On a nearby thread, Brad writes:

((John has been unable to explain Time Travel, I will explain it here.

So where do we start? Well let us start with one of the greatest triumphs of the human mind, the great theorem of Pythagoras, a true pillar of all mathematics and physics. The theorem, which is applicable to right angled triangles in flat Cartesian (Newtonian) space takes the form of:

c^2 = a^2 + b^2

where a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of the triangle.

Next we will jump straight to Einstein’s theory of Relativity which states that neither time, length, or indeed mass remain constant additive quantities when approaching the speed of light c. Our simple ideas of time and space come from the fact the we are so used to living in a three dimensional universe. Einstein showed that this was simply not true and in fact all the “foundational” three laws of Newton have to be fudged by the Lorentz factor

L_f = (1 – v^2/c^2)^-1/2

There are, however, certain quantities that do remain constant. These constants are related to four-dimensional quantities known as metric tensors. From this Einstein proved that space and time are two aspects of the same thing and that matter and energy are also two aspects of the same thing. From the second of these concepts we get the most famous equation in physics

E = mc^2

Now since time and space are aspects of space-time and we wish to travel through time and not build atom bombs we will leave E=mc^2 for the moment. To illustrate this, look at the extension of Pythagorean theorem for the distance, d, between two points in space:

d^2 = x^2 + y^2 + z^2

where x, y and z are the lengths, or more correctly the difference in the co-ordinates, in each of the three spatial directions. This distance remains constant for fixed displacements of the origin.

In Einstein’s relativity the same equation is modified to remain constant with respect to displacement (and rotation), but not with respect to motion. For a moving object, at least one of the lengths from which the distance, d, is calculated is contracted relative to a stationary observer. The equation now becomes:

d^2 = x^2 + y^2 + z^2 (1-v^2/c^2)^1/2

and this implies that the distances all shrink as one moves faster, so does this mean there are no constant distances left in the universe? The answer is that there are because of Einstein’s revolutionary concept of space-time where time is distance and distance is time! So now

s^2 = x^2 + y^2 + z^2 – ct^2

and this new distance s (remember s stands for Space-time) does indeed remain constant for all who are in relative motion. This distance is said to be a Lorentz transformation invariant and has the same value for all inertial observers. Since the equation mixes time and space up we have to always think in terms of this new concept: space-time!

Then one runs into the problem of ‘outside dating’. Meaning, as the traveler manipulates space-time, the rest of the universe ages normaly. Then we must take inter-dimensional transition into account. Once a hole is ripped into a dimensions fabric, it follows whatever entered the rip. Once the travler enters the new dimension, he commences his engines to reach the c speed (speed of light), and travels through time. The rip on the travelers side will stay in the same geographic location, while traveling through time, while the rip on the new dimension will follow the traveler. Once the desired time is reached, the travelar reenters the rip, and he has effectively traveled through time))

((As for John Titor’s corrections on space-time manipulation, he has completed it correctly. However, he still an imposter.))

Apparently, I have made the leap from “fraud” to imposter. At least that’s a start and I respect my opponent on his polite yet quiet concession on the other thread. I wish to emphasize a point I tired to make earlier. Even though I answered the question correctly, it doesn’t really prove one way or another if I’m a time traveler and you should not think otherwise. I might just be really quick at looking up things up on the web.

I suppose we could debate whether or not I’m a fraud all the way up to the point I leave your worldline.

Posted by Mel Reckling on 02-14-2001 08:05 AM

Why do I keep flashing back to the Monty Python movie ” Brazil “? The picture of those old typewriters with those hilarious screen magnifiers just sticks in my head. Is this the world we are heading towards where everything is so bizzarely complicated that nothing works?