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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Time Travel-Is it possible?      Home login  
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 bamagrl68
Joined: 11/14/2010
Msg: 26
Time Travel-Is it possible?Page 2 of 20    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)
Stargazer1000- That is a GOOD one. It's hard to think of anything more grand or awe inspiring than that!
The science forum is one my favorites. I LOVE learning and seeing the different perspectives on here.
Intelligent debate and discussion is one of my favorite things in general. :)
 2findU
Joined: 11/19/2005
Msg: 27
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/14/2011 10:30:30 AM
We can only move forward. Unless we can achieve super high speed, like close to light speed or orbit just beyond the even horizon of a black hole then we can travel forward at a faster rate than Earth time. And forget about going to the past. For now time travel only works in Sci-Fi.
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 28
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/14/2011 2:37:22 PM
I cant honestly back this up with endless scientific references as its merely a personal opinion

But I believe its quite possible for us to go forward in time, or more acurately that it might become possible for us to move forward at a slower rate than those around us sometime in the future but I dont believe we will ever be able to actually go backwards in time phsyically, barring some sci fi type discovery of a rip in time itself that can be traversed

The best I think "could" be possible however, as I believe absolutely every force and influence in the universe is scientific in nature and follows its own laws and rules even where we cant (yet) comprehend them. That its theoretically possible for a machine to be built that could fast forward and also rewind history to any point past and present, although the sheer size and complexity of the program, and processing power needed alone would probably make it "impossible" even if it would work if ever constructed

This is because I honestly believe that everything that ever happens is the absolute ONLY thing that ever could have happened however random and chaotic they might seem

This means that not only when looking forward could we see exactly how things will unravel if we can take into account every influencing factor right down to a subatomic level. But the same machine if created would for that same reason be just as capable of rewinding things back to any point too
 AaronPaloAlto
Joined: 7/24/2011
Msg: 29
Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/14/2011 7:50:08 PM
If time travel were possible there would be people coming back from the future to our current time or our past. You could argue that "it just hasn't been invented yet", but that is a really egotistical way of looking at it, thinking that only "we" are in the present, and not any other potential time travelers. If time travel were even possible then time would lose meaning.
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 30
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/15/2011 5:39:28 AM
Time though is realistically just another dimension

The fabric of the universe didnt magically collapse when we learnt to build three dimensional structures, the seas didnt vanish when we invented boats, the sky didnt burst into flames when aircrafts were invented and space didnt implode when we created space ships

Americ didnt vanish in a puff of logic when the first western settlers discovered it even

So I dont think if time travel is "possible" that the moment someone figures out how to traverse it that alone will have any cataclysmic effect as its just a new but different medium we would have learnt to traverse

And as for the absence of proof of time travellers being the proof of absence I dont think that holds true either

Any society advanced enough to be able to do this would also realise that even the tiniest mistake could leave their own time totally decimated as a result due to unimaginable knock on effects rippling through time

Alternatively, if they had the computing power to track those ripples we cant actually know that our time line hasnt already been influenced

Jesus could actually have been from the future, correcting a far worse (or better) timeline, hitler even, ghandi or those people and others could have been directly influenced in their path by people from the future "nudging" them in one direction or another

Far fetched, maybe. But the point is we are only aware of our own timeline, and for all we know it could have altered in several ways during out lifetime without us even being aware of it so we cant prove or disprove its "possibility" based purely on the "belief" that nobody from the future has ever travelled back through time because we dont "know" they havent, we simply "suspect" or "assume" thats the case which isnt quite the same as having proof by a very long chalk
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 31
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/15/2011 6:15:23 AM
When we invented the car all motorists didnt magically all end up at the exact same road junction at the exact same time did they?

So why would vehicular time travel be any different?

Infact why people would even assume a "machine" would need to travel through time is beyond me, if anything I'd suspect the machine would be more of a wave function altering machine you would step through rather than drive were it ever possible at all

But as with the introduction of the car, "all people" would go specifically where they CHOSE to go, not all arrive at the exact same point

Linear time as with walking would still continue as it always had

Walking didnt cease to exist when pushbikes were invented, and pushbikes didnt vanish where the car came along

So its unlikely that the ability to travel at a different rate or direction through time would cause the existing method to unravel. That would only really be likely if there was no linear time, and everyone already existed and could ONLY exist in the exact same moment, because then the action of actually "moving" through time would appear to be against its natural physical laws

But by nature of our own existence we already know that passing through time is infact possible in at least one direction, so the idea the same direction could be travesed at higher or even a slower speed isnt exactly that much of a leap

But if time is infact effectively just another dimension of existence then it would follow that although seemingly impossible (as was also space travel and flight for a very long time) it could be quite probable that being able to put a reverse gear onto a machine too
 colt8301
Joined: 10/25/2006
Msg: 32
Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/16/2011 4:30:24 AM

Also, there is the paradox issue. If you could go forward or backward in time, you would alter the reality of the time you travel both to and from. Your presence would change things, therefore you could not return to the reality you left because you changed it and by altering the past or present you forever change that reality also, meaning no one else could go backward or forward to the same circumstances you traveled to.
I'd like to know your thoughts on time travel.


Lol, the minute I read this I thought about "Doc" flux time capacitor.

I don't know if it's possible but It would be funny to go back to any time period with people and I would get the "Boy, you talk mighty funny"
 Bloke_up_North
Joined: 12/13/2008
Msg: 33
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/16/2011 9:17:05 AM

If time travel were possible there would be people coming back from the future to our current time or our past.


Not necessarily, people in the future might be disciplined enough not to make themselves known if they travel backwards in time. To quote an archeologist on UK TV's program "Time Team" "Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence".


You could argue that "it just hasn't been invented yet"


Any means of time travel that mankind might come up with might need a transmitter and receiver.

Just because we havn't met people from the future or can't conceive of a method to make it happen doesn't mean its not possible.
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 34
Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/16/2011 1:01:46 PM
There was a great movie a couple of years ago called A Sound of Thunder that was along these lines, based on a short story by Ray Bradley...time travel is developed by a multi-national corporation and is used to send rich people back in time to "hunt" dinosaurs. And someone who accidentally steps off the safe path ends up upending all of Earth's evolutionary history from 65 million years on.

It was a low-budget movie but it was brilliantly executed. Two thumbs up!
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 35
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/17/2011 7:23:45 AM
Tall, thats the problem with "laws of physics" theyre more acurately described as "theories of laws of physics" right up until theyre upended and replaced by new ones based on new discoveries that negate the initial ones but which are often just better "theories" rather than actual laws

Most discoveries create far more new questions and more things we realise we dont actually know yet rather than being a definitive end to the quest for knowledge in any particular area

It wasnt that long ago that scientiest believed the "laws of physics" meant men travelling in a car would die due to the speed, then later the sound barrier was theorised to turn people into biological mush if exceeded

With time we know barely nothing of any real value about it, and cant "know" that it wouldnt be just as possible to travel it in either direction or even just stand still in time at some point in the future

As such theres just as much chance that some totally ridiculed sci fi idea could actually turn out to be "prophetic" whereas orthodox sciences theories could turn out to be so far off the mark they would be compared to thinking the earth was flat or was the centre of the universe by future generations

Its human arrogance that makes scientists cling to their theories as though theyre fact, which in some respects actually stunts scientific discovery as a result as most major leaps in scientific knowledge have tended to come from abstract theories rather than progression along an orthodox train of thought
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 36
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/17/2011 10:12:18 AM
I dont honestly see it as being any different to other forms of travel if it ever became possible, but maybe I wasnt very clear earlier

The examples I used earlier might not be exactly "perfect" but hey, its time travel so is there really a good analogy for comparison anyway? lol

Time as a concept would only "crumble" if there was a law that meant it was infact impossible to travel any way except forward in our linear perception of time. But if that was the case then time travel would never happen anyway. So any adverse effects would be a moot point

So for someone TO travel backwards or forwards in time that would have to suggest first and foremost that our understanding of what laws govern time are wrong, and that despite it not being as easy to do as running would therefore be within the complete set of laws of physics governing time travel. Which in turn would also mean that making use of one of those laws wouldnt cause all other applicable laws to collapse

So in the same way supersonic flight doesnt make normal flight become impossible or cease to be possible it would also mean that if the laws of physics that apply to time travel meant it was possible to go backwards and forwards that would be as an addition to the passage of normal time rather than being an either/or mutually exclusive choice

It also wouldnt be unreasonable to think that a society advanced enough to conquer that frontier wouldnt also have enough intellect to realise the negative consequences of even an assumed "positive" tweak to a timeline

And infact the absolute and ouly outcome of a culture discovering time travel could infact be to decide it was far too risky to risk travelling backwards in time, and therefore make a decision to only travel forwards to look for unexpected negative outcomes and then try to avoid them

So its actually quite possible that the absolute only evidence of time travel could only be found after it was discovered even if also being able to travel backwards was indeed possible if that makes sense?

Because whatever precations were taken even a microbe deposited in, or brought back from a past moment in time could have catastrophic effect on either the existing time line forward from that point or the ongoing timeline from the time that the travellers returned to as an example

Even something "seemingly" good like terminating hitler before he was born could lead to a new and far more strategically and politically driven leader actually winning the war in europe and then going on to conquer the rest of the world etc. Or one stray bacteria introduced into a time with no immunity to it could extinguish life on earth or a pivotal species in the food chain that meant mankind wouldnt have become dominant etc etc

Hell, it could even be deemed that its too dangerous to ever be used at all every time its "discovered" throughout the vastness of future civilisations on earth

So it not being used in that scenario wouldnt prove it was impossible, just that the people who discover it each time have the foresight to realise its something that shouldnt even be put into practise
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 37
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/17/2011 11:08:02 AM
I cant quite see why that would happen though

A TT would have the "potential" to go and view any point in time, like someone with a bus pass they could use for any form of transport anywhere on the globe has the "potential" to go and see anywhere (rather than "anywhen")

But having that bus pass doesnt make every point of the globe materialise in their living room the moment they open the envelope the bus pass came in anymore than I think linear time would begin to function differently just because an apparatus to travel through time was invented

For anyone not actually travelling through time (via the apparatus) time would continue (IMO) just like it always has, the only difference being the knowledge that more was infact possible.

As with the bus pass analogy each individual would still have to "travel" to any point in time to witness it, and on arrival linear time would once again be observed during their stay

Infact even the theories about travelling through time more slowly as you approach light speed dont intimate that linear time would collapse because of that, not that once a more normal velocity was reached that "linear" time would or should be any different to that person than for anyone else as the time dilation is only theories to be in effect when the high speed (or for some the accelleration) is still in effect. After which the passing of time would "resume" as normal

if the passage through time was via some form of wave function rather than due to speed, some currently unknown way to manipulate the fabric of the universe then in effect it would be no different to a plane journey whilst sleeping, and on emerging the person would experience normal time again, with only the journey itself "seeming" to contradict the "law" of linear time

I wouldnt ponder over it too much though, Its sooooo far from any area of expertise. And is literally no more than my feelings or belief of how it would work and I wouldnt claim it was anything more than that

I just think that we dont know enough to categorically claim any "theory" or even just a "belief" is actually right nor wrong, as we can only base assumptions on our current level of knowledge that doesnt even allow for the possibility of time travel anyway which kind of limits the examination of possibilities right out of the gate

Although some do theorise that a black hole "could" potentially have this effect although most black holes I am aware of are an immense mass rather than an actual "hole" something approaching a baby singularity. So surely the "eye" wouldnt be a gateway to another part of the galaxy or time, but simply a lump of incredibly dense matter you splat onto like a bug on a huge windscreen anyway lol

 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 38
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Posted: 10/17/2011 11:42:54 AM
That would be a nightmare though

As soon as you create something like that with any similarity to a toilet roll holder you would have astronomic arguements break out over whos job it was to replace the time roll and which way round it should be hung

Those alone could cause the collapse of society as we know it lol

So obviously female scientists would have to be banned from having any involvement on such a project :)
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 39
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/20/2011 6:45:56 PM
I don't know how to travel backwards & forwards in time
Here's how to see what occured in the past without actually time travelling:
Travel away from the Earth exceeding the speed of light in the proper direction. At a specific point you will catch up with the light reflecting off the earth at the given time you desire. Now turn around and look back at the earth with a telescope with high enough resolution and voila. You can see that it was Col Mustard in the study with the lead pipe
 stargazer1000
Joined: 1/16/2008
Msg: 40
Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/22/2011 7:22:12 PM

Going forward in time is infact very easy from a pure physics stand point


Yeah. We're doing it now. And now. And now.
 badeusername
Joined: 4/27/2011
Msg: 41
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/23/2011 7:16:28 PM
Einstein's theory of special relativity does permit travelling forward in time faster than we perceive in our daily lives. For an object travelling close to the speed of light, time travels slower for that object relative to an observer.
So for example, say you got on a space ship that could travel close to the speed of light and it flew around the Earth for a week (in the space ship) the time that would have passed on Earth might have been 100 years.

Also, if the faster than light neutrinos, detected at OPERA from CERN, get confirmed that means it may also be possible to travel backwards in time too.
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 42
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Posted: 10/28/2011 2:16:23 PM
I was thinking about this for a week.

Going forward in time should not be possible. Not because of the laws of physics, not beacuse god said no, and not for a lack of evidence.

It should not be possible because we have not made our choices yet. Each decision we make will create a new and different future. This leaves 2 possibilities.

1) our future is pre-determined.; I hate this thought. It means we have no free will.
2) the is an infinite number of possible futures - so how can you travel?

The past is similar. While Mike suggests we may have already changed the past to avoid a worse futuren, he did say we would be unaware this occured. With reference to Hitler, as Mike stated, he may have been sent back to be a lesser evil, to prevent something worse from happening. (I'm not a fan of Hitler, don't take this the wrong way) As this might be true, we would not know it and the future folk who did that would no longer know they had done it and it's reasonable to believe they might now do the same thing to prevent Hitler's existance.

Further to that, the idea that future folk might have the discipline and good sense not to use time travel...or restrict it to future time travel... really? Maybe if Hitler had succeeded in wiping out everyone but his beloved Arian race - maybe man would be that disciplined. Or if the Dark Ages Catholic Church successfully destroyed science... (course, then there's no time travel, eh!) But common man can't even resist McDonalds. And thats nowhere near as tempting as time travel. Or donuts.

As stated above, I like my free will and I can see no way that time travel and free will can co-exist.

However, if a supercomputer was built and it contained all data, not just known to man, but all... we could theoretically produce a modelling program that could process the billions of factors and decisions that might be the outcome of one decision thereby predicting the future with a certain degree of accuracy a certain % of the time. This would not wipe out free will, just give a reasonable guess as to what would occur.

But no real time travel
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 43
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Posted: 10/28/2011 2:50:30 PM
On the subject of free will I honestly believe thats an illusion/delusion to be perfectly honest

Short of some kind of "spiritual" belief, everything, even "supernatural" things would infact be "natural" and therfore governed by various scientific laws most of which we arent even aware of yet

So each thought we have, each decision we make however "complex" or "abstract" they might seem are in effect the only thoughts we could have and are the only decisions we could make as decided by the chemical and electrical processses in our brains

My feelings are that if you could quantify every single influencing factor on an ocean down to a sub atomic level and below and then created a model of every water molecule, fish and other constituent in that ocean to exactly match the position of "everything" at an instant in time that the model and the real ocean would match each other perfectly over any time frame

Because for anything else to happen, something outside of science would have to influence it

The same IMO also applies to each individual human, and therefore every interaction they have, every decision they make, every feeling they have

So as much as we "feel" we make our own choices I really dont think we do, but actually think that everything we have ever experienced and everything we have done till now has already decieded what we will do next, and that will then in an equally scientifically based way contribute to what we do after than etc etc ad infinitum

So in effect if it was possible to make a sub atomic snapshot model of the entire planet and every external force acting on it with unerring acuracy we would have a machine that could then show us ANY point in both the future or the past

As a kind of example of that, as we gain more knowledge of the cosmos we become far more able to predict even quite complex things like the paths of asteroids and comets even accounting for the gravitational effects of them passing by other stellar bodies, because theyre governed by the laws of physics/nature whatever you want to call it

When they do something new, we look for why until we find out

Although we can accept "those" types of things have a predetermined future based on physical laws, and even though we know our entire being is made up of molecules that are also individually governed by sets of physical laws our self image still leads us to the assumption that we have the ability to make a "free" choice, rather than one dictated by which neurons happened to be firing and which neural pathways our life experience has caused to form

If the ONLY influencing factors in existence are infact natural laws then by virtue of that no matter how complex or seemingly chaotic they might be there is no chaos at all, and everything that will happen no matter how abstract it might seem is the ONLY thing that could ever have possibly happened

Although admittedly it would never feel like that, as we are rather attached to the notion of free will
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 44
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/28/2011 2:58:35 PM

Going forward in time is infact very easy from a pure physics stand point, maybe not based on our technology but the physics for it is actually very simple. Going backwards in time is what causes problems with the idea


Isnt it just the idea of going back in linear time thats the problematic concept though?

And even then partly because light speed is considered to be a constant and to some extent a maximum


Apologies for kind of stepping into the realms of "sci fi" here, but even if light speed was a constant in normal space suppose we found a way to travel outside of normal space as is often claimed to be a possibility for black holes or worm holes to instantaneously connect two points that in linear space would be maybe millions of light years apart

So if that distance was travelled in a fraction of a second even though the relative distance would be nill through the aperture theres nothing ruling out that compared to relative space the effect couldnt mean you have travelled so fast you actually emerge proportionately to the difference in distance vs light distance before you even entered it

Or if time is infact a "wave function" is that the correct term? That rather than travelling back in a linear fashion it could be found that we could create direct links to a point in space time, although rather than the norm where you would appear in the same place I would suspect you would actually emerge in the same place in "space" but that it would be a LONG way from where our solar system now sits if that did ever become possible
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 45
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/28/2011 6:14:00 PM
MikeWM, I've read all your posts on here. Clearly you've spent a lot of time thinking about this. As for me, I've been huffing various chemicals in my dirty factory for the past week.
So I think I'm going to head out and kill a few more brain cells (in a positive way this time) and consider what you have said.
In the mean time, please to elaborate on how your ideas of "free will" or lack there of effect your thought patterns during the decision making process. Do you ever find yourself in indecision?
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 46
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/28/2011 6:17:22 PM
I'm blond, so my thought patterns tend to be heavily influenced by anything shiny

Indecision only really occurs if both brain cells fire up at the same time, but thats a very rare occurence
 CountIbli
Joined: 6/1/2005
Msg: 47
Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/28/2011 6:44:49 PM


All I know is I want my time machine to look like a big blue British police telephone box that's bigger on the inside than the outside! Oh, and a really hot travelling companion, preferably one that looks like Nicola Bryant did back when...well, you get the idea!


I'll take one with Louise Jameson.

I don't see what the big deal is about time travel. I'm constantly travelling into the future. Literally every moment of my life I'm traveling into the future. I like to think of energy as momentum in the time direction. The day I stop traveling in time is the day I have zero energy.

And let's suppose someone did travel back in time. Would he even know it? As he moves back in time all the chemical reactions in his brain that created his memories would be undone so he wouldn't be able to remember the future.
 SoundScience89
Joined: 10/16/2011
Msg: 48
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/28/2011 7:03:11 PM
time travel is totally possible. gosh people, watch donnie darko.
 MikeWM
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 49
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/29/2011 7:03:33 PM
I'm planning to watch it the day before yesterday
 Kohmelo
Joined: 9/20/2011
Msg: 50
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Time Travel-Is it possible?
Posted: 10/30/2011 6:57:30 PM
It seems time travel has already been invented.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDq62_-ncgc

I believe this discussion is over
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