• Question: Will we ever be able to go back in time?

    Asked by crunchiejelly to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 20 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by evaa, mhudspeth.
    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Hello crunchiejelly, evaa, and mhudspeth. It certainly would be interesting if we could wouldn’t it? Unfortunately, I can say with near certainly that neither you nor I will be able to go back in time. Our technology is not anywhere near what might make that a possible, and even worse it doesn’t appear that time-travel is physically possible for big objects like you or I. Sad, I know! We have however been able to make elementary particles travel through time. This is because of the special properties of quantum mechanics. But, even at this time travel is only for fractions of a second.

      I am holding out for discovery of a wormhole! Wormholes are literally holes in the fabric of space-time, that can connect two very different points in space and time. However, wormholes aren’t anything as cool as something like a Tardis. They can only take you back and forth between two specified points and that’s it. And, to make matters worse you are still subject to taking time to transverse the wormhole (its not necessarily instantaneous!). Sometimes I find myself wishing that our space-time geometry were different so time travel would be easier 😉

    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Hi guys. I’m afraid I’ll have to agree with Sara here. There are solutions to Einstein’s equations which involve backward time travel, but that doesn’t mean that it is physically possible. For example, going faster than the speed of light would result in going backwards in time, but you can’t accelerate _through_ the speed of light. What you need is a wormhole or somesuch which makes you travel faster than light without ever actually accelerating to the speed of light. Incidentally wormholes would also allow faster-than-light travel through space as well.

      Wormholes are consistent with the physics we know, but the physics doesn’t require them to exist. One of those “it’s not theoretically impossible, and wouldn’t it be cool if it were real” ideas.

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Lets go with no…

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      I’m thinking probably no…would you want to?