"The future ain't what it used to be."

Where are they?



This is an old idea but I thought I'd toss it out here to see what kind of responses it might produce.

If time travel IS possible, then we have to assume that at some point in the future, regardless of how far, we eventually solve it.

Then having solved it, why would we not travel back in time to our current past, our current present, and of course our near future.

Where is the evidence that any of this has ever occured? Where are these time travellers from our future that would surely come back to visit us if for no other reason than to assure us that it will eventually be done someday? What would be the point in hiding the fact?

Uh oh, we're pushing paradox territory here. In stead of killing my grandfather in the past, this guy comes from the future, informes me WHO invents time travel, and I kill him before he does. Meaning the guy from the future was never here in the first place...Now my head is starting to hurt.

There are some folks out there on the web who actually say this has occurred but when you examine their REAL evidence, it's as vaporous as a guy flying by flapping his arms.

C'mon somebody, "pop" in on me here from the future and PROVE me wrong. If you can, I'll buy into it.


The answer is probably because you can't go back to before the time machine is invented.

That's only if you're using the time machines accepted by current physics, such as the one that uses time dilation and a wormhole.
An interesting thought.

I have to admit that I don't consider time dilation to be time travel per se.

The person traveling (relative to the person not doing so, a la the classic Twins paradox) is merely the effect of relative velocity on the speed in which time passes or flows for the traveler. It is, well, time dilation, not time travel. The returning twin has not traveled thru time per se. Merely returned to a place that relative time has passed more quickly. If this were to be done in a manner in which each twin always remained in sight of the other, say with a telescope, while the traveler actually made this voyage as a continuing orbit of our solar system, the traveler would see the earth bound twin age faster. But... neither twin would have ever left the other's "timeline". They would have continued on a singular timeline observable to all who would care to look, record the events as they passed, and note the dilation effect as it occurs to the traveler. Some people might call this time travel, but I do not. And neither does Quantum Mechanics or Cosmology.

As to the worm hole theories, these apply to the ability to traverse great distances in a relatively short period of time due to the effects of relativity breaking down (theoretically anyway) within the worm hole itself. Again, not real time travel, just a foreshortening of its passage over a great distance.

There is one theory that says a possibility exists where a trip through a worm hole to a given destination, followed by a return trip back to the point of origin, COULD result in the return depositing the traveler at a point BEFORE he left on the first trip. Hypothetically, this WOULD constitute time travel, but it is a "fringe" theory at the edge of what is already a VERY HYPOTHETICAL situation in the first place. That being that travel thru a worm hole is even possible. The now resonable certainty of the existence of Black holes and Worm holes by no means implies that there is any way in which one could actually travel thru them. The physical forces involved render all matter asunder. No theory exists that suggests this is actually doable. Merely speculation about what could occur IF it were. A la Sagan's "Contact". But then, I could walk on water if I could just solve the Gravity problem.

I'm not saying this worm hole solution may never become solvable, but it still comes back full circle to the original question. If it is solved sometime in the future, we SHOULD have been seeing the results of it long before now.

If I knew I could jump in a worm hole to some point in the universe, and then jump into another that would take me to Earth 1000 years ago, why wouldn't I? (Hello paradox possibility!)


Where are they?


The idea is based on the Casmir Effect, which has been proven. It's not really "fringe".

What you do is take two pairs of plates. Than you charge both sets with LOTS of energy, (More than a star going Nova). A wormhole will form, connecting the two sets of plates to each other through Hyperspace.

You keep on set on earth, and put the other one on a spaceship going close to the speed of light.

Due to Time Dilation, time will slow down on the ship, putting a temporal differential between the two mouths of the wormhole. Using this setup, you can travel to the future and back, but not before the wormhole was created.

This is considered time travel.
Sorry JS, this is NOT proven.

The Casmir effect has never been duplicated in a laboratory environment TO THE EXTENT YOU DESCRIBE IT HERE. (Notice the qualification on those words.)

Until you can actually put these hypothetical plates in position and ACTUALLY charge them with the energy you describe, nothing about your description is proven. It's effect is thus far produced on a much smaller scale than this. Besides, it is also NOT necessarily relavant to the "fringe" theories of time travel using worm holes.

The second part of your statement regarding placing one on a ship traveling near the speed of light is ALSO hypothetical only. It is not demonstrable in ANY way. WILDLY theoretical in fact. Something only the MATH says COULD be so.

Your third statement regarding time dilation of the moving plate constituting time travel to the future is not even a logical statement. If anything, it would be quite the opposite. But the assumption that you could even create a stable worm hole in this manner is wildly speculative.

The term "fringe" is not mine. It is the term used by Quantum Physicists to describe the theories regarding any possible "Time Travel" capabilities by worm holes in this HIGHLY hypothetical manner. AS STATED by these same Quantum Physicists on the PBS special featuring the topic several months ago, and used in several papers on the topic as published on the Fermilab website.

In short, there is absolutely NOTHING about ANY of this that is IN ANY WAY "proven".

The only things even CLOSE to "proven" are the facts that the actual existence of Black Holes and Worm Holes is GENERALLY accepted to be true.

Even Quantum Physics DOES NOT claim that their existence is IRREFUTIBLE. The Black Hole is generally accepted to have been observed via Radio Astronomy and is accepted as a Cosmological entity. The Worm Hole has been SEEMINGLY observed at the Quantum level, and it's existence is accepted as VIRTUALLY certain. The Heisenberg Principle keeps it from being ABSOLUTELY certain at this point in time.

Good Scientists DO NOT make absolute claims to "proof" lightly. Only after it can be demonstrated that their results can be duplicated consistently and with precision.

Other than the Casmir effect itself you mention above, there is NOTHING in your description that has ever been produced even ONCE. Let alone duplicated with impunity.

Remember, "Incredible claims require incredible proofs."

The "proof" of your depictions above are non-existent. But, they ARE interesting.

Man, I know it has not been proven to the extent of what I said. If it was, I'd be buying tickets to the future.

I was merely saying that I remember watching the discovery channel, a future fantastic special hosted by Gillian Anderson, and a scientist said that the casmir effect has been shown to exist.

What is the point you are trying to make here? No matter how unpracticle, or theoretical, if it's possible, than one day someone will figure it out. And using the method described, they would not come visit you.

So again, what is the point of this? We could argue back and forth, and you could prove your math skills for everyone, but what does it solve?

So where are they? Who knows. Maybe they're invisible and they only observe us in ghostlike form. Maybe time travel is impossible.

Where are they? You're right, this is an old question, and I don't see any reason for us to even attempt to answer it.

So I for one say we end this topic and move on to more practical discussions.
Ok, scratch that. I don't believe Time Travel is impossible. I'm sorry for sounding a little rude, and since I hate leaving on sour notes, here's what I think.

I don't think that humanity will live long enough to build a time machine. Be it self destruction or meteor, I just don't think the world as a whole will be time travel capable.
Maybe a few individuals figured it out, but didn't share the technique. If I ever invent a time machine, I'd keep it a secret.

How many people would kill you for a device enabling them to become the most powerful person on the planet?

We might notice time tourists flocking the planet, but we'd probably miss some well disquised loners.

Just because it's possible doesn't neccasarily mean it will be done.
Well yeah JS. I think you are hitting on it here.

(I didn't think you were rude, and I hope you didn't think I was.)

The biggest shortfall of forums is that you can never really convey the tone of your voice or the look on your face, leaving the words to be interpreted with whatever inflection the READER attaches to them. I try to put in a comment now and then to help insure that my admittedely rather direct style is not misinterpreted as arrogance or a personal beratement. (And my math skills are really not all the great.)

Truth is, I would never try to declare with CERTAINTY that time travel is impossible, but also in truth, I don't THINK it is. At least no one has ever come up with a scenario that convinces me it might be. I can find too many agruments against it, and nothing substantial in favor of it that I can see anyway. Lots of theories, no substantial facts. And definetly no demonstration! :) Hence, "Where are they?" Some folks and even web sites are CLAIMING they're doing it. OK. Where's the press conference with the media to record the demo. Like the folks who claim to be aliens but are biologically JUST LIKE US. Even with the same fingerprints on a birth certificate recorded at the time of their birth. (But then, THAT's part of the CLEVERNESS of the "cover up" huh!) ;-)

I think all of science (all fields) has a habit of making statements off the cuff that gives rise to the general populace accepting these remarks as if they were indisputable fact. But then it's also cumbersome to have to qualify everything one says with a "according to current theory..." or some similar remark, every time one opens one's mouth. Like the Discovery Channel show I watched tonight on the raising of the Giant Mammoth. The involved parties went on and on about how prehistoric man did this and did that, in rather precise detail as to how he used spears to kill the animal in a very specific detailed style. Truth is, they don't know that. They ASSUME that because it would SEEM to be a logical way to do it, but they have no conclusive proof it was actually done that way. Maybe it IS true, but they spoke as if it were a certainity without offering any evidence to back it up.

It can be a habit I find annoying at some times. But Science is populated by people just like you and me who have personal interests in their careers and sometimes get excited enough about something that is going to advance their position that they forget to slow down and not rush to judgement just because something APPEARS to be a certain way. The older I get, the more I realize a more cautious attitude about anything generally serves as a good filter for weeding out the bull sh*t. I've come to take many less things as necessarily so just because someone says so. No offense, just healthy scepticism.

I have an idea that the manner in which we conceptualize time itself has become flawed I'd be happy to share with you for comment if you are interested, but it's too lengthy to go into in this response. It is at the root of why I think time travel is PROBABLY not possible. At least in the manner we are accustomed to defining it.

One thing is for sure. I certainly cannot PROVE time travel IS NOT possible. Just that no one has EVER proven to me that it is.


Funny. I just spent several minutes typing a reply to one of the other questions that would fit in right here. Refer to Mar 14 entry to "Point of Reference".

At the risk of repeating myself, the possibitlities that true "time travel" presents is overwhelming. I believe that if time travel IS possible, it WILL happen. Keep in mind that the operative word here is "IF".

And IF it does, we can only pray that the person or persons that do the traveling will be VERY, VERY careful. Of course, once said person is in the past, the future is but a hazy, indistinct line that can be shifted with the greatest of ease. Who is to say if the past is changed? Our history has been rewritten and we are none the wiser for it. Unless we can find some clue that the past has been altered that is undeniable and unmistakable.

I have been working on that very question as part of a plot in a book I am writing. This is the main reason I am perusing the web for time travel websites. This is how I happened upon this site. Very interesting topics. I'll probably be back often just to see what ideas or comments my silly little thoughts have inspired.

Alexia ([email protected])

I most certainly agree to your point that "IF" it were possible, it most certainly will.

For generations man tried to visualize flying by somehow augmenting the ability to "flap" his arms. But that will NEVER be possible. (AT least not on the Earth anyway, heh heh.)

We did however make it possible to fly. By other means.

For me, "Time Machines" fall into the category of "flapping one's arms." :)

Novikov showed quite conclusively that action through a wormhole did not create a paradox as long as it did not violate the least energy condition. Also, if Lee's purpose here is only to be a nay-sayer, why is he devoting so much time to this site. Sounds like he needs to get a life.
I would like to believe that time travel is possible. There is anecdotal evidence that is very much like naturally occuring wormholes. If you define time travel as an action that creates a paradox, then it certainly must. The answer is "we don't know." We know about opinions, everyone has one.

A personal attack. Now there's a logical way to carry on a discussion for ya.

For your rather naive information "searcher", nay-saying is one of the very best way to stimulate discussion an issue that very often forces people to come with solutions by looking beyond the usual way of thinking about things.

Good scientists do this all the time. Good science DOES NOT make a hypothisis and then set about ways to prove it's assumptions are correct. Good science makes a hypothesis and then sets about to see where it falls apart. When it can't find a way to tear the hypothesis down, it eventually comes to the conclusion it MUST be so. Classic "Sherlock Holms" as put forth by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. "When all possibilities to the contrary are eliminated, what one is left with must be the truth."

I won't be so rude as you to suggest it is you that needs to get a life, but I will offer that a person is never so arrogant as when he suspects he may be wrong.

If you want to use discussion forums to inflate your own ego and resort to personal insult, go for it.

I won't accomodate you. But I will suggest that you crack your books a little harder.

Can you spell "D-e-v-i-l-'s A-d-v-o-c-a-t-e"?

If time travel is possible then the one question that I have in your case is how can the traveler interact with you?
The time stream must have a starting point and on the other side you must also have end of time. From this we must ask our selfs "Has time traveled at the same speed through the time stream?" Is it possible for us to time travel back in time and be able to interact with the people of that time? Will we be in phase with the time we enter? Is this not the reason that we have not interacted with any time traveler?
I have received this mail, and it is sent out 5 years from the future. This mail is not stamped, and the address is invalid. So, we opened it and found that it was written by someone in the future, and he sent this letter via somekind of machine or tunnel. This is according to the guy who wrote this letter. Strange, but we did try to verify it. It's real... How could someone send a letter from the future?

You are not school in "quantum mechanics" are you? if you were . you would know that every molecule in our universe "vibrates" at a specific rate. if you change that "vibrational rate" your in a different quantum universe. your space does'nt change the time-line has "skewed". this does away with the grandfather paradox or any paradox.

in answer to your question...maybe "timetravelers" are among you.


"...you would know that every molecule in our universe "vibrates" at a specific rate..."

Actually "RICKY", ALL things in the universe from the smallest neutrinos to the largest galaxies "vibrate". Molecules vibrate at differing rates depending on the state of excitement for that type of molecule. The measurement of this "molecular vibration" is called "temperature". You know, the old "boil water" trick. The warmer the water, the faster the molecules vibrate until they vibrate so fast they fly off as steam. I think James Watt found a way to do something constructive with this way back in the 19th century.


"...if you change that "vibrational rate" your in a different quantum universe..."

Oh Really!!!

Please give me your source on this, or a reference to ANY Quantum Theorist that has EVER made this statement. Specifics please, since changing this "molecular" vibration rate means the material is getting colder or warmer. At least that's what they taught where I went to school. My teachers would have been amazed to learn it actually meant a transition to a different quantum universe!

...and then,

"...your space does'nt change the time-line has "skewed"..."

...er, ah, OK if you say so,,,I guess.
...and finally,

"...this does away with the grandfather paradox or any paradox..."

It does? How does it do that?

Does this mean I can build a time machine that runs on steam? Sort of a "Jules Verne choo choo train" affair huh?

Are you talking "multiverse" theory here where alternate universes are created by the individual events of each of us resulting in multiple timelines? You know like, "Sliders"?

If this is what your getting at, lets go with it and see what develops.

If I'm wrong here, then....

Just what is it YOU DO mean?

Actually Ricky, I DON'T have a PHD in Quantum Mechanics, and I hope you're not going to try to convince me you do.


Hmm, Ricky might have been on to something. I don't know that much more than quantumn mechanics or whatever than the next guy, but I have a few books lying around on the subject.

It can't be proven that changing your quantumn state will 'transport' you anywhere, unless you actually do it. I don't want to get into controversal things such as the philadelphia experiment and such, but if it were true, perhaps the field that they created shifted the ship and crews vibrational level, let's say they increased it.

If the energy was increased enough, it might leave it's normal space-time coordinate. Like heating water, put enough energy into it, and it boils away as steam. It goes from the water, to the air. Maybe the ships overall quantumn energy level was raised enough so it shifted into a higher dimension.

I only use the Philly Experiment as an example, since almost everyone has heard of it. But I have read about similar things happening to smaller objects during experiments with high powered fields.

I can't prove any of this though, it's just an idea, and I don't even know if I buy it that much, so Lee, please, I don't need a thousand reasons why what I said is impossible.