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Is 'Looper'-like Time Travel Possible? Scientists Say Maybe

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Guardian Angel
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« on: October 01, 2012, 01:29:05 am »


Is 'Looper'-like Time Travel Possible? Scientists Say Maybe
by Clara Moskowitz, SPACE.com Assistant Managing Editor
Date: 28 September 2012 Time: 10:50 AM ET
Live-science
inShare2
Joseph Gordon-Levitt Brandishing a Gun in "Looper"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt as "Joe" in TriStar Pictures, Film District, and End Game Entertainment's action thriller "Looper." Release date: September 28, 2012.
CREDIT: Alan Markfield/Sony Pictures
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Time travel is a staple of science fiction, with the latest rendition showing up in the film "Looper." And it turns out jumps through time are possible, according to the laws of physics, though traveling into the future looks to be much more feasible than traveling into the past.

"Looper" stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Joe, an assassin who kills targets sent back in time by the mob. Things get complicated when Joe is assigned to kill his future self, played by Bruce Willis. The movie, produced by TriStar Pictures, opens today (Sept. 28).

In this imagining, time travel has been put to nefarious uses by people operating outside the law. But could such a thing ever happen in real life? [Gallery: Time Travel in "Looper"]

"It's actually consistent with the laws of physics to change the rate at which clocks run," said Edward Farhi, director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT. "There's no question that you can skip into the future."

However, Farhi told LiveScience, "most physicists think you can go forward, but coming back is much more problematic."

The roots of time travel stem from Einstein's theory of relativity, which revealed how the passage of time is relative, depending on how fast you are traveling. The faster you go, the more time seems to slow down, so that a person traveling on a very fast starship, for example, would experience a journey in two weeks that seemed to take 20 years to people left behind on Earth.

In this way, a person who wanted to travel to a period in the future need only board a fast enough vehicle to kill some time.

"That was a huge thing when Einstein realized the flow of time was not a constant thing," Farhi said.

However, this kind of manipulation only affects the rate at which time moves forward. No matter your speed, time will still progress toward the future, leaving scientists struggling to predict how one might travel to the past.

Some outlandish solutions to Einstein's equations do suggest that traveling backward in time might be possible, but to do so could require about half the mass of the universe in energy, and would likely destroy the universe in the process.

And even if science presented a method for backward time travel, there are troubling paradoxes involved.

"If you could go back in time, you could prevent your parents from getting together and making you," Farhi said. "I think some people might say it ends there." [Video - Looper Time-Travel]

Still, since physics doesn't forbid time travel in either direction, the door remains open for future solutions.

"I don't know of a definitive theorem that says it absolutely cannot happen, other than it leads to logical paradoxes and it can also cause the entire universe to collapse," Farhi said.

Follow Clara Moskowitz on Twitter @ClaraMoskowitz or LiveScience @livescience. We're also on Facebook & Google+.


http://www.space.com/17811-time-travel-possible-looper.html
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Volitzer
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 01:44:42 pm »

The same person cannot occupy the same timespace without temporal repossession occuring.

If Joe's future self gets sent back to Joe then one of them would be sucked back into the future to fill the void left by the future joe.

It would be like going back to see yourself born.  The minute you were born, a temporal rift would open and your baby self and future self would have a 50/50 chance of being sucked back through the rift back into the future.

A race of beings called the Havenites in Alec NeWald's book called Co-Evolution have experience just that.  Time travel in one's lifetime is not reccommended.  If you do time travel for say a week and you leave on the 1st, come back on the 8th otherwise your life in the present will be cut drastically short.
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Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2012, 09:19:22 pm »

Hi Volitzer!

How do you know that temporal repossession would take place? Time travel has never successfully been accomplished, right? It seems to me that two objects CAN occupy the same place, but at different times. Say you had a house on a lot. You decided to move the house someplace else, leaving the lot vacant. A few years later, you decide to move the house back again, to the same dang lot! That is essentially what time travel is all about, right?  Multiple versions of the same thing existing in the same space, but at different times!
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Volitzer
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2012, 01:54:31 pm »

quote author=Lisa Wolfe link=topic=31384.msg246367#msg246367 date=1349144362

Hi Volitzer!

How do you know that temporal repossession would take place?

You would have to read Alec NeWald's book Co-Evolution.  The Havenites are the ET race that George Noory talks about who time travel back to our time to integrate human DNA into their gene pool.


Time travel has never successfully been accomplished, right?

By the Havenites it has.  Not by humanity.


It seems to me that two objects CAN occupy the same place, but at different times.

This is true but in temporal mechanics you cannot have 2 of you in the same time/space.  If I were to go back to June 8th 1972, there lies a real good risk of the "baby-Volitzer" being sucked into a vortex and appearing here in 2012 and me being stuck back in June 8th 1972.   This is why when the Havenites time travel they never travel within their lifetime.  It is always thousands or millions of years and each time-trek has to be documented so if a Havenite came back to say today 10/2/2012 and collects eggs from a woman, that he doesn't make the mistake of traveling here again at the same point in time and undoing his work earlier, by showing up again and having his first be repoed into the future before collecting the eggs.


Say you had a house on a lot. You decided to move the house someplace else, leaving the lot vacant. A few years later, you decide to move the house back again, to the same dang lot! That is essentially what time travel is all about, right?  Multiple versions of the same thing existing in the same space, but at different times!


What you did here was leave the lot empty for 3 years.  Think of what it would be like if you tried to put a new house there while the old house was still there.  One of them would lose out.  This is how time-traveling in your own lifetime would work out too.   Smiley
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 01:55:30 pm by Volitzer » Report Spam   Logged
Lisa Wolfe
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« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2012, 09:30:05 pm »


Quote
What you did here was leave the lot empty for 3 years.  Think of what it would be like if you tried to put a new house there while the old house was still there.  One of them would lose out.  This is how time-traveling in your own lifetime would work out too.   

Volitzer, not exactly the same thing! For one thing, people don't exactly occupy the same space constantly, we move around a lot! So a person actually could theoretically go back and visit themselves.
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If nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do. The smallest act of kindness can be the greatest thing in the world.
Volitzer
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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2012, 10:46:19 am »


Quote
What you did here was leave the lot empty for 3 years.  Think of what it would be like if you tried to put a new house there while the old house was still there.  One of them would lose out.  This is how time-traveling in your own lifetime would work out too.   

Volitzer, not exactly the same thing! For one thing, people don't exactly occupy the same space constantly, we move around a lot! So a person actually could theoretically go back and visit themselves.

Yes but it would be like holding a basketball underwater,  at some point temporal mechanics will snap either your past self or present self beck into the present.  It cannot be maintained for long.
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