Will we ever be able to travel back in time to cancel the vote given to our political leaders? Is it possible to cancel our wedding, an approval for a job, or any other bad decision we made in life? An old saying claims that you only live once, which means that you must make decisions wisely because they can’t be undone. But is this really true?
Scientists suspected for decades that time should run backwards for an observer if he somehow surpasses the speed of light. But Einstein shatters our dreams by firmly claiming that light travels at the maximum speed possible through the Universe. With no disrespect to the illustrious scientists, let’s not forget that he also made mistakes, which grants hope that space travel back in time is possible.
We must reconcile traditional dynamics and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
Under the supervising of UQ physicist Dr. Fabio Costa, fourth-year Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) student Germain Tobar has examined the wild scenario of time travel, one that seemed only purely sci-fi several decades ago. Tobar comes with the conclusion that paradox-free time travel is possible, at least in theory.
The young scientist Tobar says:
However, Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicts the existence of time loops or time travel—where an event can be both in the past and future of itself—theoretically turning the study of dynamics on its head
Germain Tobar says that there’s need for a reconcile between traditional dynamics and the Theory of Relativity. He also makes it clear:
But the current science says both theories cannot both be true,
Mr Tobar and Dr. Costa believe they have found a way to “square the numbers” for time travel. Dr. Costa claims that the calculations could have fascinating consequences for science.
Beware of the time travel paradox
Dr. Costa also points out one significant paradox that leads some scientists believing that the time travel isn’t possible:
Say you traveled in time, in an attempt to stop COVID-19’s patient zero from being exposed to the virus.
However if you stopped that individual from becoming infected—that would eliminate the motivation for you to go back and stop the pandemic in the first place.
The researchers are optimistic that their work shows that a paradox could be somehow avoided, and events can adjust themselves to be logically consistent with the actions of the time traveler. Tobar declares:
In the coronavirus patient zero example, you might try and stop patient zero from becoming infected, but in doing so you would catch the virus and become patient zero, or someone else would.
The research was published in Classical and Quantum Gravity.