Saturday, November 14, 2009
I suppose it’s the fantastic show “Flash Forward” that had me thinking about foreknowledge of the future and, as the characters race to prevent what will happen months ahead from happening and change their fate, it made me re-think the mind-bending concept of time travel.
I’ve mentioned before that on my list of dozens of things that might cause haunting characteristics, that time travel could be on that list. In respect to UFOs and alien creatures, that could actually be a more realistic option than space travel. Is it possible that hauntings are really the glimmers of the past being within our view and auditory range? Or, could it be the shimmering traces of time travelers unable to be completely visible on our plane? What if alien abductions and cattle mutilations had more to do with an evolved version of future man seeking his ancient DNA? A man who now counts on machines to do the hard work and no longer needs a sturdy body for labor but needs an advanced mind to sit before computers nonstop?
Among the conversations about time travel, the most popular conversation is that of the grandfather paradox. You travel back in time, meet your grandfather, kill him, and therefore you don’t exist in the future. Some say, should you travel back in time, that should be evidence that in the future you did exist to go back. There is also the conclusion that if you travel back in time, you don’t exist because you can’t be in both times simultaneously. With regards to time travel, I haven’t made an absolute stand on it. I believe the most likely scenario is being thrown into either future or past is a one-way ticket, a crap shoot from which you cannot return and from which you might have never existed.
Physicist Ronald Mallett became obsessed with designing a time travel machine since he first watched the movie “The Time Machine.” Sometimes, the most passionate scientists and researchers are fueled by personal demons. For Mallett it was the desperate need to travel back in time and tell his father about the dangers of smoking and save him from a heart attack at the age of 33. Of course, it’s probably a cognitive era to think that his father would accept him as his future son warning him or that his father would even quit smoking, as free will is the ultimate party-pooper in such well-made plans.
Should he succeed in his project to design a machine for time travel, Mallett might go down in history with the men of the Manhattan Project. The machine would be shut down by the government. Other countries would fight to get a hold of it. His travel back in time could have a ripple effect we cannot escape, affecting all our fates. Talk about inventing the ultimate doomsday device!
What is his research based upon? In his words taken from Wikipedia: "In Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, both matter and energy can create a gravitational field. This means that the energy of a light beam can produce a gravitational field. My current research considers both the weak and strong gravitational fields produced by a single continuously circulating unidirectional beam of light. In the weak gravitational field of a unidirectional ring laser, it is predicted that a spinning neutral particle, when placed in the ring, is dragged around by the resulting gravitational field." In a later paper, he argued that at sufficient energies, the circulating laser might produce not just frame-dragging but also closed timelike curves (CTC), allowing time travel into the past: For the strong gravitational field of a circulating cylinder of light, I have found new exact solutions of the Einstein field equations for the exterior and interior gravitational fields of the light cylinder. The exterior gravitational field is shown to contain closed timelike lines.The presence of closed timelike lines indicates the possibility of time travel into the past. This creates the foundation for a time machine based on a circulating cylinder of light.”
Spike Lee, so inspired by Mallett, bought the rights to a time traveler movie as an ultimate story of father and son, love and loss.
It’s still a lot of speculation, but at the rate science and technology have been advancing, we might be thrown faster into the critical decisions regarding the ethics of such an undertaking.
If you could have only one experience traveling backwards in time, which would you choose?
A pivotal moment in your own life you want to change
Meet an ancestor you never got to know
Witness an historic event from long ago
If you could travel forward in time, which would you choose?
Your great-grandchildren's high school graduation
Very far into the future to see man more evolved
I'd love to hear your thoughts.
at 5:50 PM