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Time Travel: A Phenomenon Most People Have Never Believed to Exist

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Einstein’s theory of special relativity starts out from an observation that the speed of light is always moving at a constant speed of 300,000 km/s. Despite this great discovery, this idea remains unknown to many people because it serves us no purpose for our everyday lives. Every prediction made by relativity that is able to be tested is true(Davidson, 1990). One of them is clocks slow down as they approach the speed of light and run backwards if they exceed it. Since one of the principles of relativity is nothing can move faster than the speed of light, then this contradicts the possibility of time travel to the past. However, relativity leaves open the idea of traveling back in time in other ways. The first one being caused by black holes. Professor Frank Tipler, at Tulane University, claims that since spacetime is viewed as a smooth fabric that can be easily shaped or bent, a giant black hole could distort spacetime and tear holes in it in which the time traveler would have to dodge(Andre-Clark, 2015). Other theories have stated that spacetime is not a smooth fabric but contains very tiny holes, called wormholes, that provide a path to go backwards in time. The only problem is these wormholes are only big enough for objects smaller than an electron to go through and increasing the size would be a great challenge. These ideas might seem far fetched but they were hypothesized from the theories that explain the world today(Andre-Clark, 2015). Physicists have responded in two different ways to this. The first one being the theories are incomplete and lacks the law of nature which gets rid of these unbelievable solutions. The second one is accepting the answer and figuring out the paradoxes that are created(Wikipedia, 2020). Many theoretical physicists lean towards the first response but Dr. David Deutsch, a theoretical physicist from Oxford and a scholar of quantum theory is disappointed in their lack of confidence(Hawkes, 1992). Dr. Deutsch states, “until quantum theory and relativity have been proved wrong, we have no right to disregard their conclusions because they fly in the face of our conventional wisdom”(Hawkes, 1992).

Moving on to quantum theory now, it is very similar to relativity with the fact that it has to do with events that we are unaware of and are very important to life. It also makes some predictions that we are still unable to prove. One prediction goes back to the science fiction side of things in which parallel universes are lined up next to each other. This is exactly what the “Many Worlds” interpretation of quantum theory is described as(Toomey 2020). Each parallel universe is existing at the same time and each one is reflecting a different quantum state. This means that every time an event takes place, the universe splits the different outcomes of that event into other universes. Every single particle is given a number of positions and probability determines what it chooses when we look at it(Davidson, 1990). The Many Worlds interpretation says the particle does achieve all of these positions but in different worlds in their own space and time. In our world it will be in one position while in another world it will be in a different position and there will be as many worlds as there are positions for that particle(Wikipedia 2020). Dr. Deutsch states:

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“In everyday situations, it doesn’t matter whether the existence of parallel universes is taken seriously, just as it doesn’t matter if the rotation of the earth is taken seriously. But there are some concepts, such as time travel, which make sense only if the parallel universes do exist”(Hawkes, 1992).

Quantum theory ends the grandfather paradox by showing that a person going back in time would travel to another parallel universe where they might kill their grandfather. In the original universe the grandfather will still be alive and no paradox will occur(Andre-Clark, 2015). The reason why we haven’t been invaded by a time traveler from the future is because the laws of the universe don’t allow us to travel farther back in time then when the time machine was created(Hawkes, 1992). If this is so, then you won’t be able to travel back in time to see the dinosaurs or see how the Egyptians built the pyramids. Dr. Deutsch believes that situations like these have eliminated the arguments against time travel(Hawkes, 1992). Dr. Deutsch stated, “Einstein was open to the possibility, and with the paradoxes removed we’ve really no justification for believing that time travel is forbidden”(Hawkes, 1992).

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Time Travel: A Phenomenon Most People Have Never Believed to Exist. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from
“Time Travel: A Phenomenon Most People Have Never Believed to Exist.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022,
Time Travel: A Phenomenon Most People Have Never Believed to Exist. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 8 Dec. 2022].
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