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Is Time Travel Science Fiction?

time travel


Is Time Travel Science Fiction?

Time travel is not only possible, but it’s been done. Through a phenomena known as ‘time dilation’.

Time dilation is related to Einstein’s theory of relativity. It says that the closer you get to the speed of light, the slower time moves. If you were to leave earth and travel at 99% the speed of light for one year, when you came back to earth, 223 years would have passed. You would have essentially traveled forward in time.

We’ve already done this on a tiny scale. We’ve sent astronauts into space aboard shuttles, and to the moon. These astronauts travel at great velocities for extended periods. Nowhere near the speed of light, but the effect still happens. For every year an astronaut spends aboard the space station (it’s traveling at 17,230 mph or 27,720 km/h), time dilation gives them an extra 10 milliseconds. When they get back to earth, they will be 10ms younger than you.

But what about backwards time travel?

Nothing in Einstein’s theories says it cannot be done, but many scientists balk at the idea because of all the well known paradoxes that it unleashes.

Some scientists, such as the co-founder of String field theory, Michio Kaku, claim those paradoxes don’t necessarily have to happen. There might be a way around them.

He says that quantum mechanics might allow for backwards time travel without paradoxes. The “many-worlds interpretation” of quantum mechanics says that all possible alternative histories and futures are real and exist. It was initially postulated for the quantum world. The world of the sub atomic particles. But if it applies to the world of the small, it must also apply to the world of the large.

But what does this mean for time travel?

It says that when you travel back in time, you are not traveling to your own time line, or dimension. You are traveling to an alternate one. Or rather, creating a new dimension, branching off once you made the decision to go back in time.
You could then go back and kill your grandfather before your father was born, and there would be no paradox because your grandfather still existed and helped to conceive your father in the world or reality you came from. However, there would be no ‘you’ in this new reality, or world. You would have never been born.

It’s certainly mind bending to think about.

Michio Kaku (founder of string field theory) on Time Travel and Parallel Universes:

More Reading:
Time Dialation
Many Worlds Interpretation



  1. bharat thapa

    October 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Hmm, that I can agree! Creating a new dimension is possible.

    • TiagoTiago

      June 22, 2013 at 2:25 am

      IMO you’re not creating a new Universe, you’re just going to another one that has always been there.

  2. Mark

    May 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Stephen Hawking asked that all time travelers meet at his house, threw a time traveler party and filmed it. No one showed.

    There is another theory that you can create a device that will open up a hole where others can back in time only while the device is on and “tuned” can someone in the future lock onto it. That was a bit far fetched though. Meaning Time travel will be possible, just not yet and not to any time without a receiving device. Meaning it will be our future to another past (but still our future).

  3. John

    June 7, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    If a spaceship left earth at 0.9 x speed of light, it can be equally said that the earth left the spaceship at the same speed. Which (astronaut, earth people or both) would experience the time dilation?

    • TiagoTiago

      June 22, 2013 at 2:26 am

      But only the spaceship was accelerated, Earth stayed still (well, as still as a planet orbiting a star in a star system that is orbiting a galaxy can be).

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