Photo: Hugo Felix/Shutterstock

Is It Finally Time for Time Travel?

by Christine DeSadeleer May 10, 2010
Thoughts on time travel ain’t just for suckas anymore.

Yep, it looks like time travel might just be on the horizon.

If Stephen Hawking says it’s so, how can we believe otherwise?

Though I’m not sure why he chose the Daily Mail to say it, Hawking chatted up the idea of hanging out with Marilyn Monroe via the fourth dimension:

Time travel was once considered scientific heresy. I used to avoid talking about it for fear of being labeled a crank. But these days I’m not so cautious. In fact, I’m more like the people who built Stonehenge. I’m obsessed by time. If I had a time machine I’d visit Marilyn Monroe in her prime or drop in on Galileo as he turned his telescope to the heavens.

How is time travel going to happen exactly? Hawking says it won’t be via time-machines like in science-fiction movies, but rather through wormholes, which hang out in the quantum foam that is smaller than molecules and atoms.

Wait, wait – I guess the wormholes will have to be enlarged trillions of times, and then we might actually use a time-machine to cruise on back to say, Charles Dickens’ London. Alright, maybe that wouldn’t the time or place most people would choose, but what can I say? I dig soot.

Lest you think it’s just Hawking talking a lot of jibba-jabba, he is but one of the current innovative minds who think time travel is possible. According to James Knutila over on Motherboard, the likes of Carl Sagan, Physicists Neil deGrasse Tyson, Paul Davies, Michio Kaku, and John Gribbin have all kicked around the idea of time travel, though they contend it’s not as easy as throwing some wormholes and a machine together.

Tyson said in an interview:

We don’t know yet how to go into the past. There’s some peculiar solutions of Einstein’s equations that allow past travel, but then you can’t interact with your life — you’re in another place. Because imagine if you could interact with your own life. Prevent your parents from meeting. Then you were never conceived. Then you could have never been sent back in time to prevent your parents from meeting.

Yeah, but then we could smack around the person who decided pegged jeans and tall bangs were a look worth passing along in the 80s. The world would certainly be a better place.

Do you think time travel will ever be possible, or is it just a physicist’s dream? Share your thoughts below.

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