In our subscriber section, Whitley Strieber has recorded descriptions of experiences that may have involved time travel. Strieber comments that, "The closer we get to the moment a time machine is built, the clearer it will become that it is already interacting with us in our present." Now physicist Ronald Mallett says not only will a time machine be built in this century, but also that the grandfather paradox, which would theoretically prevent one from doing something in one's own past that would change one's present, "won't be an issue." His explanation about this parallels what Whitley claims to have been told by time travelers just a few weeks ago.
Lisa Zyga, writes in PhysOrg.com that Mallett, a professor at the University of Connecticut, has used equations based on Einstein's relativity theory to design a time machine that works with circulating laser beams. He expects to be able to build and test the device within the next 10 years.
She quotes Mallett as saying, "Einstein showed that mass and energy are the same thing [referring to his famous equation E=mc2]. The time machine we've designed uses light in the form of circulating lasers to warp or loop time."
By arranging mirrors in a specific way, Mallett can create a circulating laser light beam which should be able to warp space. He will add subatomic particles with extremely short lifetimes to the device, hoping to observe these particles existing for a longer time than expected when they are placed in the light beam. This would indicate that they have moved into the future.
Mallet compares the experiment to stirring coffee with a spoon. If the coffee is empty space and the spoon is the light beam, the coffee becomes swirled as you stir. Dropping a sugar cube into the coffee is the equivalent of dropping in the subatomic particles. Einstein said that whenever you do something to space, you also affect time. Twisting space causes time to be twisted, meaning you could walk through time the same way you walk through space.
Zyga quotes Mallet as saying, "The Grandfather Paradox [where you go back in time and kill your grandfather] is not an issue [because] time travel means that you're traveling both in time and into other universes. If you go back into the past, you'll go into another universe. As soon as you arrive at the past, you're making a choice and there'll be a split. Our universe will not be affected by what you do in your visit to the past." He adds, "I believe that human time travel could happen this century."
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