- Time travelers must prepare to look only into the future
- The past will be forbidden to them, a new study claims
The theory of time travel back to the past seems to be out of the question for good, as new research suggests that going back in time like Marty McFly in Back to the Future is impossible. Not only because the DeLorean car is hard to come by, but also because the time structure simply cannot be bent in this way.
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Time travel to the past is not possible
Ruling out the theory of time travel back to the past is not exactly the news some would like to hear, but Finnish scientists are clear. Their study says that light and its relationship to objects are to blame for the fact that we can never go back and change the course of history.
Associate Professor Matias Koivurova from the University of Eastern Finland has published the results of research that appears to answer the question of how light travels around objects. “Basically, I found a very elegant way to derive the standard wave equation in 1+1 dimensions. The only assumption I needed was that the speed of the wavelengths was constant. But then I thought: What if it is not always constant? And that turns out to be a really good question.”
Study leader Professor Marco Ornigotti added: “There is a very well-known debate in physics called the Abraham-Minkowski controversy. The dispute is that when light enters a medium, what happens to its momentum? Minkowski argued that momentum was increasing, while Abraham insisted it was decreasing.’
“We found that we can assign a ‘self-time’ to the wave, which is completely analogous to the self-time in general relativity.” So the wave moves in time, which is completely analogous to the self-time in general relativity. At first, their solution didn’t make much sense. It wasn’t until they added back constant velocity as a frame of reference that the pieces of the mosaic fit together.
For example, whether it’s the intrepid space travelers approaching Alpha Centauri at a fraction of the speed of light, or their friends slowly aging on Earth, the clock is ticking for each of them in what is believed to be the right time. The two times may differ by one second, but each is a reliable measure of the passage of time within its own frame, the study says.
Finnish physicists claim that any wave-driven physics has a strict time direction. One that cannot simply be reversed for one part – time travel back to the past is therefore not possible according to them.
Even Hawking didn’t believe it
We hear about time travel mainly in science fiction films. This theory has both its adherents and its detractors. Among the great skeptics was the famous scientist Stephen Hawking, who in his book Black Holes and the Future of the Universe exaggeratedly stated that “the best evidence we have that time travel is not possible and never will be that we have not been attacked by hordes of tourists from of the future”.
Preview photo source: Genty / Pixabay, source: Science Alert, Optica