Is it possible to travel through time? This is a question that has been posed by thinkers for millennia. The question has been presented in numerous works of literature, and also in the motion picture industry. Unfortunately, these works are very misleading as you will see shortly. Although the correct theory of time travel may still be unknown, the least we can do is identify which theories are flawed.
The first thing we must realize is that there are several theories involving time travel. I will refer to them as:
• “DeLorean” Theory of Time Travel
• “Light Speed” Theory of Time Travel
• “Multiverse” Theory of Time Travel
We must also understand a few terms before we proceed
• tA –time at which you leave your destination
• lA –the location at which you leave your time
• tB –the time at which you arrive at your destination
The first theory we will examine is what I call the “DeLorean” Theory of Time Travel, which is the most widely known version. We have seen this theory portrayed in movies like “Back to the Future,” and “The Time Machine.” In theory, the individual would leave at a certain point and place in time (tA, lA), and would arrive at another point in time (tB, lA). It sounds easy enough. Input your destination and accelerate to 88mph. But it is flawed. To understand this, we must understand the nature of the universe we live in.
The universe in which we live is constantly changing, and any object perceived to be at rest is purely relative. For example, you are probably reading this article right now by looking into your computer’s monitor. Is your computer moving? If you said no, you would be with the majority. However, if you said yes, you are either drunk or thinking abstractly. The truth is your computer is moving. And if you are sitting still in front of it, you are moving at the same rate. How can this be? Well, does not the earth rotate once around its axis every 24 hours? Yes. Also, does not the earth orbit the solar system once every 365 days? Yes. So now we are closer to realizing that we are not at rest. And any rest that we perceive is just because we are making a statement from a relativistic standpoint. So from this information we should be able to determine our speed? No. The reason why we cannot determine our speed from this information is because the variables we have come up with are just the tip of the iceberg. For example, the earth wobbles on its axis, in a phenomenon that is known as precession, which takes approximately 25,920 years to come full circle. Also, the solar system travels around the galaxy which we know as the Milky Way. Well surely from all of this information we should be able to determine our speed. Nope. We can keep going on to movements of galaxy clusters and more. And we still haven’t talked about other factors, such as gravitational attraction, which is acting on you from a seemingly infinite amount of sources. So as you can see, it is seemingly impossible to calculate your exact speed when looking at the universe as a whole.
So let’s get back to the “DeLorean” Theory of Time Travel. Now Hollywood would have us believe that you simply input the information required, press GO, leave tA at lA and enter tB at lA. Does anyone see any problems with this? Those of you who said yes, you are ahead of the game; those who said no, I will explain by asking a question. Where do you end up after you press GO? I agree that when you leave tA at lA you will enter tB. But I argue that you will not enter at lA, but at lB. In other words:
tA + lA –> tB + lB
tA + lA –> tB + lA
I would argue that if you were to travel just one second into the future using the “DeLorean” Theory, you would arrive at a point lB that would be hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from lA. And remember, those distances are not relative to the Earth. So those hundred or thousand miles could be out in the middle of space, or deep within the earth. This is because you have left the realm in which you are traveling relative to the Earth. For example:
Earth(E) and you(Y) = tA, lA Projected Path(given all variables)
one second later…
You= tB, lA Earth= tB, lB
The only way that I can foresee this as an actual time-traveling alternative is if you were able to somehow predict the actual coordinates of lB and arrive their at tA. This could conceivably work, but it is however seemingly impossible to calculate the variables required for the successful implementation of this method. So, as we can see, the DeLorean Method is not practical.