Two scientists have suggested that the latest experiments in CERN’s laboratory could rip a hole in space time that would allow more sophisticated civilisations in future years to come back in time.
The CERN laboratory, the European particle physics Centre near Geneva, houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which will be switched on later this year, as scientists continue their research into the birth of the universe.
But Russian mathematicians Irina Aref'eva and Igor Volovich have suggested that the experiment could feasibly create a window that future generations, with better technology, could exploit to revisit the past; making 2008 ‘year zero’ for time travel.
New Scientist Magazine reports the news, unveiling that the LHC could create small black holes that would essentially create one end of a potential ‘time-tunnel’.
It’s an enticing theory and one that inevitably attracted great media coverage. Time travel has been a core element of literature for centuries (although their remains some conjecture as to whether it first surfaced in the 18th or 19th century) and mankind’s obsession with the concept has grown, with landmark novels like HG Well’s Time Machine inveigling themselves into the public consciousness.
The mathematical possibility of time travel is something that has been discussed by philosophers and scientists for many years – with general and special relativity suggesting that the concept it at least feasible.
However, should people from the future pop out in Geneva if a true spacetime rip is created it would have a number of potential repercussions.
The most obvious one is variously known as a predestination paradox or causal loop, this suggests that someone coming back would be predestined to be in a loop where the changes he made have, in essence already happened.
This is easier to imagine with an example; if a man came back to prevent a car crash and found out that it was actually his appearance that caused the crash in the first place, creating a loop of events. It’s very close in principal to a self fulfilling prophecy, and has major implications for free will – if we are bound to a series of events do we actually make any decisions?
The more famous problem of time travel is widely know as the grandfather paradox and asks the question, what would happen if you came back in time and killed your grandfather? Of course, if this happened you wouldn’t have existed in the first time to come back and kill your grandfather.
People have made efforts to solve these paradoxes, and one of the more famous attempts is known as the Novikov self-consistency principle (named after the creator Dr. Igor Novikov).
Novikov postulates that if someone went back in time and tried to commit infanticide on their younger self, or tried to kill their grandfather they simply would not be able to.
Taking this further Novikov suggests that someone COULD change the past, but only if the actions that they take do not have repercussions until after the time traveller went back in time.
This was the central premise behind the film Millennium (and the book ‘Air Raid’ on which it was based) in which people from the future were restocking the human race by replacing people in major disasters with realistic dummies and transporting the now-survivors to their own time.
Another suggestion is that the past can be viewed but not changed – so potentially the worm hole could allow future generations to view what has happened in our era but make no change whatsoever.
Of course this would include showing the scientists that they had succeeded, so if this is the case then we wouldn’t know if 2008 is ‘year zero’ anyway.
http://tech.uk.msn.com/features/article ... id=7476748