Dec 172013
 

Question by Rob: Is time travel to the past possible?
Or time travel to the future in chunks of time? I know there is apparently nothing in the laws of physics to prevent the reverse of time, but it is surely absurd to think of visiting ones younger self?

Also if time was flowing backwards now, how would our thought processes differ, we only hold memories and cant see the future. I know the big crunch has been proved unlikely, but I used to wonder that if the universe was retracting and time was reversed would we consciously realise it, as for the quantum split second of consciousness it would be impossible to distinguish in which direction time is flowing?

Best answer:

Answer by Sagim
It is likely that humans are the species from the future or how else could we be biologically so similar to other creatures and yet so different in our mental capabilities.

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  5 Responses to “Q&A: Is time travel to the past possible?”

  1. I cannot bring myself to believe that time travel to the past is possible because to do so would require that every subatomic, even sub-subatomic, particle in the universe would have to revert to its former absolute position and energy state of the moment to which you want to travel. Even the slightest deviation from this, anywhere in the universe, would result in a “past” that was not the past you are asking about. Contemplate the knowledge/information required to know the condition of the universe at any given instant, then contemplate the energy requirements for putting everything into that condition. While recreating the past may be theoretically possible … there are no laws of physics that say it cannot be done … there are engineering problems in actually doing it that I see as being insurmountable, regardless of the state of technology.

    Because of this, if you did not exist in the past, you would likewise not exist in a true recreated past. If you did exist, then you would never know that the past had been recreated since all of the activity in your brain would have been recreated to be exactly as it was before … at this moment you do not know whether someone in the future has recreated the past and thus if, in the future you were to recreate this moment, your knowledge, etc. would be identical to what it is now.

  2. The scientists of this world like Stephen Hawking say that it is most likely impossible. They say that time travel to the future is possible but time travel to the past causes too many paradoxes and so the way that nature counters this, is by making time travel to the past impossible. There are many different paradoxes, one of them is the Grandfather Paradox, say you found a way to travel through time into the past, so you do that and go meet your grandfather on the day that he was supposed to meet your grandmother, say that you got him to do something with you instead of going to see your grandmother, in that way, your grandfather and grandmother would have never met, and so you were never born, but if you weren’t born, how could you have gone back in time to see your grandfather. It is indeed a puzzling topic to think about. But that is one paradox, there are others, but nature prevents this from happening by either making it impossible for you to get your grandfather to do something with you so nature will make sure that no matter what your grandfather will have to meet your grandmother despite your best efforts to try and separate them for that particular day or by making time travel to the past impossible. The Big Crunch Theory doesn’t say anything about time travel, because the galaxies of the universe are coming closer together because of their mutual gravitational pulls over a very long period of time, it doesn’t have anything to do with time travel time going back. As I said before that it is impossible for you to distract your grandfather from meeting your grandmother, it is also impossible to travel at the speed of light, also known as the universal speed limit because there exists another hypothesis called time dilation, it is the theory that time is not the same everywhere in the universe, it also states that if you go to a speed that is close to the speed of light, time will slow down, if you reach the speed of light, time stops, and if you exceed the speed of light, time will go backwards, all of these are from your perspective as you are the one travelling at that speed, that is probably why travelling faster than the speed of light is impossible, because nature makes it impossible for you to travel into the past. And yes, there is something in the laws of physics that prevents the reverse of time, it is all that I just explained. I don’t think that our thought processes would differ, we do only hold memories, so I think that you will have all of your memories and you will gain new ones from the past as you see things that you’ve never seen before. The universe theoretically will contract, but that doesn’t mean that time is going backwards, the universe just contracts because of all the gravitational fields of the galaxies pulling themselves together over a very long period of time.

  3. Apart from the retracting of the universe, it is not possible to go back in time. Also, it is technically possible, having advanced enough technology, we can go to the future of a particular planet.
    The process of going to the future is fundamentally simple. If a rocket or other space vehicle is developed such that it can travel at least 99% of the speed of light and some people board the ship and fly towards any particular area in space for around a minute and come back, they will se the earth years later. Take twins as an example, one has boarded the ship and the other remains. The twin on the ship remains on the ship for around a minute and comes back to earth having accelerated to the speed of light before. He will se his twin decades older than himself.

  4. Back in time is impossible because of its paradoxes and because we don’t know the way to do so.Some say negative energy is needed to be placed into a flux capacitor with 1.2 gigawatts of power(plutonium),but it hasn’t yet be proven to be possible.But if travel to the past was possible then it wouldn’t make sense as a single step would rub air and ground atoms,causing a change in future.The grandfather paradox doesn’t make sense,the traveller can’t kill his grandfather as he wouldn’t be able to travel back in time then.That’s closely tied to the bootstrap paradox in which info/matter is sent back in time in a moment they weren’t born/created.That causes them to have existed before,and created from ‘thin air’ which is impossible.The predestination paradox is when a traveller is caught in a loop of events that predestinate him to travel back in time.Ex.a man can’t find his keys to unlock his house while a second man gives them to him.He unlocks and gets in.Then he finds a time machine and goes back to give the keys to his earlier self and close the loop.But the keys in the loop would age causing them to be different than when they were initially brought back in time,which is also impossible,because the keys would ex. be rusty while they were initially new.If the universe was to flow backwards we would ‘remember’ the future and claim that past is future,allowing the universe to be unbalanced leading to its own beggining.The question is:what would happen ‘after’ the beggining?
    Forward in time is possible because of time dilation.Ex. a speedy spaceship which goes at a speed of 95% of the light speed,every minute in space would be 3 mins back on earth.
    Ex.a traveller starts his travel at 95% speed of light in 12:36.His travel ends at 13:45 ,but the traveller,because of the dilation,will think it’s still 12:58.

  5. Here is my humble opinion, Rob, based on … well, not much! ;-) Just a few thoughts.

    We think of time travel as we would for space travel. But the first question – the question that kept philosophers awake at night for centuries – is: Is the future already written? This was the quest of, among others, the Jansenists who were quickly excommunicated by the Pope.

    But if we are not pre-determined and the outcome of an event can result in anything possible, then we must consider that the past is also “multi-possible.” There is a past where you were not born, another where the earth doesn’t exist, etc.

    Does it sound crazy? Perhaps but time travel sounds crazy too, right? ;-)

    Let’s embark on that journey of a “multiple universe” of everything that is possible exists. Of course, I am not talking about “multiverses” as beans in a jar but rather, another dimension. Say, another time dimension.

    Does it sound strange? We can think of time as something that travels into one direction, or time as a succession of “universes” each with its spacial reality.

    Here is an example: Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo in 1815. Waterloo is the space dimension, 1815 is the time dimension and the fact that he lost the battle is the … let’s call it “event” dimension. It is as simple as that. Of course, it means that what we are today is one moment of a dimensions where anything can exist. Hence, we are “billions” but then, if you consider time as a succession of events, we are already “billions.”

    The point is that we can only observe the universe from “here” and “now” and “this event.” This is why, incidentally, we observe the universe as if we were always at its center; wherever we are in it. (That is a scientific fact!)

    In that perspective, we can imagine that if time travel is possible, the the so-called Grand-Father Paradox can be avoided because then, we would return not to a time along our existing path, but a time where we do return and kill our grand-father, or what the paradox would be, and still see the future but then, without us, of course.

    Just a thought, my friend. And now, I don’t smoke hallucinogen substances! ;-)

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