Time Travel and Why I Don’t Think it’s Possible – Aryaman Trivedi

Imagine you manage to build a time machine. Perhaps you, like H.G. Well’s character ‘The Time Traveller’ (incredibly inventive name) decide to go far into the future, or far into the past. Or maybe you’re like me and just need to travel three minutes into the past to ask your mom what you have to get from the grocer again. No matter how far you travel in time, the outcome remains the same: you spontaneously cease to exist the moment you stop moving (or perhaps the very moment you start moving). At least, that’s my theory.

The time machine from the 2002 movie ‘The Time Machine’

Everything has two components: mass and energy. An interesting theory in quantum physics about the former is that particles are connected to in a way such that actions performed on one affect the other, even when separated by great distances. Einstein called it “spooky action at a distance”, and it’s the first reason you’ll stop existing.

Every single particle in your body is paired with another one somewhere in the universe. That’s two atoms connected to each other with a weird bond that even Einstein couldn’t really explain. Now, imagine that you went back in time and came to a stop yesterday at exactly 7:42 PM. The universe now contains three connected replicas of the same particles. That probably isn’t a good thing.

Now here’s where the hypothesizing begins. My guess is that such a connection isn’t possible, and so your atoms will either just stop existing or they’ll get attracted by the already existing ones from the normal timeline and sort of blend into them. Maybe they’ll become highly unstable since they don’t have an atomic partner and form a freak wormhole. Or maybe your atoms will stay connected to the pair to form a three party connection across the cosmos and stay in a constant state of flux as the other two atoms experience changes.

Or maybe nothing would happen to the matter at all, and I’m completely wrong.

But what about the energy? Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted: and not just to other forms of energy, but also into mass (E = mc2 means that energy is basically mass). All in all, since there is no creation of mass or energy, the total remains constant in the universe. However, your entrance into the universe of a different time adds energy. Maybe this wouldn’t mean anything either, but this new energy might tip the balance of the universe. This could also mean a variety of things. You might, once again, spontaneously turn into a wormhole, or stop existing, but you could also cause a catastrophic world ending event which causes the destruction of the entire universe. Sort of like a second big bang.

But hey, if I’m wrong, and I sure hope I am, it’d be excellent. Unless you trigger a paradox, of course, and end up living in a time loop forever, like Jake Roper from Vsauce 3. If you don’t, though, good job. You’re about to become the most powerful person to ever exist. Ever.

 

~Aryaman Trivedi, Amity International School, Noida

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