The World’s First Time Machine
Nowadays, our entire lives are laid out by the clock. There’s a time to work, to relax, to sleep. They say you should take your time. They also say if you wait long enough (in essence if you let enough time pass), good things will come to you. Time is probably the most important thing in our lives. It progresses only in one direction, every moment that happened will not happen again.
The prospect of time and its unique properties have caused serious research into the field, and shortly after Einstein’s release of the Theory of Relativity, space and time have been merged to form the four dimensional spacetime. Einstein’s assumptions about gravity and time as such sounded promising at the time, but no one was sure. Today we know that time dilatation is a very real thing. It basically means that the faster you go, the more time slows down. But not for you, only for outside viewers. We therefore know, that time is something that is there. We also know that there are Black Holes, which in essence are the remainders of collapsed stars, and so super-massive, that even light cannot escape, and that it bends space to a near unimaginable level. Let’s put it like this: The closer you get to a Black Hole, the more and more time slows down – for an outside viewer. You would appear to go slower and slower, while you yourself would feel nothing of the effect. Eventually time gets so twisted, that the last second in your life, never passes in a billion years (or more).
The Persistence of Memory. Salvador Dali’s most famous painting. The imagery can be read as a graphic illustration of Einstein’s theory of relativity, depicting gravity distorting time.
But why am I telling you all of this? Black Holes, relativity, and all that? Well, it all has to do with a very interesting experiment that is supposed to take place in a time not so far away – and if the theory holds true, we’re probably talking about the biggest and greatest discovery that mankind will ever make:
A working time machine.
You’re probably thinking that I have seen too much Sci-Fi movies and stuff. I know. And it’s perfectly natural to think that because science has always shown us that time travel if it all possible, would only be into the future. And even that would require technology or devices not yet proposed or invented for that matter. So am I nuts? Or what is going on here? Can such a thing like H.G. Wells’ Time Machine really be done?
Ronald L. Mallett is a Ph.D., and professor of physics at the University of Connecticut, who became interested in time travel and the possibilities of practical application, when his father died. For his entire life, he has been searching for possibilities that could make a dream of the entire world come true.
Alexander Hartdegen embarks on a journey that will change his life forever. Scene from the 2002 remake of The Time Machine, directed by Simon Wells
And believe it or not, Ronald has indeed come up with a paper, which works as a blueprint for a working time machine. How does it work? It all has to do with the speed of light. And Lasers. Why Lasers? They can, if concentrated enough, bend light itself. Building on this fact, he proposes a device, inside which there are Lasers, which light beams are reflected in a horizontal 90 degree angle, essentially giving you a Laser square if you will. Now you do the same on top of the square, but with a slightly different angle, but also horizontal. You repeat this again and again, until you get a spiral like tunnel of Laser squares. Such a device is called a ring-laser.
With the help of such a device, Mallett believes to have found the key for time travel into the past.
“In Einstein’s general theory of relativity, both matter and energy can create a gravitational field. This means that the energy of a light beam can produce a gravitational field. My current research considers both the weak and strong gravitational fields produced by a single continuously circulating unidirectional beam of light. In the weak gravitational field of a unidirectional ring laser, it is predicted that a spinning neutral particle, when placed in the ring, is dragged around by the resulting gravitational field. [R. L. Mallett, “Weak gravitational field of the electromagnetic radiation in a ring laser”, Phys. Lett. A 269, 214 (2000)
He further explains:
“For the strong gravitational field of a circulating cylinder of light, I have found new exact solutions of the Einstein field equations for the exterior and interior gravitational fields of the light cylinder. The exterior gravitational field is shown to contain closed timelike lines.
The presence of closed timelike lines indicates the possibility of time travel into the past. This creates the foundation for a time machine based on a circulating cylinder of light. [R. L. Mallett, “The gravitational field of a circulating light beam”, Foundations of Physics 33, 1307 (2003).
Okay. It is difficult to understand that. So this means: The lasers have gravitation, they have a mass. When inside a ring laser, you will have a measurable amount of gravity. And if you throw in a particle, or visual information in form of energy, or light, what happens is that it will bounce off the lasers, again and again, go faster and faster, in a spiral (it hits each laser), and eventually exceeding the speed of light, without breaking any laws of physics.
With the particle going faster and faster, it will eventually spiral its way down… into the past, and vanish.
What then happens can have some very bizarre consequences, but are definetely in the realm of possibility. The moment the machine is turned on, it is very possible that particles start to show up inside the ring laser, before they were sent away. Because they are traveling into the past. With this, you could also send messages into the past.
However, if you don’t believe me, and I know most of you won’t, then watch this Discovery documentary, which explains the prospect of this machine, and the paradoxes involved, as well as what it could mean for mankind.
Discovery channel: The world’s first Time Machine
Still think I’m nuts?