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Great Scott! Physicists Claim Time Travel is Mathematically Possible!

Where we’re going, we won’t need roads: Researchers have recently claimed that time travel is mathematically possible!

Image of the Main Subject of the article
Image via Peter Thoeny/ Flickr.com

Turn off the Doctor Who reruns and pack your bags —  University of Queensland researchers have proven that time travel is mathematically possible!

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again

I think it’s safe to say most of us have thought about time travel at least once in our lives. If hot men running around in converse and eating fish fingers didn’t make you consider it, then the idea of stopping an embarrassing moment from ever happening is surely enticing.

Or, if we want to hit even closer to home, I think 99.9% of us would try to go back in time to try to stop COVID-19 from ever occurring in the first place.

Illustrate time travel with Doctor Who
Image via Vector Cliparts/ Pixy.org

Seemingly, there are endless possibilities for what we could achieve if we could time travel. However, before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at this research paper directly and discuss what exactly is blocking the possibility of physical time travel. Hint: Michael J. Fox never saw this coming!

Great Scott!

First, lets’ take an overview of the research paper titled “Reversible dynamics with closed time-like curves and freedom of choice”. Under the supervision of Dr. Fabio Costa at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, Germain Tobar discussed how time travel is mathematically possibility.

“The theory of general relativity predicts the existence of closed time-curves, which theoretically would allow an observer to travel back in time and interact with their past self.”

Back to the Future illustrates the subject of time travel well
Image via Jinho Jung/Flickr.com

The issue stopping actual time travel comes in the form of the grandfather paradox. The grandfather paradox theorises that if one was to time travel, one would eliminate their need in the first place.

In other words, the grandfather paradox is “the age-old argument of preventing your birth by killing your grandparents”.

Let’s take, for example, the previous idea of travelling back in time to prevent COVID-19. If you travel back in time to stop patient zero, then you eliminate the need to do that in the first place. Therefore, COVID-19 would still occur because there would be no need for you to travel back and prevent COVID-19 in the first place.

I’ll Be Back (to the Future)

So, it is disappointing that we can not travel back in time and prevent our most embarrassing moments. Even more disappointing that I can’t meet Leonardo Dicaprio circa 1992.

Using the Terminator to demonstrate time travel
Image via Paul Townsend/ Flickr.com

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However, in our new age of modernity and scientific discovery, this paper demonstrates that we are trying to think ahead (quite literally). If someone had told me time travel is technically mathematically possible ten years ago, I probably would’ve started screaming.

To read this nonchalantly in an article is a luxury of our ultra-modern era. That being said, I am thrilled at the minds out there in the world (and if time travel does become possible, then Leo, here I come)!

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