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Time machine theory: a step forward in travelling backwards?

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August 6, 2007

Prof. Amos Ori

Prof. Amos Ori

August 7, 2007 From H.G Wells' classic novel to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the popular imagination has long been enthralled by the prospect of time travel. Now researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology, Techion, have released a paper outlining theoretical advances that could one day assist in liberating the notion of a time-machine from the realms of pure science fiction. The research by Prof. Amos Ori of the Technion’s Faculty of Physics centers around a new model of space-time that overcomes some (but not all) of the theoretical stumbling blocks that would prevent the required curvature of space-time needed to facilitate time travel.

The paper entitled “A Class of Time-Machine Solutions with a Compact Vacuum Core” was published recently in the scientific journal Physical Review and in it Prof. Ori posits theoretical model for space-time that could develop into a time machine.

“In order to travel back in time, the spacetime structure must be engineered appropriately,” explains Prof. Ori. “This is what Einstein’s theory of general relativity deals with. It says that spacetime can be flat. That is – it has a trivial, simple structure. But it can also be curved with various configurations. According to the theory of relativity, the essence of gravitational fields is in the curving of spacetime. The theory of relativity also defines how space is curved and how this curvature develops over time.”

Einstein was a genius for good reason, and consequently the idea of space-time is a very difficult concept to get your head around. One analogy that’s often used is to imagine a bowling ball resting on a large trampoline – if the bowling ball is the sun, the sagging trampoline is akin to space-time and a smaller ball will roll around it the way the earth does. Thus gravity is really just a result of the warping of the fabric space-time. This doesn’t really explain how time gets involved in the equation, but suffice to say that the idea of time travel involves bending this fabric back on itself and somehow connecting two different points to make travel between present and past possible. Wormholes are seen as one potential way to achieve this.

Prof. Ori’s model solves some of the problems associated with theoretically achieving this bending of space-time. One such problem is the belief that material with “negative density” (it isn’t even clear whether this actually exists in the quantities required) would be necessary for the creation of a time-machine. Prof. Ori’s theoretical model proposes a vacuum space that contains a region field with standard positive density material and therefore by-passes this problem.

“The machine is spacetime itself,” he explains. “Today, if we were to create a time machine – an area with a warp like this in space that would enable time lines to close on themselves – it might enable future generations to return to visit our time. We, apparently, cannot return to previous ages because our predecessors did not create this infrastructure for us.”

This final point means that – unless some ancient civilization built a time machine or such a phenomena somehow exists in nature – there is no way to go back in time beyond the point at which the time machine was constructed, even in theory.

Prof. Ori does not pretend that we yet have the technology to control gravitational fields at will and admits that a number of “non-trivial open questions” remain unanswered… and indeed might remain that way for ever.

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About the Author
Noel McKeegan After a misspent youth at law school, Noel began to dabble in tech research, writing and things with wheels that go fast. This bus dropped him at the door of a freshly sprouted Gizmag.com in 2002. He has been Gizmag's Editor-in-Chief since 2007. All articles by Noel McKeegan
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6 Comments

one way to discover a time machine is to study ancient Indian civilization. They did not concentrate on discovering time machine. They concentrated on discovering human body. i believe some information is stored of our daily processes. The way how our eyes will distinguish between matter in the current time frame and of the past. Of course the picture will be blur, because my theory is based on extracting the information from photon.

We can do this by changing the properties of the photon. To allign its internal structure in such a way that our eyes can recognize it. Remember we are not travelling somewhere we can only view the picture of the past.

Milind Prabhu

TIME MACHINE can\'t b manufactured as it is against d law of nature

Facebook User

@Milind Prabhu: yes sir.. Indian ancestors were extraordinary... they had the dual nature of light as \\"dwaitha\\" and single nature as \\"adwaitha\\" n many more such thigs we are realizing now, were realized by them a long time ago... sure they will have made something about time travel... I have made a time theory its about \\'how time is arranged and though if we travel in time, how can we?..\\' I think it holds good for some paradoxes I know...

Facebook User

Hi Milind Prabhu, That sounds interesting.I would like to have a look at your theory. Have you published it on web or somewhere?

Have a great day.

Facebook User

http://steveooi.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html http://steveooi.blogspot.com/2011_03_03_archive.html http://steveooi.blogspot.com/2011_03_04_archive.html

just some thought about time travel WITHOUT science....(just mere thinking and logic or perhaps \"crap\") this is just for fun...i am not saying i am right

Steve Ooi
See if really there is chance to create a time machine ..........do u ever wondered how many different cycles of the life will be originate....i.e if really a matter from the present travels to the past the whole life at present must be changed which is impossible....that means a new life cycle starts at the second when a matter travels to past in which we may be present or not.......like this we can explain many consequences for this time machine... another important limitation is its violates law of conservation of energy.......hows that means....we are sending some amount of matter that means energy in to the past which is not present at that time ........so what energy is converted into matter in the past??????? Sai Krishna
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