Sunday, 10 February 2008
The world's first time machine? Tunnel to the past could open door to future within three months, say Russians:
Time travel could be a reality within just three months, Russian mathematicians have claimed.
They believe an experiment nuclear scientists plan to carry out in underground tunnels in Geneva in May could create a rift in the fabric of the universe.
The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) hopes its "atom-smashing" tests - which aim to recreate the conditions in the first billionth of a second after the "Big Bang'" created everything - will shed invaluable light on the origins of the universe.
But Irina Aref'eva and Igor Volovich, of Moscow's Steklov Mathematical Institute, say the energy produced by forcing tiny particles to collide at close to the speed of light could open the door to visitors from the future.
According to Einstein's general theory of relativity, any large amounts of matter or energy will distort the space and time that surrounds it.
If the energy or mass is large enough, it is claimed that time can be distorted so much that it folds back on itself - creating a wormhole, or time tunnel, between the present and the future.
But Dr Brian Cox, a member of CERN and one of Britain's leading experts in particle physics, is highly sceptical about the Russian claims, calling them "nothing more than a good science fiction story".
Wormhole: Scientists plan to carry out tests in underground tunnels in Geneva in May which could create a rift in the fabric of the universe
He said: "Cosmic ray collisions in the upper atmosphere are far more energetic than anything we can produce.
"They have been occurring for five billion years, and no time travellers have appeared.
"Stephen Hawking has suggested that any future theory of quantum gravity will probably close this possibility off, not least because the universe usually proceeds in a sane way, and time travel into the past isn't sane."
Cynics often point out that if time travel was really possible, we would have been visited by people from the future.
However, Einstein's laws of physics suggest that time travel is only possible into the past as far as the point when the first time machine was invented
Posted by Hurlyburly at 17:28
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A fascinating idea, to be sure, but then along comes that Dr. Brian Cox with his expertise and scepticism to spoil it all. I must confess that I naturally view Anthony's theory through the lens of classical philosophy and literature and religious ideation -- not so much through science or science fiction. But that is just my personal bias. Hurly, do you think this idea of time travel is central to Anthony's theory, and do you find the evidence solid and convincing? I'd like to hear your own take on it.
Could be very interesting this one. I suspect that as soon as the general press get hold of this story we will have some interesting articles on the famous 'Grandfather Paradox' when it comes to the implications of Time Travel. This is a theme of the movie as well; it simply states that what would happen if you went back in time and accidently killed your own grandfather (or in Marty McFly's case make sure that you stop your mother having a crush on you and get her interested in your father). Ths action would bring about your own non-existence and therefore you would never be able to travel back in time and kill your grandfather, in which case your grandfather lives and you are then born and able to go back in time .... etc etc.
Of course Everett's Many Worlds Interpretation nullifies this problem because all that will happen is that you will kill your Grandfather and bring about a bifurcation or splitting of the universe at that time with the new universe lacking a you but your own still intact.
I am hoping that later this year there will be a stage production of a play that I am writing (sounds like Ernie Wise) called 'The Graiai'. I wrote this as a short story about twenty years ago. In my humble opinion this is the thinking persons 'Back To The Future'. I plan to write it in such a way that the audience will not understand what is going on until literally the last line. I have explained the plot to a few people and they are in agreement. Clearly I will keep you all up to date with developments on this front.
Ok, we're stearing into one of my specialist realms here!!
The ongoing work at CERN in Geneva building the Large Hadron Collider (scheduled to begin operation in May 2008 - having been put back many times over the last 2 years) is potentially the greatest experimental apparatus that we have ever experienced.
Scientists are hoping to recreate the conditions within the Universe within the first billionth of a second of the big bang.
What is also possible is that they may, inadvertently, also created a singularity and potentially wipe out all of existence. But reassuringly (!) one leading scientist at CERN recently stated that this was only around a 1% probability - so that's alright then !
Einsteinian wormholes caused by the warping of space-time by such a massive object that even light can not escape its pull would unfortunately mean that anything passing through such a void would either obtain infinite mass or zero mass (depending on your cosmological viewpoint); either of which would not be great for a human as every atom within them was pulled and ripped apart leaving a swirling mass of disconnected matter and energy (a bit like how HurlyBurly feels after a night on the booze).
Tony jumped in with the Grandfather Paradox before I had chance to, but then this is his house so I can't say too much.
I intended to spend some time today posting my own "Mother Paradox" to the Cheating The Ferryman thesis, but this will have to wait a day or two now, but I'm sure this will also contribute to the debate.
Re-Read my "What On Earth Is Wrong With Gravity?" post and comments, and I hope to post something by the end of the week on my therory of "Quantum Gravity" (which I gently introduced Tony to in the pub on Saturday leaving him grasping for his pint!)
*too much writing to do!!!!!*
I find time-travel to be a tangential subject to Tony's CTF theory but in essence we are all time-machines anyway as we all DO travel trough time - admittedly in a linear direction from past to future at the rate of 60 seconds per minute but them Time Dilation argues an alternative hypothesis, and Einstein's General Theory of Relativity does likewise.
BUT, as Tony's theory relies on the replay of our stored memories within our brain in infinitely smaller recurring periods of time (as repeated in Zeno's Bisection Paradox - and to some extent Thompson's Lamp), we too are in effect travelling in time at differing rates.
Indeed while I was watching Liverpool draw 0 - 0 with Chelsea on Sunday time indeed did seem to drag to a near infinite crawl.
Add "The Graiai" to the, now considerable, list of things we need to talk about.
KARL-THANKS for the clarifaction regarding these matters, which will remain forever somewhat murky to this brain; thanks also for the Wildean closing comment, which always registers and resonates with me!
Susan-Marie, I always enjoy resonating with you.
KARL: AND I, YOU. *slightly evil grin*
I'm sorry - visitors from the future? Give me a break!
I mean - if that happened, there would be global disarray. Political institutions would be ineffective and chaotic. Millions would starve while others gorge themselves. And a small number of global corporations could drive society to the brink of disaster, and...
Hmmmm. Point taken. Yep, its happened :)
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