Friday, August 14, 2009

Time Machine Blues

An article on Slate talks about the physics of time travel. Well, it talks about what the physics of time travel would theoretically be if there were time travel. At any rate, I was devastated to learn that Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure is based on completely bogus time travel theory.

According to Einstein's picture of the universe, space and time are curved and very closely related to each other. This means that traveling through time would be much like traveling through a tunnel in space—in which case you'd need both an entrance and an exit. As a time traveler, you can't visit an era unless there's already a time machine when you get there—an off-ramp. This helps explain why we're not visited by time-traveling tourists from our own future. Futuristic humans don't drop in for dinner because we haven't yet invented time travel.
The main I thing I take from this is that as a historical device, time machines actually are crap. If you want to go to the future, great. If you want to see dinosaurs, go to the Field Museum.

The whole article is interesting. Free will takes a bit of a beating, but your grandpa should feel good about it. Unfortunately, time traveling dudes that will someday be leaders of the world may not actually be able to marry most excellent medieval princesses. Heinous.


bigsmithdude said...

most non-triumphant!

Nate said...

Let's not us forget that the operable word in the first point was 'evidence.' Since there is no direct evidence against the existence of the multiverse, we may continue to imagine that this theory may prove patent and result in the most conventionally-ridiculous things, such as time-travel by telephone booth, or plants with ears, or smoking hot female aliens.


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