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Thread: Time Travel & Future Galactic Advances

  1. #1
    CrinklySiren

    Default Time Travel & Future Galactic Advances

    Don't know if this belongs in mature topics or off topic, but it seems like it takes a certain level of maturity to accurately discuss science :P so i'll just post it here.

    Last night I was watching Into The Universe with Stephen Hawking on Netflix and I was watching an episode about Time Travel and if it's possible. Long story short it was said that while Traveling to the past is impossible (due to wormholes eating up too much feedback and caused a paradox), time travel to the future is very possible and could actually be accomplished, just not in the traditional sense. In the show, he said that The farther we are from earth and the closer we travel at the speed of light, the slower time goes. Meaning that if we traveled to 90-99% near the speed of light (or what sci-fi movies call FTL or Hyperspace), we hit a cosmic speed limit that slows down our movement at that speed to prevent us from breaking the speed of light, and in turn we slow down time itself. Not to mention also that the greater the mass of an object is, the slower time appears to move (ofcourse on earth this is only measured by a billionth of a second which is not even noticeable, but in larger quantities it would undoubtedly be noticed)

    Anyway, to keep it short, it was determined that reaching the speed of light, which to be honest would be the only way we could reach outer planets and neighboring star systems within a reasonable amount of time, would result in literaly travelling through time to the point of which having spent a week in a ship traveling at 99% the speed of light, would result in having passed 2 years on earth. Having said this, wouldn't it be impossible to travel between planets or systems? By the time they reach the planet for the ship's crew it will have only been a week but on earth it will have been 2 years! Imagine longer! How could we ever transfer the data before the people working on earth died of old age? Its mind boggling, really.

    Also, doesn't this rule out the possibility that aliens could ever actually VISIT us? I mean I'm sure they are out there and I'm sure we are not alone in this vast universe, but if travelling through space fast enough to reach great distances results in a breach through the fabric of time, wouldn't it become impossible?

    Don't know if this thread is gonna catch on but i'd like to hear some opinions on this :P

  2. #2

    Default

    Time dilation is an unfortunate hurdle we'll have to overcome if we wish to travel close to the speed of light. As you said, the differences between crew and Earth, especially on long-distance missions, would just be too inefficient for any sort of exploratory, data-collection mission. Nevermind the fact we'd need some high energy system to actually propel ourselves to such a speed... or a little bending of space.

    Personally, I'm more of a wormhole kind of guy. I feel we should invest more effort in negating the distance, rather than traversing it. Wormholes are a viable option - the warping of space to effectively reduce the travel distance to zero.

  3. #3
    CrinklySiren

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Oateson View Post
    I feel we should invest more effort in negating the distance, rather than traversing it. Wormholes are a viable option - the warping of space to effectively reduce the travel distance to zero.
    This would be a good idea but first we would have to get a small wormhole (the microscopic ones found all over the place occurring and de-occurring all the time in billionths of the size of an atom) and find a way to expand it, as well as keep it open for longer than a second, and even when this became possible, it would only be a one-way trip because there is no going back... at least not through a newly opened wormhole.

    If they were to somehow find the ability to expand and maintain a wormhole to the future, they would have to keep it open long enough for the person(s) going through to go and return because if that portal closes, they'd be stuck in the future as travel to the past is impossible... and the energy required to keep a wormhole open for that long (at least for now anyway) could be catastrophic, but we can take solace in the fact that it IS a possibility. Its pretty crazy though how time runs differently throughout the universe, its said that if we were able to travel the speed of light, we would reach the edge of the universe within approximately 80 years.

    EDIT: Sorry i was still thinking in terms of Time lol, It would make sense to make wormholes in such a way to create one and have another appear in a distant location, kinda like how stargates work lol the only question is how they would calculate the distance of which a portal would appear :P

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZooeySis View Post
    This would be a good idea but first we would have to get a small wormhole (the microscopic ones found all over the place occurring and de-occurring all the time in billionths of the size of an atom) and find a way to expand it, as well as keep it open for longer than a second, and even when this became possible, it would only be a one-way trip because there is no going back... at least not through a newly opened wormhole.

    If they were to somehow find the ability to expand and maintain a wormhole to the future, they would have to keep it open long enough for the person(s) going through to go and return because if that portal closes, they'd be stuck in the future as travel to the past is impossible... and the energy required to keep a wormhole open for that long (at least for now anyway) could be catastrophic, but we can take solace in the fact that it IS a possibility. Its pretty crazy though how time runs differently throughout the universe, its said that if we were able to travel the speed of light, we would reach the edge of the universe within approximately 80 years.
    A wormhole may not even be necessary, actually. If you could fold space just right, you could theoretical join up any two points (or planes) so they are perfectly adjacent. Then simply cross-over, unfold space, and you're instantly at your destination.

  5. #5
    CrinklySiren

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oateson View Post
    A wormhole may not even be necessary, actually. If you could fold space just right, you could theoretical join up any two points (or planes) so they are perfectly adjacent. Then simply cross-over, unfold space, and you're instantly at your destination.
    *mind is blown* I would like to be alive to witness the first time they are able to do this lol

    btw also just having finished reading the article, THAT would be amazing, when i first read the part of requiring the energy equivalent to that of an object with the mass of JUPITER I literally gasped lol. But then i read the rest of it. One could only venture a guess as to how long it would take to develop such a technology :P as well as harness the appropriate amount of energy

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Oateson View Post
    A wormhole may not even be necessary, actually. If you could fold space just right, you could theoretical join up any two points (or planes) so they are perfectly adjacent. Then simply cross-over, unfold space, and you're instantly at your destination.
    If you could fold space just right...while theoretically this is true, its just in Theory. It seems like expanding a wormhole would be easier.

    Coming back to reality, the fact is even if we DO somehow achieve the speed of light (which would require an infinite amount of energy) or 99% of it, the closest star outside of our solar system is 4.3 Light years away. The Very Closest one. Let alone the other planets that we might want to explore, even with the slow down, space exploration through a spacecraft is not practical for manned missions.

  7. #7

    Smile

    An interesting thing I once heard is that we are always travelling at exactly the speed of light through space-time. If we are stationary (relative to an observer), we appear to travel through time at the speed of light (um... yeah...), but as we increase our speed through space, our speed through time reduces so that we maintain a constant overall speed through space-time.

    I'm not entirely sure how much sense that makes, and whether it's true or just metaphorical, however... :-/



    Quote Originally Posted by ZooeySis View Post
    Anyway, to keep it short, it was determined that reaching the speed of light, which to be honest would be the only way we could reach outer planets and neighboring star systems within a reasonable amount of time, would result in literaly travelling through time to the point of which having spent a week in a ship traveling at 99% the speed of light, would result in having passed 2 years on earth. Having said this, wouldn't it be impossible to travel between planets or systems? By the time they reach the planet for the ship's crew it will have only been a week but on earth it will have been 2 years! Imagine longer! How could we ever transfer the data before the people working on earth died of old age? Its mind boggling, really.
    I think it is (in theory) perfectly possible to reach anywhere in the universe if you could travel fast enough. But any means of transmitting data would be affected by the time dilation, so, as the people on the spaceship transmit data about their "future", the speed of the data transmission (to the people on earth) would appear to slow down correspondingly. (I think...)

    As the spaceship approaches the speed of light, even if it can transmit data at the speed of light, that's only a tiny bit faster than the speed at which the spaceship is moving away from earth. So the data received would (from the point of view of the people on earth) concern the present... Actually, with the delay from transmission to receipt, it would concern the recent-past... I think.

    But... even if wormholes can't be "opened up" so that large objects like people can travel through space-time unscathed, perhaps a tiny wormhole, or some kind of quantum entaglement could be used to transmit data from the "future" ship to the past...? I'm slightly sceptical... but really, I can barely wrap my head round the subject!



    Quote Originally Posted by ZooeySis View Post
    Also, doesn't this rule out the possibility that aliens could ever actually VISIT us? I mean I'm sure they are out there and I'm sure we are not alone in this vast universe, but if travelling through space fast enough to reach great distances results in a breach through the fabric of time, wouldn't it become impossible?
    I don't think travelling fast results in any breaches of the fabric of space-time (time is only one dimension of the fabric, remember!). If aliens travelled towards us very quickly, they would appear (to us) to be travelling slowly, so would take a ridiculous amount of time (from our perspective) for them to arrive. So maybe the universe isn't old enough to have created intelligent life that has been able to travel fast enough from our perspective to find us...

    I don't know... I have probably got all of that wrong! This stuff makes my head hurt, but it's fun to think about!

  8. #8

    Default

    The folding of space to bring two points to congruence is called a tesseract. IE "the shortest route between two points is not a straight line." quite a few science fiction/fantasy writers have explored the concept. A fair number of scientists as well have looked into it. Advances in Quantum and String Theory have me cautiously optimistic.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orcaway View Post
    If you could fold space just right...while theoretically this is true, its just in Theory.
    So? Wormholes are still in theory too.

    Folding, or at least warping space is quite easy. You're doing it right now. In fact every single thing that has a mass is doing it. But the scale of objects we deal with frequently preclude any noticeable effects. The trick is generating a mass, (specifically: a gravitational sink) large enough to fold or warp space entirely over on itself so two distant points become next to each other.

  10. #10

    Default

    The trick isn't bending space, it's not bending the passengers when you take advantage of the bent space.
    Tiny, to rephrase, we have have a constant velocity along space-time, so changing the vector along one alters the other in a proportional manner?

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