The Race Against Time
Moving Between Different Points in Time
|The Race Against Time
Moving Between Different Points in Time
| Time is a part
of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the
durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify
rates of change such as the motions of objects.
Time has been a major subject of religion, philosophy, and science, but
defining it in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of
study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars.
object time travels if and only if the difference between its departure
and arrival times as measured in the surrounding world does not equal
the duration of the journey undergone by the object.
Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in
a manner analogous to moving between different points in space, either
sending objects (or in some cases just information) backwards in time to
some moment before the present, or sending objects forward from the
present to the future without the need to experience the intervening
period (at least not at the normal rate).
Although time travel has been a common plot device
in fiction since the 19th century, and one-way travel into the future is
arguably possible given the phenomenon of time dilation based on
velocity in the theory of special relativity (exemplified by the twin
paradox), as well as gravitational time dilation in the theory of
general relativity, it is currently unknown whether the laws of physics
would allow backwards time travel.
Any technological device, whether fictional or hypothetical, that is
used to achieve time travel is commonly known as a time machine.
The DeLorean time machine is a fictional automobile-based time travel device featured in the Back to the Future trilogy.
Some interpretations of time travel also suggest that an attempt to
travel backwards in time might take one to a parallel universe whose
history would begin to diverge from the traveler's original history
after the moment the traveler arrived in the past.
Some theories, most notably special and general
relativity, suggest that suitable geometries of spacetime, or specific
types of motion in space, might allow time travel into the past and
future if these geometries or motions are possible.
papers, physicists generally avoid the commonplace language of "moving"
or "traveling" through time ('movement' normally refers only to a
change in spatial position as the time coordinate is varied), and
instead discuss the possibility of closed timelike curves, which are
worldlines that form closed loops in spacetime, allowing objects to
return to their own past.
There are known to be solutions to the equations of general relativity
that describe spacetimes which contain closed timelike curves (such as
Gödel spacetime), but the physical plausibility of these solutions is
Relativity states that if one were to move away
from the Earth at relativistic velocities and return, more time would
have passed on Earth than for the traveler, so in this sense it is
accepted that relativity allows "travel into the future" (although
according to relativity there is no single objective answer to how much
time has 'really' passed between the departure and the return).
On the other hand, many in the scientific community
believe that backwards time travel is highly unlikely. Any theory which
would allow time travel would require that problems of causality be
classic example of a problem involving causality is the "grandfather
paradox": what if one were to go back in time and kill one's own
grandfather before one's father was conceived?
But some scientists
believe that paradoxes can be avoided, either by appealing to the
Novikov self-consistency principle or to the notion of branching
parallel universes. The faster you travel, the slower time ticks. So time is not fixed at
all. Time has been defined as the continuum in which events occur in succession from the past to the present and on to the future.
Time has also been defined as a one-dimensional quantity used to sequence events, to quantify the durations of events and the intervals between them, and (used together with other quantities such as space) to quantify and measure the motions of objects and other changes.
Time is quantified in comparative terms (such as longer, shorter, faster, quicker, slower) or in numerical terms using units (such as seconds, minutes, hours, days). Time has been a major subject of religion, philosophy, and science, but defining it in a non-controversial manner applicable to all fields of study has consistently eluded the greatest scholars.
The Universe - Time Travel
The arrow of time, or time’s arrow, is a term coined in 1927 by the British astronomer Arthur Eddington to describe the "one-way direction" or "asymmetry" of time.
This direction, which can be determined, according to Eddington, by studying the organization of atoms, molecules and bodies, might be drawn upon a four-dimensional relativistic map of the world ("a solid block of paper").
Physical processes at the microscopic level are believed to be either entirely or mostly time-symmetric: if the direction of time were to reverse, the theoretical statements that describe them would remain true.
Yet at the macroscopic level it often appears that this is not the case: there is an obvious direction (or flow) of time. Time is one of the seven fundamental physical quantities in the International System of Units. Time is used to define other quantities — such as velocity — so defining time in terms of such quantities would result in circularity of definition.
An operational definition of time, wherein one says that observing a certain number of repetitions of one or another standard cyclical event (such as the passage of a free-swinging pendulum) constitutes one standard unit such as the second, is highly useful in the conduct of both advanced experiments and everyday affairs of life.
The operational definition leaves aside the question whether there is something called time, apart from the counting activity just mentioned, that flows and that can be measured.
An objection that is sometimes raised against the concept of time
machines in science fiction is that they ignore the motion of the Earth
between the date the time machine departs and the date it returns.
idea that a traveler can go into a machine that sends him or her to 1865
and step out into the exact same spot on Earth might be said to ignore
the issue that Earth is moving through space around the Sun, which is
moving in the galaxy, and so on, so that advocates of this argument
imagine that "realistically" the time machine should actually reappear
in space far away from the Earth's position at that date.
Investigations of a single continuum called spacetime bring questions about space into questions about time, questions that have their roots in the works of early students of natural philosophy.
Among prominent philosophers, there are two distinct viewpoints on time. One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence.
Sir Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time.
Time travel, in this view, becomes a possibility as other "times" persist like frames of a film strip, spread out across the time line.
The opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of "container" that events and objects "move through", nor to any entity that "flows", but that it is instead part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events.
This second view, in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz and Immanuel Kant, holds that time is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable nor can it be traveled.
Temporal measurement has occupied scientists and technologists, and was a prime motivation in navigation and astronomy.
Periodic events and periodic motion have long served as standards for units of time. Examples include the apparent motion of the sun across the sky, the phases of the moon, the swing of a pendulum, and the beat of a heart. Currently, the international unit of time, the second, is defined in terms of radiation emitted by caesium atoms.
Time is also of significant social importance, having economic value ("time is money") as well as personal value, due to an awareness of the limited time in each day and in human life spans. Ray Cummings, an early writer of science fiction, wrote in 1922, "Time… is what keeps everything from happening at once", a sentence repeated by scientists such as C. J. Overbeck, and John Archibald Wheeler.