Starts With A Bang

Is time travel possible, according to science? (Synopsis)

Is time travel possible? And if so, what would it look like? Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Kjordand.

“One of the great things about music is that it has the capability of time travel – you smell a certain smell in the room and it takes you back to your childhood. I feel like music is able to do that, and it happens to me all the time.” -M. Ward

Have you ever wondered about time travel? Perhaps you have your destination in the far future, and want to see how it all turns out? Maybe you want to return to the past, and alter the future or present by your actions there? Or maybe you want to freeze time altogether? If you want to know whether it’s possible, the physics of relativity holds the answer.

The travel time for a spacecraft to reach a destination if it accelerates at a constant rate of Earth’s surface gravity. Note that, given enough time, you can go anywhere. Image credit: P. Fraundorf of Wikipedia.

Special relativity allows us to control our motion through time by manipulating our motion through space. The more we move through space, the less we move through time, allowing us to travel as far as we want into the future, limited only by our energy available for space travel. But going to the past requires some specific solutions to general relativity, which may (or may not) describe our physical Universe.

By mapping the distance coordinate outside the event horizon, R, with an inverse coordinate inside the event horizon, r = 1/R, you find a unique 1-to-1 mapping of space. However, connecting two distinct locations in either space or time via a wormhole remains a theoretical idea only. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons user Kes47.

What’s the status of traveling through time? Come get the scientific story (with a brand new podcast) today!