UBC instructor uses math to investigate possibility of time travel

Time Travel

Pull out your list of regrets, mistakes and runs of just plain bad luck, because it turns out you can go back.

"People think of time travel as something as fiction", says Tippett.

In a UBC news release, Tippett said that since 1949, experts in his field have been looking at the possibility of mathematical time machines. Tippett said that while time travel is a mathematically feasible concept, it's not yet possible to build a machine for that.

Many consider time travel theory to be a hoax.

This is not the first time the scientific duo, who study black holes and Einstein's theory of relativity when they're not trying to make a Tardis, have tackled the maths of time travel.

Einstein's theory of relativity links gravitational effects in the Universe to a curvature of space-time - the phenomenon thought to be behind the elliptical orbits of planets and stars. He proposed that curvatures in space-time continuum are simultaneous with curvatures in the time direction of the space.

Appropriately named Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime (TARDIS), the model plays with the idea of using the curvature of time and space to bend time into a circle, allowing passengers of the time machine to travel back in time. The closer one gets to a black hole, he says, time moves slower.

"My model of a time machine uses the curved space-time to bend time into a circle for the passengers, not in a straight line".

"In this paper we present geometry which has been created to fit a layperson's description of a "time machine"," Tippett and Tsang wrote in the paper's abstract.

Oh, cool. So all we have to do is build this time-bending machine and we're off to 2012 to bet everything we have on the then-laughably long odds of a European Union without the United Kingdom, a U.S. president named Trump and the world champion Chicago Cubs.

Tippett recently published an article in Classical and Quantum Gravity, an IOP Science journal, on the same topic.

But before we get into the madness of legit time travel, let's put this into perspective real quick - the researchers aren't claiming to have a blueprint for a Doctor Who-style time machine that can be built tomorrow.

On paper, Tippett describes the machine as "a bubble of space-time geometry" which can move through space and time following a large circular path. In fact, it was the same Mr. Einstein that inspired all this far-out speculative math to begin with.

"Delighted external observers would be able to watch the time travellers within the box evolving backwards in time: un-breaking eggs and separating cream from their coffee". Some use metahuman abilities to do so, but most rely on a device generally known as a time machine. All we need to do is break the speed of light barrier and get ahold of some physics-defying exotic matter that may or may not be real.

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