in time??

I bet every one reading this would love to travel back to some moment in time and give themselves a bit of advice or latest lottery numbers.

As you may know I am passionate about science and stuff to do with time travel. One of my favourite TV science fiction series is Dr Who and one of my favourite films is back to the future.

I don’t know if you have seen them but I think they are brilliant.

So is time travel travel possible, well first we need to understand what time is?

Time is dimension in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future,

What is Time travel?

Time travel is the concept of moving backwards and/or forwards to different points in time, in a manner which  different from the normal “flow” of time to an earthbound observer.

We’re all constantly engaged in the act of time travel. At its most basic level, time is the rate of change in the universe — and like it or not, we are constantly undergoing change. We age, the planets move around the sun, and things fall apart.

I wont bore you with the physics but according to quantum theory and Einstein’s theory of relativity it is theoretically possible to travel in time. And in fact the nearer the speed of light you can achieve the slower the passage of time.

We measure the passage of time in seconds, minutes, hours and years, but this doesn’t mean time always flows at a constant rate. Just as the water in a river rushes or slows depending on the size of the channel, time flows at different rates in different places. In other words, time is relative.

Ok great, its possible but if time travel is theoretically possible then it should have already happened and at some time in the future a clever scientist has already invented a time machine that can travel through time in any direction, just like the fictional time machine created by H. G. Wells.

So where is our intrepid time traveller?

To my knowledge, correct me if I am wrong, I believe history shows no record of a time traveller ever visiting us from the future, and maybe some will conclude it’spossible to travel in time.

There maybe explanations to this. and The fact that we have no record of having been visited by time travellers does not exclude its possibility.

Ok, if we say it is possible then can we do it.

Well yes but there are problems. The main problem with time travel is creating a paradox.

What do I mean by a Paradox? Let me try to explain.

The most commonly posed paradox is known as the ‘grand parent’ paradox. This states that if you could travel back in time you could murder your grand parents and thus prevent your existence, thus rendering it impossible for you to have gone back in time and killed them…

Even more to the point perhaps, suppose you could travel back in time and kill the person responsible for time travel before they discover it! Then you wouldn’t have been able to travel back in time to kill him….. Catch 22. Or a paradox.

In addition, The same arguments can be applied to travel into the future. Suppose I travel 24 hours into the future and happen to meet myself crossing the street. (can you meet and interact with yourself?) . I push him in front of a car and he is killed instantly and then I return.

On my return, when tomorrow comes, I receive a visit from ‘me’ from my past. I of course knew he is gong to push me in front of a car and so I move out the way and push him into the path of the car and kill him instead. Can I do that? That isn’t what happened in my future, it was the ‘me’ in the future that died. Again we have created a paradox.

Confused yet? Welcome to the world of time travel.

But if we can avoid a paradox there are still other problems time travel can cause. Let’s examine a theoretical time travel situation in more detail in order to highlight some of the problems involved.

Ok lets imagine that today you travel back in time to say August 2001 and warn the authorities that the World Trade Centre in New York is going to be attacked on September 11th. Firstly will they believe you and lock you up for being a nutter.

But suppose they do believe you and take the necessary action and as time unfolds the disaster is eventually averted. But you are still in 2001 at this point and the disaster has been prevented, and you now wish to return to the time you came from. Here comes the Big Question – can you return to where you came from? Where you came from the attack had taken place, therefore where you came from no longer exists! If you do return to your original time, the World Trade Centre will still be standing (because you prevented the attack), so it cannot be where you came from. You will have changed the course of history, not just for yourself, but for the entire world. The question is, will the World Trade Centre still be standing when you return to your starting time? This is a major point of contention. According to one theory it both will and it won’t! This is because your actions will have created an alternative possibility and in the process an ‘alternative’ universe, where we now have one universe with the World Trade Centre intact, and one with it destroyed, and we will all exist in both.

The theory is firmly rooted in quantum theory that states that ALL alternative outcomes are possible.

However another theory suggests that alternative universes will not be created because events will conspire against you that prevent you (as in this scenario) from warning the authorities and changing history. Its called the Time Line protection hypotheses and is basically The natural law would prevent the traveler from altering the past. This ‘theory’ it isn’t really a theory as such, more an expression of a desire, because it is believed to be impossible (and very bad manners from the point of view of historians) to change history. The theory has no explanation as to how this ‘prevention’ could actually come about and has no solid theoretical basis.

There are many many theories about time travel.I could be here for hours talking about it.

So I will just say that if time is just another dimension as discussed at the start, then time travel would be possible and these paradoxes multiverses would be unavoidable. If however, we take the view that only the dimension of time itself exists, and not the events within it, then this would suggest that time travel is impossible. Why? Because the past would be fixed and future events do not exist, so it would be impossible to travel into the future to witness them, as there would be no ‘future’ to visit. Ie the future is what we make it!

So what does that mean?

Well going back to my original question, What’s one thing that once you lose it you can never get it back? TIME.

Time is precious. Once that moment is gone we can’t get it back. We are in charge of our own destiny and out actions and decisions today affect whats going tomorrow.

We only have one life to live and so don’t waste it

Follow your dreams. Follow your passions.

Tell your partner, husband wife, children you love them. Dont put off till tomorrow what you can today.

At the moment I’m following my dream, I am self-employed and building up my business.

And that’s the message I want to leave with you…. Follow your dreams and don’t live life with regret.

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