Israeli physicist Amos Ori has developed a theoretical model of a time machine that could allow future generations to travel into the past.

Previous theories of time travel are well grounded in Einstein’s General Relativity theory. Physicist Stephen Hawking has called time travel “an important subject for research,” but has also proposed some of the strongest challenges to the concept. General Relativity states, among other things, that the gravitational pull of large objects such as planets can actually bend time and space. Time travel research is based on bending space-time so far that the time lines actually bend back on themselves to form a loop.

Ori says, “We know that bending does happen all the time, but we want the bending to be strong enough and to take a special form where the lines of time make closed loops. We are trying to find out if it is possible to manipulate space-time to develop in such a way?If we were to create an area with a warp like this in space that would enable time lines to close on themselves, it might enable future generations to return to visit our time. We, however, could not return to previous ages because our predecessors did not create this infrastructure for us.”

In BBC News, Neil Bowdler writes about another scientist who is studying time travel: the American physicist Ronald Mallett. He calls his time machine the Space-Time Twisting by Light project.

Mallett plans to build a powerful ring laser, and place some material in the center of this vortex of light and drag it backward or forward through time. Bowdler quotes him as saying, “What you would see would be a cylinder in which you would have laser beams that would be intersecting in such a way that they would create this huge light tunnel. So if you imagine a tunnel, with this vortex of light circulating around in it.” It’s not perfect?once he activates it, the machine can only take him back to the time when the it was first turned on.

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