Time Travel

Topics: General relativity, Spacetime, Time Pages: 6 (2736 words) Published: January 16, 2002
For many years time travel was the stuff of science fiction. This was all just part of the world's imagination until recently. Scientists now believe that the current laws of physics allow us to travel though time. They believe that we can now travel back to see our founding fathers sign the declaration of independence. We could travel to 2999 to witness the birth of the next new millennium. Such travel would require a machine capable of withstanding great pressures and incredible amounts of speed. The act of actually traveling though time is for the most part, agreed upon, but the implications of such travel is not so decided upon. Many different theorists have different views of what could happen and some go, as far as to say that if we did travel to the past, we would end up in a different universe that is a replica of this one. One of the most basic concepts is that of Dilation, a stretching of something. Some scientists believe that the main gateway to the past or future is a wormhole. Einstein's general relativity theory explains about universal constants, this is important to understand the concepts of travel at light speed. Traveling to the past could create problems if someone tried to change something. This is a paradox. A few of these paradoxes are explained through the use of quantum mechanics. Sailing though the cosmos at the speed of light with no time passing us by, moving throughout time to witness the ancient Egyptians create their masterpieces. This is an exciting concept that we could actually formulate and make happen. Before the time of Einstein, Newton and other great investigators thought of space as an infinite expanse in which all things exist (Hewitt 213). We are in space and we live in it along with all of the planets and stars. It was never clear if the universe exists in space or space exists in the universe. Dose space exists outside the universe or only within the bounds of it. The similar question, does the universe exist only in time or does time only exist in the universe? Was there time before the universe, and will there be time after it ceases to exist? "Einstein's answer to this is that time and space only exist within the universe. There is no time or space ‘outside.'(Hewitt 213)" Einstein said that space and time are two separate parts of a whole called space-time (Hewitt 213). To understand this, consider our present knowledge. We move though time at the rate of 24 hours per day. This is only half the story though. To get the other half we have to convert our thinking from moving though time to moving though space-time (Hewitt 213). When we move, we not only move through space, we move though time. This is the idea of space-time. If a person were to stand still, they would be moving only though time. If they moved a little bit, they would be moving though space a little bit, but still mostly though time. If one were to travel at the speed of light, what changes would they experience in time? The answer is simple; they would be traveling through space, with no travel though time (Hewitt 214). They would be as ageless as light, for light travels though space only (not time) and is timeless. > The frame of reference of a photon, a particle of light, a trip across the universe would take no time at all (Hewitt 214). To understand how traveling though time would work, we must first understand how time and space can be stretched. Motion in space affects motion in time. Whenever we move through space, we to some degree alter our rate of motion in time. This is known as time dilation, a stretching of time that occurs ever so slightly for everyday speeds, but significantly for speeds approaching the speed of light. If we were to attempt to travel to the nearest star, Alpha Centauri, which is 4 light years away, even traveling at the speed of light would take 8 years round trip (Hewitt 228). The center of our galaxies is something like 30000 light years away and at the speed of light would...
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