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(Slate)   Theoretical physicist answers letter writer's question "Can we travel back in time to change history? ---asking for a friend. Signed, HRC"   ( slate.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, General relativity, time, time traveler, quantum mechanics, yearlong spaceship journey, quantum fuzziness, Dr. Who-style adventure, Mr. Thursday  
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1891 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Mar 2017 at 3:24 PM (31 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



40 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-03-16 12:48:50 PM  
thefunniestpictures.com
 
2017-03-16 02:35:16 PM  
The Man Who Folded Himself is a good read for anyone who likes to think about time travel. I read it nearly 40 years ago and it remains one of my favorite books. I didn't know until today that the author David Gerrold also wrote the screenplay for The Trouble With Tribbles. I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self that. He would have loved that.
 
2017-03-16 02:38:00 PM  
img.fark.net
/oblig
 
2017-03-16 03:26:40 PM  
Isn't that how we wound up here?

img.fark.net

img.fark.net
 
2017-03-16 03:28:42 PM  
No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.
 
2017-03-16 03:34:53 PM  

PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.


Why the limitation backwards?  I've read you can't jump forward in time, but not the limitation of the creation of the machine.
 
2017-03-16 03:43:36 PM  

I Browse: [img.fark.net image 661x360]
/oblig


img.fark.net
 
2017-03-16 03:47:31 PM  
 
2017-03-16 04:00:01 PM  

PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.


That is probably a restriction if your time machine requires traveling to the earlier location of the time machine, such as teleporting from the present machine to where it used to be. Real time travelers use a time-space machine so they can cross the light years to where Earth used to be.
 
2017-03-16 04:08:32 PM  
Time?  No.  Timey-whimey?  Well, wibbly-wobbly.
 
2017-03-16 04:08:45 PM  

mjbok: PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.

Why the limitation backwards?  I've read you can't jump forward in time, but not the limitation of the creation of the machine.


Jumping forward in time is easy.  Put yourself in a cryotube or stasis pod.

You can't travel back before the creation of the first time machine because that first creation is a temporal fracture point.  Theoretically, with enough power, you could traverse the temporal dimension beyond the fracture point, but crossing that border is like going from swimming through water to swimming through solid ice.
 
2017-03-16 04:11:28 PM  
I've never seen anything that suggests that time travel beyond the quantum level is possible.Of course, it's possible to say that there's nothing beyond the quantum level, but aggregating enough particular quantum particles to make the travel interesting is the point of the exercise.
 
2017-03-16 04:15:55 PM  
HRC would have to ...

-Prevent Fox News from coming about and slandering HRC for decades
-Change stances to Bernie Sanders two to four years prior to running (give time to not look like just jumping on a train)
-Pick Bernie Sanders as VP
-Obtain a majority of Trump's tax forms in the past decade
-Contact the CIA/NSA and observe certain individuals years before 2015
-Drop the racial issues on Trump BEFORE he starts yammering about a wall; most likely during his Apprentice run in which such a stance would be more harmful to Celebrity Trump than Populist Candidate Trump.

Lot of work, time traveler.
 
2017-03-16 04:16:22 PM  

rummonkey: http://www.tor.com/2011/08/31/wikihistory/


Oh my FSM that is awesome. I can't believe this is the first time I have seen it. Poor SilverFox316.
 
2017-03-16 04:17:40 PM  

PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.


I see you have made the classic blunder of assuming you require a machine to travel back in time.
 
2017-03-16 04:18:31 PM  

PlaidJaguar: mjbok: PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.

Why the limitation backwards?  I've read you can't jump forward in time, but not the limitation of the creation of the machine.

Jumping forward in time is easy.  Put yourself in a cryotube or stasis pod.

You can't travel back before the creation of the first time machine because that first creation is a temporal fracture point.  Theoretically, with enough power, you could traverse the temporal dimension beyond the fracture point, but crossing that border is like going from swimming through water to swimming through solid ice.


That's not jumping forward in time, that is just waiting it out.
 
2017-03-16 04:26:51 PM  
Time travel would be very difficult, because you'd have to be able to get a Delorean up to 88 mph.
 
2017-03-16 04:28:51 PM  

mjbok: PlaidJaguar: mjbok: PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.

Why the limitation backwards?  I've read you can't jump forward in time, but not the limitation of the creation of the machine.

Jumping forward in time is easy.  Put yourself in a cryotube or stasis pod.

You can't travel back before the creation of the first time machine because that first creation is a temporal fracture point.  Theoretically, with enough power, you could traverse the temporal dimension beyond the fracture point, but crossing that border is like going from swimming through water to swimming through solid ice.

That's not jumping forward in time, that is just waiting it out.


A cryotube would be waiting it out, a statis pod would be actually removing yourself from the timestream.  But from the point of view of the person doing it, they have certainly jumped forward in time- though the pod itself does continue to exist and is subject to interference, so I take your point.

johnny_vegas: PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.

I see you have made the classic blunder of assuming you require a machine to travel back in time.


No I haven't.  I call it a machine because that's a quick shorthand, but whether you're climbing into a Delorean or casting a spell, you are still utilizing some mechanism to traverse the temporal dimension.
 
2017-03-16 04:32:09 PM  
I wish I could travel back in time and prevent myself from reading a Slate article.  If there is a site on the internet that uses more words to not say anything of value, I haven't found it.

That said, I think I'd have to say that Deja Vu is my favorite time travel movie.
 
2017-03-16 04:32:42 PM  

PlaidJaguar: Jumping forward in time is easy. Put yourself in a cryotube or stasis pod.


Right!

What is stasis pod?
 
2017-03-16 04:39:18 PM  

LewDux: PlaidJaguar: Jumping forward in time is easy. Put yourself in a cryotube or stasis pod.

Right!

What is stasis pod?


It's a pod that generates a stasis field.  A stasis field is an energy field which blocks chronitons in the way lead blocks x-rays.
 
2017-03-16 04:42:56 PM  

Practical_Draconian: HRC would have to ...

-Prevent Fox News from coming about and slandering HRC for decades
-Change stances to Bernie Sanders two to four years prior to running (give time to not look like just jumping on a train)
-Pick Bernie Sanders as VP
-Obtain a majority of Trump's tax forms in the past decade
-Contact the CIA/NSA and observe certain individuals years before 2015
-Drop the racial issues on Trump BEFORE he starts yammering about a wall; most likely during his Apprentice run in which such a stance would be more harmful to Celebrity Trump than Populist Candidate Trump.

Lot of work, time traveler.


You got a time machine? You got all the time in the world. She could even be leisurely about it.
 
2017-03-16 04:47:35 PM  

PlaidJaguar: mjbok: PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.

Why the limitation backwards?  I've read you can't jump forward in time, but not the limitation of the creation of the machine.

Jumping forward in time is easy.  Put yourself in a cryotube or stasis pod.

You can't travel back before the creation of the first time machine because that first creation is a temporal fracture point.  Theoretically, with enough power, you could traverse the temporal dimension beyond the fracture point, but crossing that border is like going from swimming through water to swimming through solid ice.


It's funny how theorists will state with absolute certainty things we can't even begin planning to test yet.
 
2017-03-16 04:50:16 PM  

yakmans_dad: Practical_Draconian: HRC would have to ...

-Prevent Fox News from coming about and slandering HRC for decades
-Change stances to Bernie Sanders two to four years prior to running (give time to not look like just jumping on a train)
-Pick Bernie Sanders as VP
-Obtain a majority of Trump's tax forms in the past decade
-Contact the CIA/NSA and observe certain individuals years before 2015
-Drop the racial issues on Trump BEFORE he starts yammering about a wall; most likely during his Apprentice run in which such a stance would be more harmful to Celebrity Trump than Populist Candidate Trump.

Lot of work, time traveler.

You got a time machine? You got all the time in the world. She could even be leisurely about it.


Could even realize that there is no point in being President if you have a time machine. Just change whatever you want whenever you want. The President would be a humongous step down.
 
2017-03-16 04:58:12 PM  

LoneWolf343: PlaidJaguar: mjbok: PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.

Why the limitation backwards?  I've read you can't jump forward in time, but not the limitation of the creation of the machine.

Jumping forward in time is easy.  Put yourself in a cryotube or stasis pod.

You can't travel back before the creation of the first time machine because that first creation is a temporal fracture point.  Theoretically, with enough power, you could traverse the temporal dimension beyond the fracture point, but crossing that border is like going from swimming through water to swimming through solid ice.

It's funny how theorists will state with absolute certainty things we can't even begin planning to test yet.


Or maybe theorists recognize this entire conversation exists only within the realm of the hypothetical and as such don't feel the need to redundantly point out that it is all theoretical.

Or did you actually think I was speaking with factual certainty about time travel?
 
2017-03-16 05:06:54 PM  

PlaidJaguar: LewDux: PlaidJaguar: Jumping forward in time is easy. Put yourself in a cryotube or stasis pod.

Right!

What is stasis pod?

It's a pod that generates a stasis field.  A stasis field is an energy field which blocks chronitons in the way lead blocks x-rays.


i.ytimg.com
 
2017-03-16 05:12:47 PM  

Keyser_Soze_Death: PlaidJaguar: LewDux: PlaidJaguar: Jumping forward in time is easy. Put yourself in a cryotube or stasis pod.

Right!

What is stasis pod?

It's a pod that generates a stasis field.  A stasis field is an energy field which blocks chronitons in the way lead blocks x-rays.

[i.ytimg.com image 480x360]


Whiteholespewingtimeenginesdeadadviceplease
 
2017-03-16 05:20:26 PM  
Short answer "yes with an if" long answer "no, with a but."
 
2017-03-16 05:22:51 PM  

LoneWolf343: yakmans_dad: Practical_Draconian: HRC would have to ...

-Prevent Fox News from coming about and slandering HRC for decades
-Change stances to Bernie Sanders two to four years prior to running (give time to not look like just jumping on a train)
-Pick Bernie Sanders as VP
-Obtain a majority of Trump's tax forms in the past decade
-Contact the CIA/NSA and observe certain individuals years before 2015
-Drop the racial issues on Trump BEFORE he starts yammering about a wall; most likely during his Apprentice run in which such a stance would be more harmful to Celebrity Trump than Populist Candidate Trump.

Lot of work, time traveler.

You got a time machine? You got all the time in the world. She could even be leisurely about it.

Could even realize that there is no point in being President if you have a time machine. Just change whatever you want whenever you want. The President would be a humongous step down.


You been slapping around the Question again?
 
2017-03-16 05:43:37 PM  

Fano: LoneWolf343: yakmans_dad: Practical_Draconian: HRC would have to ...

-Prevent Fox News from coming about and slandering HRC for decades
-Change stances to Bernie Sanders two to four years prior to running (give time to not look like just jumping on a train)
-Pick Bernie Sanders as VP
-Obtain a majority of Trump's tax forms in the past decade
-Contact the CIA/NSA and observe certain individuals years before 2015
-Drop the racial issues on Trump BEFORE he starts yammering about a wall; most likely during his Apprentice run in which such a stance would be more harmful to Celebrity Trump than Populist Candidate Trump.

Lot of work, time traveler.

You got a time machine? You got all the time in the world. She could even be leisurely about it.

Could even realize that there is no point in being President if you have a time machine. Just change whatever you want whenever you want. The President would be a humongous step down.

You been slapping around the Question again?


i.imgur.com
Kinky
 
2017-03-16 05:45:20 PM  
The way it sounds in that article, you can't really go forward in time. You can slow time, for yourself, so that when you arrive time has had more effect on everyone else but not you. For example, if you pop up on Earth in the 2100, using this method, then for everyone on Earth 83 years have gone by from this point. For you, the same 83 years have gone by, but slowed down so that it didn't have 83 years of effect on you. Maybe you experienced 1 year's worth of aging but 83 years still passed.  That's not time travel.

The article also suggests that since we don't know, and can't know, every little detail about the past then we can theoretically go back in time and change things without creating a paradox. I like that idea. I assume if I go back to 1933 and kill Hitler I will change the world's future. But that's only because I know the larger facts of the past. What about the small quantum details that no one knows? Maybe I go back to 1933 and kill Hitler and everything still plays out the same(albeit without Hitler) because some unknown factors are what really matter. Maybe Hitler is just the part we see now when we look back, so we think he's the important bit, but in reality maybe the unseen portions are what made everything happen.
 
Kiz [BareFark]
2017-03-16 06:15:06 PM  
The existing of any form of time travel means that causality is either wrong or much more complicated than we think.

But I do find the idea of quantum past fascinating- if there were two possible sequences of past events that would both result in exactly the same present, then it's indeterminate which one actually occurred.
 
2017-03-16 06:25:18 PM  

Birnone: The way it sounds in that article, you can't really go forward in time. You can slow time, for yourself, so that when you arrive time has had more effect on everyone else but not you. For example, if you pop up on Earth in the 2100, using this method, then for everyone on Earth 83 years have gone by from this point. For you, the same 83 years have gone by, but slowed down so that it didn't have 83 years of effect on you. Maybe you experienced 1 year's worth of aging but 83 years still passed.  That's not time travel.

The article also suggests that since we don't know, and can't know, every little detail about the past then we can theoretically go back in time and change things without creating a paradox. I like that idea. I assume if I go back to 1933 and kill Hitler I will change the world's future. But that's only because I know the larger facts of the past. What about the small quantum details that no one knows? Maybe I go back to 1933 and kill Hitler and everything still plays out the same(albeit without Hitler) because some unknown factors are what really matter. Maybe Hitler is just the part we see now when we look back, so we think he's the important bit, but in reality maybe the unseen portions are what made everything happen.


Time may very well not really be a "thing". It may just be an emergent quality of other phenomena that we experience as time, because we're clockwork beings. We, as a being, are essentially a metabolic process. We may experience time because our gears and doohickeys click away in a certain manner, and since we essentially are the movement in the system we experience things in that context. As far as the universe is concerned though, time is irrelevant.

Just think about a photon. It travels at the speed of light, and so it experiences all time at once. The instant it is emitted by some distant star, the billions of years it took to travel in space and the moment it is absorbed by a detector here on earth are all the same instant to the photon.
 
2017-03-16 07:48:40 PM  

rummonkey: http://www.tor.com/2011/08/31/wikihistory/


This is one of the funniest things I've read in the past few years.
 
2017-03-16 09:42:44 PM  

mjbok: PlaidJaguar: No.  Even if it were possible to travel backwards in time, you cannot travel back further than the creation of the time travel machine.

We'll just have to satisfy ourselves with manipulating the rates at which we are travelling forward.

Why the limitation backwards?  I've read you can't jump forward in time, but not the limitation of the creation of the machine.


There is one specific theory of how to possibly make a time machine that has this limitation.

As I read once, if time travel were ever casually possible, people would keep going back and changing history until the time machine was never invented.
 
2017-03-16 10:10:44 PM  

Birnone: The way it sounds in that article, you can't really go forward in time. You can slow time, for yourself, so that when you arrive time has had more effect on everyone else but not you. For example, if you pop up on Earth in the 2100, using this method, then for everyone on Earth 83 years have gone by from this point. For you, the same 83 years have gone by, but slowed down so that it didn't have 83 years of effect on you. Maybe you experienced 1 year's worth of aging but 83 years still passed.  That's not time travel.

The article also suggests that since we don't know, and can't know, every little detail about the past then we can theoretically go back in time and change things without creating a paradox. I like that idea. I assume if I go back to 1933 and kill Hitler I will change the world's future. But that's only because I know the larger facts of the past. What about the small quantum details that no one knows? Maybe I go back to 1933 and kill Hitler and everything still plays out the same(albeit without Hitler) because some unknown factors are what really matter. Maybe Hitler is just the part we see now when we look back, so we think he's the important bit, but in reality maybe the unseen portions are what made everything happen.


img.fark.netHitlers Gaurds were probably used to Time Travelers if such a thing is possible.
Perhaps time travel IS possible and this is the BEST reality they could make and we just don't know any better. Which makes ya gotta wonder just how much worse it was before they stepped in and changed it to what we have right now.
 
2017-03-16 10:27:58 PM  
But there is a caveat: Whatever the time traveler does in the past, it must be consistent with the state of the world from which she or he has come


img.fark.net


Well, now everything is back as it was. And if history doesn't care that out degenerate friend Fry is his own grandfather then who are we to judge?
 
2017-03-17 07:51:51 PM  
 
2017-03-18 12:47:19 AM  
static.tvtropes.org
 
2017-03-18 12:49:09 AM  
 
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