Solving the problems of time travel

Physicists know that time travel is more than just a compelling plot device in movies — it’s a serious prediction of Einstein’s general relativity equations.

Any theory of time travel has to confront the devastating “grandfather paradox,” in which a traveler jumps back in time and kills his grandfather, which prevents his own existence, which then prevents the murder in the first place, and so on.

Scientists have come up with a model of time travel that explicitly forbids these inconsistencies.

For instance, a bullet-maker would be inordinately more likely to produce a defective bullet if that very bullet was going to be used later to kill a time traveler’s grandfather, or the gun would misfire, or some little quantum fluctuation has to whisk the bullet away at the last moment. In this version of time travel, the grandfather is “a tough guy to kill”.

Deciding which theory of time travel is best is largely a matter of taste. Until someone figures out how to build a time machine, no one will know the answer. Read more here.

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One Response to “Solving the problems of time travel”

  1. Oscar G. Says:

    Ugh… Time travel. One of the most confusing topics i have ever had to think about. Tying my brain into knots trying to figure out paradox’s which have no answer is just tiring.

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