When the great physicist Sir Isaac Newton discovered the laws of classical mechanics, it was clear to anybody that time is absolute. This means that time should be the same for us as it is on any other planet and star of the Universe. But although nobody is here to deny the great work of Isaac Newton, we need to say that he made a big blunder.
Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, which was published more than a century ago, made it clear that time is relative, contrary to what Newton said. In other words, time on Earth will never be the same as the one from another planet unless that latter space object has exactly the same size and gravity as our planet. Time is determined by gravity and size. Einstein proved mathematically that if a person stays near a black hole for just a few minutes, time will flow much slower than it does on Earth. Therefore, if he returned to Earth after those few minutes spent near the black hole, he would see everybody decades older than when he left the planet. That’s because time went by at a completely different pace in those two situations. Einstein even calculated that if a spaceship reaches the speed of light, the time would simply stop for the crew inside. And if it somehow surpasses the speed of light (which is theoretically impossible), time would run backward. In other words, the crew would be able to travel back in time and try to change history.
Einstein’s General Relativity Theory is widely accepted among physicists today, and there are countless evidence that it was no hoax. It’s even much more accurate than anybody would have even dared to hope. This can only mean one thing: with the right technological tools, humanity should be able to manipulate time. But could it also be done in practice?
Traveling back in time is highly improbable due to paradoxes
Humanity should be able to invent a machine capable of surpassing the speed of light, although Einstein tells us that it would be theoretically impossible. But theory doesn’t always have to match with the practical approach. On the other hand, if humanity finds a wormhole in space, traveling back in time could also be theoretically possible. The problem is that since building a wormhole requires such a high amount of energy that Earth would never be able to produce it, the only hope would be for some alien civilization to build that wormhole for us. That’s the same scenario that appeared in the ‘Interstellar’ movie that came out in 2014. Of course, we’re not even sure that aliens, whether be they highly advanced technologically or not, even exist.
But let’s say that against all odds, humanity somehow finds a wormhole in space. That wormhole could be our gate to another point back in time. The problem is that paradoxes could occur. For instance, if Jack travels back in time to a period before his grandparents had any children, he would be able to prevent his grandparents from meeting and having children, meaning that history could be changed. But if that’s the case, if Jack’s parents are never born due to his interference and time travel, how could Jack still be there to alter the course of events if he shouldn’t exist in the first place?
Traveling through space faster than the speed of light should be enough to travel back in time. The main problem is that there isn’t such a rocket available to us, and it will probably never be, at least in the near future. The second, or perhaps the main problem, is that according to Einstein’s calculations, surpassing the speed of light is impossible. But as long as he says what would happen if someone somehow bypasses this law of nature and travels faster than light, there is a very small hope. After all, Einstein wasn’t perfect, with all due respect. He also made mistakes.
How about traveling to the future?
Now that we know that traveling back in time is practically impossible due to several strong reasons, how about traveling to the future to find out who wins the 2024 Presidential Elections from the US, for instance?
One method is to build a machine or a spaceship that’s able to travel close to the speed of light. That shouldn’t be too hard, at least in the far future. Once the pilot travels through space at such high speeds for just a few minutes, time slows down for him without him even realizing it. That means that for those who wait for him on Earth, many years or even decades will pass by. When the pilot comes back home, he will see his twin brother, if he has one, much older than him. This means that the pilot has practically traveled in time to the future, even though theoretically, all he has done is to benefit from time dilation. The only problem is that humanity doesn’t have such fast rockets, at least not yet. Maybe Elon Musk will solve this issue someday.
In the end, we all need to keep in mind that the concepts exposed above are theoretical, meaning that they have not been demonstrated on a scale applicable to human time travel. But if you somehow find a secret and feasible formula for how to travel in time, please don’t be greedy and share your idea with the world in the comment section!
Tommy’s hobby has always been playing video games. He enjoys competing in video games tournaments and writing about his experience. It’s not a big surprise that he mostly covers the latest trends from the gaming industry.