Time Travel
Moving Between Different Points in Time

Time Travel (Ronald Mallett)
Moving Between Different Points in Time

For quite some time, Ronald Mallett has been working on plans for a time machine. This machine uses a ring laser and the theory of relativity.

Mallett first argued that the ring laser would produce a limited amount of frame-dragging which might be measured experimentally, saying: 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.

In a later paper, he argued that at sufficient energies, the circulating laser might produce not just frame-dragging but also closed time-like curves, allowing time travel into the past: 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 time-like 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.

Today, we know that time travel need not be confined to myths, science fiction, Hollywood movies, or even speculation by theoretical physicists. Time travel is possible. For example, an object traveling at high speeds ages more slowly than a stationary object. This means that if you were to travel into outer space and return, moving close to light speed, you could travel thousands of years into the Earth's future.

- CLIFFORD PICKOVER, Time: A Traveler's Guide

Funding for his program, now known as The Space-time Twisting by Light (STL) project, is progressing. Full details on the project, Mallett's theories, a list of upcoming public lectures and links to popular articles on his work can be found at the professor's UConn web page, and an illustration showing the concept on which Mallett has designed the time machine can be seen on a Geocities web-page.

He also wrote a book titled Time Traveler: A Scientist's Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality, co-written with New York Times best-selling author Bruce B. Henderson, that was first published in 2006. In June 2008, motion picture director Spike Lee's production company announced it had acquired the film rights to Mallett's book. Lee is co-writing the movie script and directing the picture.

CNN: Dr. Ronald Mallett's Time Travel Machine

They are currently among the greats of science, innovation, initiative and adventure: Stephen Hawking, John Archibald Wheeler, Lawrence Krauss, Michio Kaku, Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, Bill Gates, Richard Branson.

And perhaps, before long, the name of Ronald Mallett will be added to that list of modern day pathfinders and pioneers. Mallett, a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Connecticut, has been working on a time travel machine.

The American physicist's invention would use a ring laser and Einstein's theory of general relativity. It would manipulate past, present and future by twisting Space and, along with it, Time into a loop.

Imagine conquering the virgin frontier of Time like conquering the Atlantic or the Galactic. Reaching the distant shores of the past as the first European explorers reached the distant shores of America. But human travel through Time is probably a long way away.

First things first. Dr. Mallet and his fellow scientists must first perform their historic experiment, and they are currently trying to raise $250,000 to do just that. The Univ. of Connecticut Foundation, a nonprofit agency responsible for managing funding, has opened an account for donations to Prof. Mallett's time travel research.

The official name of this scientific program is "The Space-Time Twisting by Light Project".

The Universe - Time Travel
Traveling into the Future

A look at time travel; how it could one day become reality; how Einstein's theory of relativity claims it is possible, and the probable results of traveling to the future and the mind-boggling consequences of traveling to 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.

In technical papers, physicists generally avoid the commonplace language of "moving" or "traveling" through time, 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, but the physical plausibility of these solutions is uncertain.

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" (according to relativity there is no single objective answer to how much time has 'really' passed between the departure and the return, but there is an objective answer to how much proper time has been experienced by both the Earth and the traveler, i.e. how much each has aged).

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 resolved.

The 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.

Stephen Hawking once suggested that the absence of tourists from the future constitutes an argument against the existence of time travel—a variant of the Fermi paradox.

Of course this would not prove that time travel is physically impossible, since it might be that time travel is physically possible but that it is never in fact developed (or is cautiously never used); and even if it is developed, Hawking notes elsewhere that time travel might only be possible in a region of spacetime that is warped in the right way, and that if we cannot create such a region until the future, then time travelers would not be able to travel back before that date, so "This picture would explain why we haven't been over run by tourists from the future."

Carl Sagan also once suggested the possibility that time travelers could be here, but are disguising their existence or are not recognized as time travelers.

However, the theory of general relativity does suggest scientific grounds for thinking backwards time travel could be possible in certain unusual scenarios, although arguments from semiclassical gravity suggest that when quantum effects are incorporated into general relativity, these loopholes may be closed.

These semiclassical arguments led Hawking to formulate the chronology protection conjecture, suggesting that the fundamental laws of nature prevent time travel, but physicists cannot come to a definite judgment on the issue without a theory of quantum gravity to join quantum mechanics and general relativity into a completely unified theory.