Physics 101: Understanding time travel and why we shouldn’t dismiss the possibility
Who among us hasn’t seriously considered that time travel could become a real possibility some day? I know I have. Alas, most common folk (and quite a few scientists) think of such a thing as being better left in the realm of science fiction , but does that really mean that there’s no chance at all of ever making it happen? After all, weren’t most of the amazing technologies available today considered impossible at some point? Go back just one hundred years (in your mind, for now) and you will find that computers, smartphones, drones, space flights, the Internet and a myriad of other things would have seemed highly unlikely to the people of that time.
So, why do most dismiss the possibility of time travel when mankind has proven over and over again that we can take the seemingly impossible and transform it into reality? It’s true that sometimes it just takes a while and it’s definitely also true that we’ve been waiting for this to happen for quite a bit without any real results. One of the most common arguments that attempt to refute the possibility of time travel states that if we do invent a time machine at some point, then surely someone from the future would travel back and tell us all about it. This argument seems similar to the notion that “if aliens really exist they would have visited us by now” in the sense that it assumes that aliens indeed can (and more importantly, want to) visit us.
The same goes for potential time travelers. If possible, would someone really attempt to time travel back from the future just so skeptics from our present can have proof that such a thing will actually be real someday? Probably not. Just like people from the western world don’t go around jungles looking for lost tribes in order to show them the wonders of the smartphone, potential time travelers from the future are pretty unlikely to want to visit a less advanced society and reveal to them the secrets of time travel. But let’s set aside the speculations of a layman for a moment and take a look at what science has to say about all of this. Surely, if anyone can tell us if time travel is indeed possible then it’s the scientists who have spent all their lives trying to give answers to some of the most biggest mysteries of the universe.
Surprising or not, a number of theoretical physicists actually do believe that time travel is possible and they’re not making that claim based on just gut feeling or wishful thinking. These scientists are looking at the works of Albert Einstein and other great physicists for answers and that’s definitely a great place to start. According to Hermann Minkowski, time and space are not separate but actually intimately linked together and form the fabric of spacetime (or timespace). What’s more, Albert Einstein took the idea further and proposed that spacetime is very much not a flat fabric, but rather something that can bend, twist, and even fold on itself. In theory, finding a way to manipulate spacetime could lead to a great number of extraordinary possibilities, such as faster-than-light travel, teleportation, and even time travel. Needless to say, we’re not yet at the point where manipulating spacetime is feasible, but perhaps one day we will be, which is why we should keep an open mind in regards to these extraordinary possibilities, just in case.
In fact, there’s a certain scientist out there who not only sees time travel as a real possibility, but is even dead set on creating an actual time machine some day soon. Ron Mallett is a theoretical physicist who seems pulled straight from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine novel as he’s attempting to put together and use the machine in order to contact his father who passed away when he was only 10. Mallett has been working on this project for a very long time and even came up with a prototype which uses carefully arranged lasers that swirl the fabric of spacetime inside the machine into a vortex. The main idea here is that light (from the lasers) can twist space, and therefore time seeing as how the two are linked together . Mallett’s first order of business is to send information to the past via a stream of particles that act like binary code, which can be interpreted by the receiver. Although I’ve mentioned that people are unlikely to physical travel through time in order to meet someone from the past, Mallett is only trying to send information for now.
As you might imagine, if Mallett succeeds his actions will create a paradox since his father’s death is the primary reason for why he started researching time travel in the first place. Paradoxes are yet another reason for why time travel seems like science fiction and is easily dismissed as a real possibility by most people. However, there is a work around to this and it involves parallel universes and alternate timelines. Specifically, some theoreticians speculate that if you could indeed manage to time travel you would not be part of the same universe you left from, but rather create an entirely different one upon your arrival.
Moving past the already well-known grandfather paradox, let’s say you went back in time and killed Hitler, which seems to be something that many people from the present desire for some reason. Don’t get me wrong, Hitler was bad, but killing him would change pretty much everything we know and not necessarily for the better. In any case, some physicists speculate that you can not kill the Hitler we know about since the events that he participated in have already unfolded and can not be changed. Rather, if you were to travel into the past – let’s say before the Nazis rose to power- you would be creating a brand new timeline and killing Hitler would not have any effect on this timeline. It would be interesting to see how the world would be like if you managed to pull that off, but ultimately what’s done is done in your timeline and all the events you know about can not be changed.
This theory may sound a bit far fetched, however, it does seem to make more sense than the idea that a person could time travel and change events that have already occurred in their timeline. Changing anything – no matter how small – in the past is believed to have long-lasting consequences on things to come, but what about changing the future? Here things get even more interesting because anything you might be able to change is apparently supposed to happen, so in a sense you can’t actually change anything. This is because of the connection between time and space, which we discussed earlier. Theoretical physicists like Brian Greene suggest that the universe doesn’t have a distinction between past, present, and future, so again, everything that’s supposed to happen in the future has actually happened already. Sounds strange? That might be because we tend to view time as a one-way train that always goes from point A (past) to point B (future) and never the other way around. However, physicists propose that although we humans are only able to move from A to B, there’s little to prevent time itself from speeding up or going the other way around.
Case in point, black holes. A black hole forms when a massive star dies and collapses on itself leaving behind only its gravity to tell the tale. At this stage all the former star’s gravity and mass have essentially been crushed and concentrated into a very small area. This results in a ‘gravity gone wild’ type of effect where the gravity is so strong that it pulls within everything that crosses its path, including light. What’s more, a black hole also distorts the fabric of spacetime. Whereas down here on Earth Ron Mallett is using light in an attempt to twist space and time, out there black holes are already doing it but on a much larger scale. The problem is of course that we are not able to use black holes as a means of time travel, nor would that be an effective way to do it even if we could. Having said that, there might be a better way of achieving the seemingly impossible feat of travelling through time, but it involves punching a hole through spacetime and creating a wormhole.
While black holes occur naturally throughout the universe, a wormhole would have to be created artificially by an advanced civilization. Wormholes are hypothetical tunnels (sometimes called bridges) that could allow somebody to travel from one point of spacetime to another one in just a matter of moments. A wormhole may sound like something invented by science fiction writers, but the idea was actually based on the work of Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen. Wormholes are sometimes also referred to as Einstein-Rosen bridges after the two great physicists. A lot of people tend to think of wormholes as the perfect tool for traversing great distances of space that would otherwise be impossible to cross using conventional means, but they’re so much more. These bridges could also allow for time travel and even for travelling to a parallel universe. Needles to say, creating a wormhole and some type of vehicle that can pass through it and survive the journey would require technology and sources of energy that we currently don’t posses or maybe don’t even know about yet. A pretty good depiction and explanation for how wormholes work can be seen in the movie Interstellar (see the short clip below).
So to sum things up a bit, time travel could be achieved in multiple ways as you can see, but three of the preferred methods would be either a time machine that uses light to bend spacetime, a black hole that uses gravity to do the same but in a much more meaningful way, or a wormhole that acts like a bridge between two separate points in spacetime. Unfortunately, there are several problems with each of these methods depending on where you want to travel to. The wormhole seems like a pretty sound of option for travelling to the future, but not so much for travelling to the past since according to the same Albert Einstein (or rather, his general theory of relativity) you would not be able to travel to a point before the wormhole was created. As for a black hole, we’re talking about something that eats stars for breakfast, so getting near it would probably be the most dangerous thing a person can do. As a side note, a hypothetical spaceship would not actually have to go inside the black hole, but would have to get uncomfortably close to it in order to make use of the spacetime distortion it creates. Lastly, the time machine prototype that uses lasers might end up working, but it seems like you would only be able to send information and the receiver would have to know how to decipher it, which sounds like a difficult task in an of itself.
Aside from all of these, another popular means of time travel involves FTL travel (faster than light). I wanted to mention this last because it seems the most interesting, at least to me. General relativity suggests that an object travelling near the speed of light will experience time slower and if we take the idea further it would mean that travelling faster than light would theoretically allow the object to also travel backwards in time. The problem with this is that the speed of light is considered to be the “universal speed limit” and can not be surpassed. However, this is believed to only apply to objects travelling within normal spacetime and there are concepts that attempt to circumvent the problem by bending spacetime as they move instead of trying to accelerate to the speed of light or surpass it. The Alcubierre drive is such a concept, although most have come to know it as a warp drive thanks to popular movies like Star Trek. There’s plenty of controversy surrounding the idea of a warp drive given that, among other things, the energy requirements seem to be impossible to achieve. That’s not to say that we should lose all hope though, because it’s very likely that we will find sources of energy that we don’t know about yet.
Bottom line is that time travel could become a reality for future generations, but for those of us living in the present it seems extremely unlikely to achieve with our current technology. Some day we might take such a thing for granted just like we tend to do with global communications today, but for now all we can do is continue to create books and movies that speak of more advanced civilizations with the power to manipulate space and time. Today we can only dream about becoming time travelers, but that’s actually a very important first step that we must not dismiss because hopefully people like William Arthur Ward are right when saying that “If you can imagine it, you can create it. If you can dream it, you can become it.”
5 Reasons You NEED To Play The Final Fantasy VIII Remaster
After many years of fans begging Square Enix to remaster Final Fantasy VII, they finally listened and did just that. There were numerous excuses as to why the game’s re-release had lagged behind the re-releases of both VII and IX, with the most common excuse being that the game’s original code was lost years ago. However, the company made it happen and the game is finally available for modern audiences to play on modern hardware today. We’re going to give you 5 reasons why you should do just that.
First time available on modern hardware
As we’ve already said, this is the first time that the game is available on modern hardware. While the game originally launched for PS1 back in 1999, it later got a PC port in 2000. That means that is has been a whopping 19 years since a new version of the game has been available for purchase, and that wait was a brutal one. However, it is finally over and you can now play this classic game on PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch along with PC. If the lack of modern hardware support was stopping you from checking out, that excuse just got thrown out the window.
The visuals look better than ever
Thankfully, Square Enix did not just slap this port together quickly and throw it out there to shut everyone up. They did a terrific job of putting on a shiny new coat of paint for the game, with the character models in particular looking much better. While things like environment textures didn’t get quite the same amount of attention, this is nevertheless the best that the game has ever looked. It also helps that the game is simply beautiful from a design standpoint, with the game’s world being gorgeous to behold even though we’re dealing with the hardware limitations of 1999.
Quality of life improvements
While those who played the game 20 years ago will still be getting what is essentially the same experience, Square Enix did add some quality of life improvements to put it more in line with current JRPGs. These changes include the likes of increasing battle speed by 3 times, shutting off random encounters completely and even a cheat to give you max HP and limit breaks. While these may seem minor, these will go a long way to ease some of the tedium that many feel after some particularly long gaming sessions. Max HP and Limit Breaks will also make the incredibly tough Ultima and Omega Weapon boss fights a lot easier to deal with.
The Final Fantasy series is known for having its fair share of enticing side quests and mini games, but there isn’t a single one that is as addicting as Triple Triad. The game is essentially a card game that is played on a 3×3 grid, and each card has a certain number on the top, bottom, left and right sides. You need to place your cards in a manner that the numbers on your cards are higher than your opponents, and seeing as your card can be attacked from four different sides this can be tricky. You’re able to challenge many different characters to a match throughout the course of the entire game, and doing so comes with plenty of nice rewards that will make your quest easier.
The game is awesome
While our previous points focused on specific elements of the game, this one is a simple fact that has been true since 1999: the game is awesome. Unfortunately, releasing immediately after Final Fantasy VII (a watershed moment for gaming) put it under a very cruel microscope, with many knee jerk reactions simply saying it “isn’t as good as VII.” However, in the years that have passed people have revisited the game, and the consensus has definitely changed. This adventure that Square created is unlike any other in the series, being host to an ambitious and bizarre plot filled with some of the best characters the series has ever seen. If you’ve played the game before then this is the perfect time to experience this masterpiece all over again, and if you haven’t then what are you waiting for?
10 Huge Games Still Coming In 2019
2019 has been yet another good year for gaming so far, with several games releasing that will be big contenders for game of the year once the curtain closes. However, despite the year already being more than halfway over, there are still some huge titles on the horizon that are sure to make their own dents on the coming best-of lists. This article will list the 10 biggest games that are still coming in 2019.
A new game from Remedy Entertainment is always highly-anticipated, and Control is no different. The game is an action-adventure game in the same style as Alan Wake or Quantum Break, but with a supernatural twist. Players will control Jesse Faden, who possesses a variety of supernatural abilities like telekinesis, levitation and more. She will be using her abilities in order to defeat an enemy known only as the Hiss, which has corrupted reality. Control launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on August 27th.
It has been many years since the last game in the Borderlands series released, but the hiatus is finally coming to an end very soon. Those who have played previous games in the series will feel right at home with this game, as it’s once again a loot-driven FPS. The game will offer more zany characters and a charming and insane world to explore, all while dealing with new antagonists Troy and Tyreen Calypso along with their Children of the Vault cult. Borderlands 3 launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on September 13th, with a Google Stadia port release date being TBA.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon series is returning soon with Breakpoint, which will serve as a continuation of previous game Wildlands. The game is set in an open world environment called Aurora, which is a fictional island in the Pacific Ocean. Players will control Lieutenant Colonel Anthony “Nomad” Perryman, who is a special forces operative that was sent to the island to investigate a series of disturbances in the area. Breakpoint launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 4th, with a Google Stadia port coming in November.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
Each new installment in the Call of Duty series is always huge, but Modern Warfare’s release marks a first for the long-running franchise. It will be the first game in the series that is reimagining of a previous game in the series, taking 2004’s original game and updating its mechanics and themes to match today’s world. The game will still have some of the beats that the first game had, but will also incorporate lots of surprises to make it a fresh experience. Modern Warfare launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th.
The Outer Worlds
Obsidian Entertainment’s The Outer Worlds is one that will be very highly-anticipated for fans of Fallout: New Vegas, as this game serves as a sort of spiritual successor to that game. It will be an open world RPG that allows you to explore many unique areas crawling with plenty of deadly foes. Players will also be able to encounter and recruit NPCs as companions that have their own personal missions and stories to take part in. The Outer Worlds launches for PS4, Xbox One and PC on October 25th, with a Switch port also being in the works.
Luigi’s Mansion 3
It seemed very unlikely that Luigi’s Mansion would become a recurring franchise for Nintendo following the original GameCube game, but here we are. Luigi’s Mansion 3 is coming to Switch, which also means it will be the first home console release since the original game back in 2003. This time the game is set in a haunted hotel rather than a mansion, and Luigi has some new tricks up his sleeves to take down all those ghosts. Luigi’s Mansion 3 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on October 31st.
If you’re looking for the most ambitious (and weirdest) game still coming in 2019, then look no further. Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding has perplexed gamers ever since its announcement, and each new trailer that releases just brings more and more questions to the table. It is Kojima’s first game since breaking up with Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain (and the cancellation of Silent Hills), and it looks like Kojima has taken the newfound complete creative control to deliver something truly original. Death Stranding launches exclusively for PS4 on November 8th.
Pokemon Sword & Shield
At this point we all know what to expect from a new Pokemon game, and Sword and Shield seems poised to deliver even more cute creatures for players to capture and battle very soon. What sets Sword and Shield apart from its predecessors is that it will be the first home console release for the series, which is saying something considering the series has been around for over 20 years. Pokemon Sword & Shield launches exclusively for Switch on November 15th.
If you’re a fan of Shenmue then nothing needs to be said for the inclusion of the upcoming third game on this list. Fans of the series have been waiting nearly two decades for a follow-up to the second game, and in just a couple of months that will finally be delivered to them. Brought to life thanks to an extremely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game continues the adventure of protagonist Ryo Hazuki as he hunts down his father’s killer. Shenmue III will launch for PS4 and PC on November 19th.
id Software’s DOOM 2016 was one of the best FPS games to come along in years, so it’s a no-brainer that the follow-up would be on this list. Eternal is set to offer yet another intense FPS campaign for players to plunge into, while also offering a multiplayer component that greatly improves upon the last game’s underwhelming multiplayer mode. There will also be twice as many demon types than there was in the last game, meaning that the chaos level just got that much higher. DOOM Eternal launches for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia and PC on November 22nd.
5 Most Exciting Announcements From The Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference
Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 Press Conference has officially come to an end, and with it came plenty of big announcements to get excited about. Some new games were announced, whereas previously-announced games got new footage and/or release dates. In this article we’ve narrowed it all down to the 5 most exciting announcements.
New Xbox “Project Scarlett” Coming Holiday 2020
We’ve known for a while now that a new Xbox was in the works, but now we know when to expect it. Microsoft’s fourth console (which hopefully has a better official name than Xbox One did) will be a big step up from the previous console. Things like much faster load times, an AMD Processor that is four times more powerful than the Xbox One X, 8K Resolution and 120 FPS were all mentioned. A price and exact release date weren’t mentioned. It will also be launching with…
Halo Infinite Coming Holiday 2020, Launching On Both Xbox One and Project Scarlett
The wait for the next Halo game has been longer than ever before for series fans, and the announcement at E3 revealed that the wait will continue. Halo Infinite will not be launching until Holiday 2020, meaning it will have been 5 years since the previous game released with Halo 5. It will also be launching on Xbox One and Project Scarlett, meaning the new console will have a big launch title for fans to get pumped about.
Cyberpunk 2077 Coming April 2020, Stars Keanu Reeves
It’s hard to pick a game that people have been more excited about than Cyberpunk 2077, and after Microsoft’s press conference we’re even more excited. Not only is it coming in April of next year, but Keanu Reeves himself will be playing a “key” role in the game. Everything shown from the game has looked great so far, so hopefully it all pans out and we have another classic from CD Projekt RED come April 2020.
FromSoftware and George R.R. Martin Collaboration Elden Ring Announced
This one was actually leaked prior to the presentation, but Dark Souls developer FromSoftware and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin are collaborating on a new game. The game is called Elden Ring, and it will be a departure from the developer’s most recent games as it will be open world. Very little information on the game is known at this point, as it is still in the early stages of development.
Phantasy Star Online 2 Is Coming West
It took a very long time, but the popular MMORPG is finally coming west. The game is coming to Xbox One in a free-to-play form in Spring 2020, so the wait won’t be that much longer. “There will be no limitations on game experiences,”says Sega, because they want to “provide all players with a fair and exciting experience.”
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