Saturday, September 1, 2012

Is Time Travel Possible?...If So, Then Not Like in Science Fiction

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Some stars and black holes bend space time so much that some scientists think that if space and time really are one 4-D container, then gravitational forces of this extreme magnitude probably bend time along with space. Yes, black holes bend space, and because space and time are one entity according to Einstein, then wouldn't time warp also? Hence, wormhole time travel.

Near speed of light velocities were equated to forward time travel by Einstein. In essence, what is time travel? In sci-fi it's when you "go" to the future, as if to say a person could walk through a door and appear in the future, or like a portal of sorts bridging time periods. We've all seen the corny sci-fi shows. This happens in pretty much every sci-fi show at least once, such as the Star Trek series (oh yeah, hot stuff comin' through). Einstein clearly did not think backwards time travel was possible but he did allude to if a person somehow did reach light speed (670,616,629.3843951 mph) that time would stop for them, and where if they surpassed light speed they would essentially begin traveling backward in time instead of continuing forward in time. Time dilation simply occurs when you go very fast. The faster you go the more pronounced it becomes. Keep reading!
This can't be eco-friendly!
Einstein- made it fairly clear that he didn't fully believe backwards time travel was possible, mostly because his theories of special and general relativity were pointing to the answer "no" unless there were some serious special conditions. Special, meaning he couldn't think of anything realistic. This is because when an object travels fast, its mass increases exponentially, sort of like a race car experiencing "drag" when traveling fast. In outer space, however, mega-velocities like millions of miles per hour are similar to drag experienced on Earth multiplied exponentially til infinity. This means the mass of a speeding object would become insurmountably heavy since it is a finite object with finite capabilities, and therefore cannot overcome the infinite.
This is because mass multiplies by itself (like numbers being squared over and over), where 10 becomes 100, and 100 becomes 1,000, and 1,000...and so forth. And in space this increase in mass due to speed when traveling light speed will become infinity (limitless) and the only theoretical way to break this infinite "drag" is to have an infinite fuel supply to overcome it for infinity. The idea behind this is that nothing finite can overcome something infinite (limited vs. limitless so to speak, you know who'll win that one). Limitlessness is relentless! A better explanation is located below.
4D Space: A 3d World with 1d Time- According to Einstein, all matter in the universe exists in 4 dimensions (4d) consisting of three physical dimensions and one dimension of time. You already know what 3d is, since we exist in 3d, with 2d representing flatness like an old video game. 3d is simply seeing an object all around since it has width, breadth and height (3d). Einstein thought that the combined speed at which a particle travels through these 3-dimensions is exactly the speed of light, which means that the faster you travel physically (3d), the slower you travel through time (4d). And then if you hit light speed like massless photons do, you will stop traveling through time completely.
Time Travel Explained- To illustrate the above paragraph, picture yourself standing still and watching a car on a race track. Now when the car circles the track and starts coming toward you, it seems like it's going faster as it approaches and then WHOOSH, it zips right by you. As it gets farther away again it seems to slow down until it circles back around and gets closer to you. This is a perception of speed, where an object's distance from the observer makes even high speeds seem slower due to larger distances needing to be traveled. A car traveling 30 mph on a highway is slow, but that same 30 mph on a narrow, crowded road would seem really fast since you have so many people and buildings whizzing by you in close proximity. Your eyes can't process all of the objects around you, which makes you seem like you're going faster than you really are.
This is an illusion of speed where objects near you appear to go past you faster since they are closer to you on that narrow road, just like that race car zipping by you as it gets closer, but as it gets farther it no longer seems to go as fast. This same effect happens with an approaching car that's very, very far away. The car coming toward you on the horizon seems like it's still in the distance as it approaches and slowly appears to gain speed as it gets closer to you, that is, until it gets close enough that you can gauge its actual speed with your eyes. We've all seen this effect.
Using the race car analogy: Now I want you to picture you and the race car together on the race track driving fast, each in your own race car. The illusion of speed is gone now since you both are keeping up with each other. Perceptions of speed are affected by the observer's speed (your speed) relative to the other race car next to you. If both the object (race car) and the observer (you) are matching speeds, then it's no different than standing still because the perception of speed is based on distances being traveled relative to other objects. This is how it would be in outer space since there are virtually no other objects out there to allow you to gauge your movements. In fact, space is so vast and empty that space travel is thought to be impossible simply because astronauts and sensors would not be able to even know if the ship is moving. In space, a ship could move at light speed, warp 10 or be completely stopped, however the astronauts would not even know unless they could see other objects in space to refer to and gauge their own movement relative to other celestial bodies. And no, sensors that can detect objects light years away are nonsense. This means you could fly for centuries and not even realize that you aren't even moving!!!
Speed, Time and Distance: So what's the point of speed? Simply to get "somewhere" faster? Right! But what is somewhere? "Somewhere" is the object of reference, like the race car or your job or the mall. Speed is meaningless without a destination or some object to reach or surpass. For example, a person could never know s/he is traveling fast if there was no point of reference. When you break the speed laws to get to work on time, the point is to get "somewhere" faster and minimize the "length of time" between points A and B. Speed is the measure of distance traveled (length) over a period of "TIME." This is the 4th dimension Einstein spoke about, and although it's not 100% physical, it can still affect us and be measured (with a clock or speedometer). A clock shows the distance (length) between hours and events in a day, just as miles per hour measure the distances (length) traveled at a specific rate (speed). Both the distance and speed affect the outcome of elapsed time, where going slower or faster changes the total "time" being measured (minutes, hours, miles, etc.). However, the non-tangible affects of time will not be discussed here.
Flow of Time and Matching Its Speed: Time's flow is represented by the 4th dimension, where time continually flows past us quickly like that race car, but if we also go fast (get our own race car) then the speed at which time passes us isn't as large (distance/length)... time no longer whizzes by us like that race car. This is possible because time is experienced by individuals, not by everyone in the same way, which is commonly written as "time is not a constant." This term probably doesn't mean much to the average reader, however. Now when we travel at light speed we are essentially "keeping up with time" like that race car, and time no longer zips by us, but rather it stays next to us matching our speed and is no longer in front of us. Hence, time "stops" affecting us since it is next to us, making the measurement of time and speed irrelevant.
Time Stops: This means that time itself stops for us since Einstein said that time and the maximum speed of the universe are one (4th dimension). Nothing can travel faster than light and have mass (be made of stuff, or in other words be alive or exist physically). Time itself travels at the speed of light because it has no physical properties, which is why the maximum speed of the universe is light speed, since that's the top-speed at which something non-physical can travel. So how can anything physical surpass that speed? Well, Einstein said no"thing" physical could. Just as light (photons) cannot outrun itself, neither can time!
Faster Than Light Travel?- Using the illustrations above, going faster than light means essentially outrunning time or escaping your own body (physical), since at light speed you and time are matching speeds like the two race cars driving side-by-side. Surpassing light speed would mean outrunning everything in the universe, including non-physical entities like time and space and light. This is obviously not possible when you think of it like this. Furthermore, this is just the theoretical aspect of light speed travel. I assure you that the mathematical concepts not being explained in this article make light speed travel and faster than light travel seem even more impossible.
Technical Explanations: As a particle approaches light speed, its mass increases exponentially, and therefore it becomes harder to accelerate. An object with no mass cannot surpass speeds that massless objects are limited to (speed of light). How much harder would it be to accelerate an object with mass to that speed? It's clearly impossible, because we, as physical entities, cannot build ships and travel in them at light speed since they, being gigantic physical objects, have great mass. The idea of starships traveling as massless objects do is just silly. In Star Trek, they overcame this "mass" problem by creating a warped field of energy that causes all mass within not only to be massless, but to have negative mass. Thus, in this warp(ed) field, objects with mass can not only match light speed but also overcome it, far surpassing it. This, however, is either complete nonsense or is so far beyond our current technological abilities that astronomers simply do not entertain these ideas. But wouldn't it freakin' sweet!!!
Final Thoughts: Any force that is so powerful as to stop time or overcome any universal law must surely be beyond our wildest imaginations. Gravity is the only force that can overcome time, space, and speed. Space bends under great gravitational forces, time stops, and speed is nullified. Light cannot escape black holes, and the acceleration into a black hole due to its gravity far surpasses the maximum allowed speed of the universe. The idea of black holes containing other universes or quantum filaments and wormholes are all sprung from this force. Gravity might be the key to light speed travel, and perhaps even faster than light travel. Where force destroys, such as bombs, and speed is limited, gravity is totally opposed to these forces yet completely overwhelms them on cosmic scales. For more on my ideas of gravity, read my article "Black holes: Escape Velocities..."
Thanks for reading and I hope I explained everything well enough!

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