Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Time Travel: Fact or Fiction? (in which I attempt to refute Stephen Hawking's silly notion that time travel is impossible because we're not chatting it up with our future selves)

Tonnies continues: "Other physicists are at work refuting the paradox of going back in time and killing your parents before you are born. If they're right, a time traveler from the future could interact with others, including his or her past self, so long as no action was taken that would endanger the traveler's own continued existence. It's difficult to visualize how this might work, although the idea makes logical sense. Maybe the best analogy would be a physical system that relies on a principle of least action, such as a ball rolling inexorably downhill."

He further notes: "The fascinating upshot of this is that there's a chance we're indeed being visited by advanced beings from our own future, but their interactions with us would be necessarily limited lest they doom themselves to nonexistence."

Tonnies also wonders if the many UFO sightings that have been reported for decades may not be due to the actions of aliens from the other side of the galaxy, but the result of time-traveling humans masquerading as ET to keep secret their real point of origin.

"If time travel is possible," says Tonnies, "the behavior of UFOs may be at least partially explained: formal contact with us would result in a causality violation of some sort, so they must remain content with maintaining their presence behind a curtain of subterfuge."


Anonymous said...

Sure would like to see a public debate between Hawking and David Deutsch on these issues.

Deutsch has recently mathematically established that there would be no violation of Einstein's theory of relativity in terms of Deutsch's current findings regarding the "many worlds (actually universes)" hypotheses first brought to public attention nearly 50 years ago.

Deutsch posits that certain aspects of quantum mechanics require what is called the "multiverse" theory to be true, mathematically speaking, and that this fact, in turn, does NOT rule out a form of time travel into the past or possibly future, as long as you can "travel" via alternate, parallel universes. This would rule out the "killed your grandfather" paradox.

Now, just how this theory might be able to be put into actual practice, or "parallel universe" "time travel" is, for now, wholly unknown. But Deutsch's research and peer-reviewed scientific findings have so far stood up to scrutiny within the quantum physics, mechanics, and computation communities at large.

I can cite sources, if people here are interested, but just google Deutsch along with some of the terms above, and you'll find the same info. Wish I understood the math better, however.

Mac said...

I'm a Deutsch fan. I think Hawking is oh-so-wrong. Then again, we're dealing with the same guy who ruled out the possibility that some UFOs could be ET visitors because they haven't handed landed to speak with us.

Anonymous said...

The only way I see time travel possible is from one conduit to another. IOW, you could only travel back to the time when time travel was made possible, and that hasn't happened yet. I can't see any other way of realistically travelling through time. Otherwise, how could one possibly pinpoint any specific time frame to travel back to?

Anonymous said...

Interesting points, bsti. Wish I even knew how to begin to think about the answers to those kinds of questions.

Hawking's supposition, Mac, about why, if time travel is possible, were being not indunated with future touristas reminds me of the assumptions and neglect of psycho-social factors and effect on humans from such obvious forms of supposed contact if they were to occur, and are very similar in mode of thought and specious arguments for the "Fermi paradox."

Amusingly, Hawking once placed a small wager on whether Black Holes emitted any radiation or not (Hawking, the original expert, other than Wheeler and Einstein, said no, they couldn't) with a colleague, who said he thought they could and had to emit radiation or energy of some form.

Hawking lost the bet when new research showed black body radiation was in fact real, although whatever got sucked into a black hole for the most part stayed inside, and that whatever radiation was emitted was composed of completely disintegrated elements of energy and matter, and converted into mainly X-ray and related emissions in the form of a long stream, or spindle formation from the center of the black hole, vertical to the horizontal plane, or event horizon.

Aren't cosmological physi(cs/cists) fun? Hehe!

Dustin said...

Well said Mac. It would certainly make sense from a subterfuge angle, however, I think that it would likely rule out "abductions" for the very same reasons.

Certainly one to think about.

richelle said...

Lord I love time travel. I have my own very logical, simple (simple-MINDED, perhaps) theory on time travel. I want to put it out there and have smart guys try to tear it down and end up crying.

Anonymous said...

Any one know where the math's at? Sides, wouldn't the time travel automatically change the past w/extra entropy and diseases? Did anyone ever prove time as a dimension?