A Time-Travel Hypothetical...


Temporal Novice
Here's a situation I can't quite figure out what would happen...

Say you travel a short time in the past and for whatever reason you wish to carry on living from that time on (although offhand I can't think of any particular reason).

So how about you have a TM at your whim and you want to re-see or for lack of a better word 'fix' an event that has recently occured in days or hours by whatever that may be, so you go back to that time.

It might only be hours back, so to avoid 'spaghetting' through time too much you decide to save the hassle and carry on from that time instead of travelling back forward.

So now for this short period of time there are two of 'you' at once, and naturally in that time you try to steer clear of your younger self to make sure events there carry on so as you still make the trip (You believe in a many-realities theory, but just to be safe...)

So the problem is... Your existance in the past has created this new 'altered' flow of time, and let's assume in this altered flow your younger self still makes the same trip back. Does this altered younger self go back and loop in space-time to your own self-reality, or does this cause yet another branch of an altered reality?

This may sound confusing but if you can understand what I'm getting at the situation is relatively simple.

That is really a cute problem.

I don`t know if there can be two of you at the same time. But let`s think about it.

You are person A, you were born and you lived normally until that Thursday afternoon, where you spilled milk and ruined your favorite tablecloth. Friday afternoon you feel so sorry for the tablecloth, that you decide to travel back in time to fix the problem.
There, 24 hours back in time you meet yourself, person B, and as person B you again spill milk. You can`t help it, it happened in the past. A on the other hand doesn`t make the same mistake twice and spills no milk. Then you both move on in time together, A-you, lives the 24 hours between Thursday afternoon and Friday afternoon anew, without the feeling of guilt for the ruined tablecloth. B-you, re-lives the time exactly as A did before. You both approach the moment on Friday, when you, A, decided to travel back to Thursday, but that was in your past, when you actually did spill the milk, now that you didn`t, you have no reason to go back in time anymore. But B-you has a reason. B-you will go through the loop, while A-you travels on in time. For person B the situation will be as it was for person A before. B fixes the problem of the spilled milk and meets himself as person C. And so on. They both travel to Friday until C travels back in time and B moves on. So one part of you, A, would live in the future already, while B arrives at the present where he can continue, and C goes back to the past, to fix the problem and meet you-D. This would create an infinite number of yous, who would live at all times. The problem would be solved eventually, when you die. None of the infinite yous would be able to pass this event. But you would die forever, every 24 hours apart.

Your paradox question just reminded me of an old Time Travel movie.

You ever seen Back To The Future, more specifically part 2?

If you haven't it's quite interesting the turn of events that follow towards the end.

Just like your question, of continuing to live your life in another timeline, and your younger self in that same timeline.

Check it out.

I certainly do know the movie/s you are talking about! The funny thing with BTTF is that it swaps between some of the poular time travel theories, mainly the single flow time (paradox, like almost preventing his own birth) and the multi-reality theory (alternate reality caused by Biff giving his younger self the almanac). But I s'pose it's just fiction, albeit very cool fiction.

I think I know the examples you are talking about, like at the end of BTTF 1 when he goes back to try and stop Doc from being shot by the Libyans. What if, for whatever reason him going back caused a distraction of his younger self which would end up in him being shot by the terrorist?

Would this event loop around and stop him ever going back to 1955 in the first place (hence a paradox) or would this result only veer off into an alternated flow of time. In the latter case, theoretically Marty could live on in 1985 as usual, along with his dead younger self, as well as two DeLoreans!

Similar situation at the enchantment under the sea dance. When we see Marty up on stage in number 1, is his older self wearing the hat up above the stage at that moment as we see in number 2? I think not myself if this were a real situation, that wouldn't occur until the altered reality is created, when there are the two Marty's in 1955.

I am finding myself more and more beleiving in a multi-reality flow of time, the paradox thing just can not *ever* possibly happen in any way, because the universe could not exist in the first place if that were the case.

All this just goes to show how much the common idea of time must be re-thought out for us to ever gain a full understanding of it! As I've said in my reply below to TTA, I beleive in the multi-alternate reality flow of time, so I beleive (in this specific case) two of yourself *can* exist at once without causing a paradox.

But even this theory poses problems, particularly when you look at the 'sending a bomb back in time' scenario that I've mentioned before. In the sense of multi-realities, *are* they really just that, all the altered flows of time occuring at once parallel? If they are, that means you could send a nuke back in time to detonate and from your point of view absolutely nothing happens.

But if only *one* altered flow exists at once, that means the bomb becomes a relic of a lost flow of time and the moment the bomb sets off in the past, your reality has already been erased, and in fact it is like it never did exist, and suddenly one day say 10 years ago this nuclear bomb comes from seemingly "nowhere" and sets off. Seems impossible, but maybe it isn't.

Of course the latter may cause contadictions with the Bucket Theory...

Also hypothetically speaking; In the beginning of BTTF 3, Doc Brown, is working on repairing his own time machine that he will invent in the future. Now that he's gotten hands on, and experience of it's features in the past, wouldn't he invent it alot sooner?

In the first week he gets the idea for the flux capacitor, and then works on his own invention that same week?

So wouldn't he invent it sooner because of this new found knowledge?

And also, wouldn't he really invent it back in 1889?

More paradoxes... It's been along while since I seen those movies, so I'm not quite sure exactly on the details of it. Thanks for reminding me about part 1 and 2, though :).

Or in other words....

If at any given time in the near or far future time travel would become possible, so that people could travel back and forth in time, wouldn`t we know it already?
Let`s say time travel becomes a reality in 2480, from there people travel back 2000 years, that means that people in the year 480 already knew about time travel. They could also pick up a person from there and travel forth again to the year 2001, thus we would be able to meet a person from the past and from the future at the same time.
Another famous paradox of time travel is the situation of where the guy travels back to when his grandfather was young. He shoots his grandfather, but that way the guy was never born, and so couldn`t travel back in time to shoot his grandfather, which has the concequence that he was born and could have done it and so on.
Also like we said yesterday, if I could travel back to the not so long ago past and meet myself, would I be able to kill myself and live on at the same time?

- elro
Well, Raze remember that in the BTTF series is that Marty alters his 1985 reality THREE times,the first (with no inference from time travel) is pretty crappy then he changes it to "a dream come true" type after suggesting to his future parents "to go easy on 'em" and it gets changed again by the older Biff giving the almanac to the younger Biff creating a much worst version of the original 1985 reality.

But then Doc changes his existante in Marty's 1985 by not going with Marty from 1885 at the end of BTTF III,therfore wiping his original existante from Marty's reality, the second he comes back from 1885 without Doc and Doc creates the the time machine in 1885 and visits Marty in the future after the original time machine is destroyed.

*woo* Anyway hope you got that all,


This might be a little off topic, but it does parlay into paradoxes of the purely mathematical and logical type. Well all paradoxes, and math are seemingly synonamous in a temperal accelerated system.

I have been working on a mathematical representation to further describe, and disect Godels Incompletemness Theorum.

"p is proof that p is not true"
"If p is false, then there is proof of it."
"if p is true, then there is no proof of it."

Now I chose to translate the incompleteness theorum into a ratio. I found it necesary to take care in choosing what specific variables I would use to stand for the values of this ratio. The values of this ratio are described as follows:

There are two components to the statements,
("p is proof that p is not true"
"If p is false, then there is proof of it."
"if p is true, then there is no proof of it.").

component #1=the proof of the truth of p
component #2=the truth of p

Now, as the statements say, if p is 100% true, then the proof of this truth of p is 0%. If p is false, the proof of the truth of p is 100%

I therefore have chosen for 0 to represent 100% false, and 1 to represent 100% truth.

I set the ratio up as follows:

Proof of the truth of p/the truth of p=0/1, if p is true.

In this case the denominator "1" is infinitely lesser then value then the numerical value of the numerator "0". In all other equations, 0/1=0. However in this special case when we are using this expression to serve as an absolute value for the Godels Incompleteness Theorum, the value 0/1=infinity, for the sake that the 1 is infinitely lesser then 0 but still a positive number. However note that the infinity in this case is actually 0 in the numerator. For if the 1 in the denominator is infinitely lesser then the 0 in the numerator, then to have an infinite number of these 1's would fill the value 0 to the brim. Therefore, in this case 1*infinity=0.

This is a lot to digest. This describes that there is a set of an infinite number of values that make up 0, that are lesser then zero, but still positive in value. Under this specific system, based on the mathematics of my point theory, the absolute center of the number line between the set of negative integers, and positive integers, is -1. This is based in some complex math, and I will explain if anyone should wish me to.

what do you think?



Note: as far as I know the mathematics I described above has not existed before now in the form I gave it. So the mathematical theory stated above is no doubt yet to exist in any text book. However, this theory should not conflict with any current math that is correct, if all the logic in the current system are not changed.
I admit I donot quite understand this theorem yet, but it seems quite interesting... I'll probably have to read this over a few times to get it!! I'm not too crash-hot with the mathematical side of things, but...

Overall, in simple terms, what does this imply in your thoughts of paradoxes? All in all, I still come to a conclusion that the only way a paradox could exist is in some kind of closed loop of time that has been eternal, with no catalyst. But as wide and wonderful as the universe is, I think even this is beyond infinite possibility

i.e theory that everything and anything imaginable and beyond imaginable, can be, will be, has been and is possible. More specific, the theory that 'Given practically limitless amounts of time, anything can happen'. Classic example is the formation of life on Earth over 4-5 billion years. Of course, this is going off on a tangent here, but still an interesting thought.

I guess with fictional time travel movies and shows it comes down to the fact that rather than make sense of what is there, you must think of what would *really* happen were this a reality.

For instance, Marty going back and by mistake stopping his parents meeting. Going by a branching flow of time, even if he did not ever find a way of meeting them up he wouldn't 'fade away', simply he'd only return to a future where he doesn't exist, and he'd be a lost relic of time.

As for the Doc learning about the TM earlier, either he would probably deliberately leave his building into the 1980's to keep the flow of time as close to normal as possible ( and because he'd rather wait until '82 to buy a DeLorean to build it into rather than a cadlillac!)

That way the Doc will ensure Marty will return to the future where he has still gone back to 1955. If the Doc builds the TM earlier and Marty never ends up making the first TM trip himself, that means the Marty that has already time travelled will return to a 1985 where there is already another Marty living his life normally and possibly unaware of the TM at all!!

I don't think you can jump betweeb realities as easily as 'Sliders' made it out to be. That show glorified the whole space-time concept even more than BTTF! Here are two theories of flowing time:

1 - Time traveller from the future alters time here
2 - Original flow of time
3 - New altered flow of time runs parallel to original
> - Flow of time 'starts' here
x - Flow of time 'ends' here


A) Parallel realities


B) only one reality exists at once


If theory A) is correct this means original flows of time can continue unaffected. If theory B) is correct then the original flow of time is erased over like a tape (sort of). Either way, time traveller becomes a relic of time, especially with B. With A, a way *may* be found to go back to original flow, this may be practically impossible.

Very Interesting Raze.

Have you read any of the posts that were posted by TTO.

Check out the archives on this forum, you may find a lot of interesting Data from TTO that supports your hypothesis.


Edwin G. Schasteen
We don't know about time travelling because to travel in time stations are needed. So the inventors of time travel will be able travel back only to the time when the first time machine was constructed. This'll make them feel bad until they'll realize that now they don't have to go home from an office party right away, even when their wives call and insist.
Time Stations? Are you talking about some method of keeping track of which branch of time you come from?

e.g you go back in time to the Industrial Revolution. While you are there leaving your craft hidden but unattended someone of the time stumbles across it and 'looks under the bonnet' so to speak, getting heaps of ideas leading to a technological jump of 150 years or more.

Despite all the changes to the original flow of time this may cause, somehow you are able to return to the future to your 'original' flow of time because a way has been found to distinguish and 'access' chosen realities, including the one you just came from.

Sorry I may have completely missed the point of your post but this is an interesting concept anyway ;)