Astrophysicists have long claimed time travel is something which is impossible because of the laws of the universe.
We have mass, which means we can’t travel faster than the speed of light, which means we can’t time travel and even if we can, we’ll never be able to reverse the clock.
At least, that’s the prevailing belief under Einstein’s theory of special relativity.
Yet, a prominent astrophysicist has claimed there’s actually ‘nothing forbidding’ what has previously been thought as impossible, report Forbes.
Before you ask, it’s nothing like Back To The Future or even Doctor Who for that matter.
Ethan Siegel explains the universe is comprised of particles which have energy and either mass or no mass.
Because of this, under our current understanding of the universe and anti-particles, it’s ’eminently possible’ the opposite of these positive particles will exist.
Such particles will have negative mass and negative energy, which could be the key to travelling back in time?
Siegel’s hypotheses is, if the positive and negative energy fluctuations can be connected, a wormhole will spring into existence.
If this negative mass/energy matter exists, then creating both a supermassive black hole and the negative mass/energy counterpart to it, while then connecting them, should allow for a traversible wormhole.
If you connected these two curvature regions together, you could – for a brief instant – arrive at the notion of a quantum wormhole.
If the wormhole lasted for long enough, you could even potentially transport a particle through it, allowing it to instantly disappear from one location in spacetime and reappear in another.
Lets break that down into an example of somoene trying to travel to somewhere that’s 40 light years away – meaning it would take light 40 years to get there.
If we talk about the same speeds as we did earlier, the ‘in motion’ end of the wormole would have aged 40 years, but the ‘at rest’ end would only have aged by one year.
Step into the relativistic end of the wormhole, and you arrive back on Earth only one year after the wormhole was created, while you yourself may have had 40 years of time to pass.
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Basically, one half of the wormhole will be ‘motionless’, while the other moves at the speed of light.
Here is where relativity plays a factor, as movement affects time dilation in space.
So you could sit pretty in the moving half of the wormhole and 40 years would pass, but then you could take a short walk to the other side of the wormhole and, voila!
You’ve sat in a wormhole for 40 years and only missed out on one year of life outside the wormhole. Because science.
To be fair, it would probably be better to send a robot in there and wait for it to come out in 40 years time just to test it out.
Still, it would be pretty awesome being the first human to ever travel in time – it would definitely put you in the history books for the rest of time.