Thursday, April 2, 2015

Facts About Time Travel by JoAnne Myers

Photo by Victor Habbick. Published on 17 February 2012
Stock photo - Image ID: 10073322

Time travel may be theoretically possible, but is beyond our current technological capabilities, say most scientists. Time travel, is defined as moving between different points in time. It has been and probably will be a popular topic for science fiction for decades. Franchises ranging from "Star Trek" and my favorites, "Outlander” and “The time Machine” starring Rod Taylor have seen humans enter a vehicle of some sort and arrive in the past or future, ready to take on new adventures.

Photo by Victor Habbick. Published on 03 September 2012
Stock photo - Image ID: 100100657

The reality, however, is more muddled. Not all scientists believe that time travel is possible. Some even say that traveling nearly the speed of light would be lethal. Dying from experimenting with time travel was also a possibility for my hero Doctor Alex Anderson, from my short story, “For the Love of Ginnie.” This lovesick character, invented time serum, for the sole purpose of returning to the Civil War, and rescuing Ginnie, who according to history books, died from a snipers bullet.

While most people think of time as a constant, physicist Albert Einstein showed that time is an illusion; it is relative it can vary for different observers depending on your speed through space. Einstein called time the "fourth dimension," which provides direction which only travels forward.

Scientists describe space as a three-dimensional arena, which provides a traveler with length, width and height showing location.

Photo by Victor Habbick. Published on 17 February 2012
Stock photo - Image ID: 10073471

Approaching the speed of light, a person inside a spaceship would age much slower than his twin at home. In addition, under Einstein's theory of general relativity, gravity can bend time.
According to NASA, general relativity provides scenarios that could allow travelers to go back in time.

One possibility could be to go faster than light. (As in “beam me up Scotty”.)
Another theory would be to create “wormholes” between points in space-time. Most scientists though, believe wormholes would collapse very quickly and would only be suitable for very small particles.

Photo by Victor Habbick. Published on 24 November 2013
Stock photo - Image ID: 100220022

Then there’s “Infinite Cylinder”, which is a mechanism where one would take matter that is 10 times the sun's mass, and roll it into a very long but very dense cylinder.

According to the Anderson Institute, after spinning this up a few billion revolutions per minute, a spaceship following a very precise spiral around this cylinder could get itself on a "closed, time-like curve". There are limitations with this method, however, including the fact that the cylinder needs to be infinitely long for this to work.

Another possibility would be to move a ship rapidly around a “black hole” that traveled around the speed of light, or too artificially create that condition with a huge, rotating structure.

Photo by Dr Joseph Valks. Published on 22 September 2014
Stock photo - Image ID: 100289636

Another theory for potential time travelers involves “cosmic strings”. Narrow tubes of energy stretched across the entire length of the universe. These thin regions, left over from the early cosmos, are predicted to contain huge amounts of mass and therefore could warp the space-time around them. Cosmic strings are either infinite or they are in loops, with no ends, scientists say. The approach of two such strings parallel to each other would bend space-time so vigorously and in such a particular configuration that might make time travel possible, in theory.

Also, it is generally understood that traveling forward or back in time would require a device a time machine to take you there.

To accomplish this, time machines are believed to need an exotic form of matter with so-called “negative energy density”. Such exotic matter has bizarre properties, including moving in the opposite direction of normal matter when pushed. Such matter could theoretically exist, but if it did, it might be present only in quantities too small for the construction of a time machine.

My curiosity for time travel led me to write “For the Love of Ginnie.” One story in my fantasy anthology, “Loves, Myths, and Monsters.” My hero Dr. Alex Anderson, from the 30th Century, did not let time keep him from returning to the Civil War to find his ladylove, Ginnie Wade. When love is present, anything is possible. Happy Reading.

About JoAnne Myers: 

JoAnne is a cross genre author of 7 books and canvas paints. She believes in family values and following your dreams.

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