We Just Discovered Time Travel May Actually Be Possible
For over a century now, mankind has debated whether or not time travel is possible - now, we may have an answer.
We'd all love the chance to visit the far-flung future, or hurtle backwards in time to visit our ancestors in the colorful time periods that came before our own. Right now, each of us is traveling through time at a rate of one second per second, and it's unlikely for this to change very much in the near future.
According to CERN scientist James Beacham, time travel may not entirely be out of the question - while we're never going to be able to reverse the flow of time, we certainly can influence the speed at which time passes by manipulating huge gravitational forces.
According to Beacham:
We know from the general theory of relativity, created by Mileva Einstein-Maric and her far more famous ex-husband Albert, that gravitational forces can affect the passage of time - the heavier something is, the more it pulls in not just matter and light, but also time itself.
Time moves slower at the heart of the sun than it does here on Earth, and in the center of black holes, time moves even slower.
The prevailing theory is that time can be "bent," as Beacham suggests, within wormholes, which in theory would be capable of ferrying information from one side of the universe to another in a matter of seconds.
This idea, which sounds like something out of Interstellar, has been the basis for a lot of speculation lately, as scientists consider the possibilities of wormholes that don't instantly collapse in on themselves under their own enormous gravitational force.
Because of the incredible space-bending nature of wormholes, Beacham theorizes that in addition to being able to transport people from one place to another, they could also be used to transport people to other points in time as well.
Essentially, time travel may be possible - if only we could create a wormhole that doesn't instantly gobble up anything that gets in its way.
Scientists are working on that. A wormhole has been produced in a laboratory environment, although it didn't last very long and had limited abilities compared with the power of a large, fully formed anchor point between two moments in spacetime. If research continues to prove fruitful, scientists may one day be able to successfully transfer things through time by way of a carefully controlled artificial wormhole.
Alternatively, it may be possible to push people further in time simply by exposing them to the gravitational force of a wormhole or black hole - the pull of these anomalies alone would be enough to help someone travel much faster through time than we normally experience.
This won't necessarily be a matter of warping instantly from one time period to another; instead, it could look an awful lot like Cooper's journey through time in Interstellar, as time slows down to a crawl for him as the rest of the world continues to move at the same pace.
If so, the experience wouldn't be quite the same as instantaneously warping to elsewhere in the time-space continuum, and backwards travel would be impossible, but it would certainly allow people to zip years forward in time in what feels to them like a matter of seconds.
All of this is purely theoretical at the moment, but then, so was the concept of gravitational waves until a few short years ago.
With enough time and research, we may well get to the point one day where we're able to perfectly control the passage of time for our own amusement.
If so, move over Doctor Strange and your weird apple parlor trick... scientists will be able to do this for real.