Thoughts On Time

Never ‘Back’ in Time

Thoughts On Time

Thoughts On Time

Continuing from the last post where I introduced you to notsoscientific and the ‘time-travel teddy-bear’ we human beings love to cuddle with, let me now explain why you should keep that cute little teddy back in the drawer and grow out of it.

Using nothing more than the layman’s language and intelligence I have deduced that time travel to the past is impossible; or rather the time-traveller makes it impossible. Confused? Read on.

Let us first concentrate on a basic principle of physics and mathematics, which is :

While moving in any of the three dimensions of length, breadth or/and height (scientifically said: moving along the x, y or/and the z axis), one cannot skip the intermediate positions in the path towards the final position.

For example, if you want to grab that cup of coffee before the other man waiting at the counter does, you need to stretch your hands towards it through the space between your hand and the cup. You just cannot grab the cup without moving your hand towards it through the space separating your hand from it. Now you may thrash me for this, thinking that this is all commonsense and  you already know  it. Yet you will see how applying this common sensical thought at uncommon places can give wonderful results. For a while keep this ‘commonsensical thought’ jotted down in your mind. We will be needing it later.

Now, as we all know (hopefully) that the very reputed Physicist Albert Einstein established that space and time be treated as the same. So we are made to believe that TIME is just another dimension like length, breadth and height; and it observes the same rules as the other three. Therefore movement in time must follow the same rules as movement in space.

Now recollecting that ‘commonsensical thought’ we see that if we are to go ahead by two hours in time we have to go through each picosecond between our current time and the final time (which we all experience everyday while happily snorting away to glory and enjoying the afternoon siesta :)). The same applies to going back in time. If we are to go back in time by two hours, we will have go back through each picosecond to reach our desired time.

Coming to the climax of the movie, we now have a fearless time-traveller who is ready to go back in time by five minutes (very fearless! :)). He walks proudly toward his H.G.Wells style time machine, takes his seat with his chest bursting with confidence, configures the settings, sets the time to five minutes in the past, and, pushes the START button which goes into the ‘ON’ position. Let us make an assumption here, that the great time-machine works. This brings us to the paradox hidden in the situation. If the machine works, it will go back in time by each picosecond, so the time-traveller will also go back in time by each picosecond. We have already seen that space and time are interconnected, so if we go back in time we will be repeating our actions in the other three dimensions also! So the time-traveller would do what he did earlier in a reverse chronological order.

It is the same as running a movie clip in the reverse direction( try it yourself). When you run a movie clip in the reverse direction, what just happened repeats itself, but backwards. The cup which may have broken in the movie collects back, jumps back to the table and become one piece again!

Coming back to the topic, if the time-traveller starts travelling into the past he would do everything he did (in the three dimensions) backwards, starting from his last action and ending at his first action.

If you remember clearly, the last action that the time-traveller performed was to switch on the machine ( starting the machine takes almost no time because the machine starts just after pushing the START button), so now while going back in time the first action he would be doing would be of pulling back the START button to the OFF position. Just when he would do this the machine would stop working and we would see that the time-travel would have been stopped. The time-traveller himself would have forgotten what he did because his brain would also have gone back in time by that infinitely small time while he switched off the machine.He would have come back by such a small time that it would have made no difference to him. Hence, for him, the machine would have never worked!

SO we see that even if time travel to the past is possible, the process of time travel becomes a cause of its own termination! Seeing the same thing in a different way, we can say that if you are to travel back to the past you become the reason of stopping the process. You are the one who stops the machine! Fascinating! Looks like you subconsciously do not want to go back in time!  In fact, it would seem as if no time traveller wants to go back in time! Really mind-boggling! This shows us why time travel to the past is actually a paradox and no achievable reality. So if you really want to go back to the past keep clicking some pictures and videos; and have a look at them sometime in the future because time travel is ‘notsoscientifically’ impossible.


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