116 years ago, H.G. Wells introduced us to “The Time Machine” and it seems like time travel has been a subject of debate since then. The world of fiction bombards us with time travel on a regular basis. Marty McFly almost erased himself when he accidentally kept his parents from meeting in “Back to the Future.” Doctor Who travels to the past and future of various planets on a regular basis. Even Agent J is dabbling with time travel in the upcoming “Men in Black 3″… but is time travel really possible?
It might be easy to laugh at such a notion but remember there once was a time when the idea of a man walking on the moon was laughable, and did you ever think you’d be using a phone about the size of a credit card to communicate with others?
According to theory, time slows down as one moves faster and approaches the speed of light so traveling to the past should be a feat that can be accomplished, although traveling back to the future is apparently ruled out because going beyond the speed of light (required to look back around to the future) would require an infinite amount of energy. Also, if the general belief is true about space-time being twisted into a loop then the loop begins at the point of travel. Basically, if you were able to travel through time on March 5, 2124, then you’d only be able to loop back to that date and not before; which could explain why nobody from the future has come back to visit us, since they can’t travel back before the trip through time began.
Of course, cosmic strings, wormholes, and black holes have also been viewed as gateways through time at various points in the past by different physicists that decided to tackle the time travel conundrum. Stephen Hawkings even voiced the chronology protection conjecture, which states that the laws of physics simply won’t allow time travel to the past because of the inherent dangers associated with it.
Do I believe time travel is possible? Well, I don’t think anyone will be hopping into a TARDIS during my lifetime, but I’m not eager to rule it out as a possibility for future generations. After all, the thought of communicating an idea to people around the world almost instantaneously through the power of something called the internet would have probably seemed like madness to our grandparents.
What do you think? Will time travel be like so many other technological wonders and go from science fiction to science fact? Or is it something that will forever solely belong to filmmakers and authors?