Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ category

A brief history of time

September 25, 2008

Back to the future – one of the most innovative science-fiction flicks put the time machine in the mainstream. You can trace the concept of a time machine at least back to the novel of the same name published in 1895 by H. G. Wells. Time travel has not only been the object of many a fiction book/movie/TV series but Einstein lent it some scientific credibility. See this fun video.

This video is supported at least in theory – may not be practically possible with our current technology. If you get into the physics of time travel, it very quickly gets extremely complicated and theoretical.

Here I propose a very simple way of travelling at least to the past. And let me say this at the very outset that this proposition is fictional and not scientifically supported – at least not yet!

Lets assume you are floating in space near earth – with Einstein. Imagine there is a giant dish antenna on earth that continuously beams – say scenes from the most watched TV show in the world of all time (source wikipedia) – none other than the famous Baywatch. Also assume for the purpose of this discussion that the universe is at a standstill – this is just to keep things simple. In the space ship you are lazing (more likely floating) on the couch watching Baywatch. The TV waves travel towards you and away from earth at the speed of light. Now here you are watching your favorite life guard running on the beach and the scene is breathtakingly beautiful!! You could pick up the remote to pause the scene OR you can speed the spaceship away from the earth at the speed of light at the instant the particular frame reaches the spaceship TV reciever. This way the frame that you wanted to pause and the spaceship are travelling at the same speed in the same direction and the frame will appear to be frozen on your TV. Isn’t that a cool way of pausing!! Now if you accelerate so that you are moving in the same direction but faster than light you would catch up with the previous frames that were telecast. On the TV you would see that your favorite life-guard who was frozen until now is slowly moving backwards. If you accelerate further the life-guard moves backwards even faster. If you keep going faster you can see that the show starts being rewound as you keep catching earlier frames. You gain speed and you end up at the beginning of the show!!

Now imagine that instead of Baywatch .. 😦 all the world events are beamed and you are watching these world events unfold (or refold).  You go faster than light and you see Sarah Palin saying, “I can see Russia from my backyard!”. Faster and you see George Bush getting elected the second time (as if the first time wasn’t enough). Faster and you see Bill Clinton with none other than you-know-who!! Faster and you can get back to the 2nd world war, 1st world war, American revolution, ….. faster and you can reach the birth of civilization, or when dinosaurs roamed the earth (maybe you can actually find out why they are extinct), to the birth of earth itself roughly 4.5 billion years ago. If your spaceship still has fuel or you the money (at todays gas prices!) to fill her up, you can go further back to the birth of our solar system, our galaxy, or to our universe!! Thus you would have reached the beginning of time itself!!!! I am not sure about you but Einstein in your spaceship would be one happy dude!!!!!!