Page 3 of 3
If time travel is possible, shouldn't a time machine already exist?
The idea is that once the problems are worked out and a means/mechanism/machine/modus for time transport is devised, said machine should then exist for all time. Putting it another way, if someone calculates the level of improbability of such a machine, feeds this calculation into a computer connected to a nice cup of really hot tea and turns it on, the time machine is simply called into existence (as was the infinite improbability drive in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams). Well, there is a problem with this. We can perceive only X, Y, Z, and T (where T is apparently a linear straight line). Whereas, the time travel means/mechanism/machine/modus would exist at Tx, Ty, Tz, X, Y, Z. We can not directly perceive of that machine, just the same as a two-dimensional being cannot directly perceive a three-dimensional object. The machine could already exist. There are two discernable possibilities here:
Perhaps the closest idea of what an initial time machine might be is described by Frank Herbert in his novel, "Dune." That is, passengers enter a cylinder. A "navigator," who has the ability to perceive the space-time continuum, folds space-time and thus the cylinder instantly travels vast distances, such as across the galaxy. The cylinder would hopefully shield the passengers from the temporary chaos of transitioning from one point to another point in the space-time continuum.
Ultimately, it may be discovered that a physical machine is not required for time travel - the modus being an integral part of our own being.
One final note before you time travel (or, go into and come out of stasis) - if you don't know exactly where you are and where you are going in the space-time continuum, you could end up being any where, any when. Three dimensions plus the time shown on a clock are not going to be sufficient to insure safe travel.
The first attempt at time travel might be accomplished in a very small and controlled way. A magnet placed on a superconductor cooled with liquid nitrogen will float above the surface of the superconductor when it reaches its critical temperature. After placing this apparatus in a vacuum, the magnet could then be made to jump a few femtoseconds into the future. The magnet is not directly in contact with solid matter and the brief interval would reduce the position error from imprecise calculations of the curvature of space-time. As the intent would be to skip the magnet ahead briefly into the future, this would avoid the occurrence of paradox.
<- Previous Page