Time travel: Swiss Cern project could validate theories
By Dick Pelletier
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the
Time Portal. In a few moments we will beam your minds to the
year 2007, where you will each live a day in the life of your
21st century self. Although your bodies remain here in the
present, your minds will travel back in time and merge with your
younger self. We hope you enjoy this unique learning experience.
The above scenario is fiction of
course, but researchers at the new Cern Particle Accelerator
in Switzerland believe their machine can recreate conditions
like the "big bang” which brought time and space into existence,
and create baby black holes and wormholes; elements that many
believe offer the best chance to validate or dispute the concept
of traveling backwards in time.
Princeton University’s Richard
Gott describes wormholes as shortcuts through space and time
that connect two distant points, like a worm tunnel through an
apple. "You jump into the wormhole and instantly pop out on
Alpha Centauri; you’ve gone through a tunnel that connects two
places in spacetime.”
Although today’s laws of physics
cannot rule out time travel, the idea is laden with problems.
Say we travel back in time and stop our parents from getting
together. This would prevent us from being born; we could not
exist and our journey in time couldn’t happen – scientists call
this a paradox. We created a past different from the one that
Clearly, mischievous time
travelers cannot change the present. People are not suddenly
disappearing because a rerun of events has prevented their
birth. Therefore, something is stopping time travelers from
changing our present, and physicists Stephen Hawking, Michio
Kaku, and others believe they know what it is – parallel
This holds that we inhabit a universe with an infinite number of
other worlds. If you travel through time and convince your
parents to split, you will immediately be thrust into a parallel
universe; one where you never existed. You become a visitor in
this new universe, but you can never return to your original
universe because you don’t exist there anymore.
The longing to hug a departed
loved one or foil atrocities, are among the compelling reasons
that keep the dream of time travel alive in the minds of many.
However, assuming that nobody wants to get lost in a strange
universe, an advanced civilization might find the following
applications worth pursuing:
the future could allow humanity to become aware of dangerous
threats in plenty of time to find solutions.
travel would enable us to scan minds of lost loved ones the
night before they died, and with tomorrow’s technology
advances, allow them to continue living in our time.
construction is beyond today’s knowledge, positive futurists
believe that humanity will one day think with super-intelligent
minds governed by physics, not biology; and over the next few
millennia, could easily learn to harness these wonders.
We dream of breathtaking changes ahead as we approach the era
when machines surpass human intelligence. We ponder how our
"magical future” might unfold. What miracles will civilization
accomplish? Will we develop exotic planets; discover aliens;
travel through time? Only time will tell.
This article appeared in various print publications and
on-line blogs. Comments always welcome.