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Old 2009-12-03, 19:17   Link #1
roriconfan
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Lightbulb what is time and if time travel can actually happen

Really geeky topic; don't bother reading if you don't fancy nerd themes...

Leaving all the cool stuff we see in movies, do you really think time travel is possible? And don't start the E=mc2 explainations because they make no sense if you are not capable of expressing it in plain words.

For example, they keep saying that if you run faster than light, you time-travel. How is that possible? Light does not define time, it is just photons that help us see. In my mind, if you run almost as fast as lightspeed, time does not really slow down, you just "see" things moving slower because the "frames per second" the human eye catches lower as well. And if you run at exactly lightspeed, time does not freeze, you just constantly see the same lightbeam by traveling next to it. And if you run faster than light, time does not go backwards, you just outrun lightbeams and see stuff as they were before. The moment you stop, you are still in the present.

Then there is this notion that time increases in proportions. That the past increases as time goes by and that it is "stored" somewhere, where you can access it somehow and even alter it. Well, in this regard, it is like a line of bricks. Each moment, a brick is created next to another brick. If you know how, you can return to a previous created brick. Yet, the way I see it there is no more than one brick. Each moment the universe changes shape. The shape it was a moment ago no longer exists. It was recycled into the next moment and so on. So, there is no line of bricks. Just one that is smashed and recreated anew.

What I mean is that there is no existing past. The past does not exist somewhere. It is a previous shape of the current present. Our memories are not the past and neither are photographs.

With this simple thought, I say time travel is not possible because time is not linear. Time is a dot, a zero-dimentional ever-shifting present.

And anyway, even if time travel was possible you would have the typical time paradoxes to cancel it out. And even if you could bring up the "alternative universe" trope, you would still contradict the notion that matter is not created out of nowhere yet you suddenly go back in time or in another reality and practically materialize extra matter with your body.

There are more stuff that prove it is imposible but I will leave them for now.

Last edited by roriconfan; 2009-12-30 at 12:07.
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Old 2009-12-03, 19:32   Link #2
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I have nothing to add, but wanted to let you know, that made extremely good sense.
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Old 2009-12-03, 19:36   Link #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
Really geeky topic; don't bother reading if you don't fancy nerd themes...

Leaving all the cool stuff we see in movies, do you really think time travel is possible? And don't start the E=mc2 explainations because they make no sense if you are not capable of expressing it in plain words.

For example, they keep saying that if you run faster than light, you time-travel. How is that possible? Light does not define time, it is just photons that help us see. In my mind, if you run almost as fast as lightspeed, time does not really slow down, you just "see" things moving slower because the "frames per second" the human eye catches lower as well. And if you run at exactly lightspeed, time does not freeze, you just constantly see the same lightbeam by traveling next to it. And if you run faster than light, time does not go backwards, you just outrun lightbeams and see stuff as the were before. The moment you stop, you are still in the present.

Then there is this notion that time increases in proportions. That the past increases as time goes by and that it is "stored" somewhere, where you can access it somehow and even alter it. Well, in this regard, it is like a line of bricks. Each moment, a brick is created next to another brick. If you know how, you can return to a previous created brick. Yet, the way I see it there is no more than one brick. Each moment the universe changes shape. The shape it was a moment ago no longer exists. It was recycled into the next moment and so on. So, there is no line of bricks. Just one that is smashed and recreated anew.

What I mean is that there is no existing past. The past does not exist somewhere. It is a previous shape of the current present. Our memories are not the past and neither are photographs.

With this simple thought, I say time travel is not possible because time is not linear. Time is a dot, a one-dimentional ever-shifting present.

And anyway, even if time travel was possible you would have the typical time paradoxes to cancel it out. And even if you could bring up the "alternative universe" trope, you would still contradict the notion that matter does not create out of nowhere yet you suddenly go back in time and practically materialize extra matter with your body.

There are more stuff that prove it is imposible but I will leave them for now.
When you travel faster time goes slower for you, I think the phenomena is called time dilation. So if you were traveling fast as light it might have been few minutes for you but on earth it might well be few years. If you want to see the affect of time dilation I suggest watching anime called Gunbuster. So in away you do travel into the future, but I am not sure about traveling into the past. Though the time paradox, I don't think it would apply in time travel into the past. If one was able to travel back in time then they would probably create different time line so even if you did kill your dad you wouldn't be affected because you came from different time line. So maybe it isn't a travel but rather traveling through parallels universes where there is a different outcomes. Or maybe time just fixes any paradoxes on its own example Futurama (most should know what I am talking about ).

And well matters could be created, but it would mean that the energy has decreased in universe. Also I believe that there something in Quantum Mechanics that everything happens in all the universe at the same time. I wouldn't really know much because I sucked at physics.
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Old 2009-12-03, 19:54   Link #4
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Time dilation is not really time travel. Slowing down the flow of time is not suddenly going to another point in time. You still cross all the duration of the dilation.

And now I will bring up the black hole theory. You probably heard that black holes in the universe suck light and thus allow you to time travel. The only thing that will happen if you fall in one is that you will be compressed to a size smaller than that of a grain of sand. This misconception as I see it is once again made because most people think lightspeed is time... when it is not.
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Old 2009-12-03, 21:31   Link #5
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About the time dilation thing... you can watch Soukou no Strain. It's not suddenly going to another point in time but takes less time to get to it.

Anyway whatever we discuss is impossible to do in present time. No way to prove whatever.
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Old 2009-12-03, 22:38   Link #6
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If time travel were possible then why haven't people from the future traveled back in time and told us what the future is like?

"Time travel" like in the movie 12 Monkeys is probably possible, but I don't see how real time travel into the past would be.
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Old 2009-12-03, 23:05   Link #7
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I believe that time travel is impossible merely because our current selves don't exist in the past.
The past is something definitive unlike the future. You can't go back to it, or alter it merely because it doesn't exist anymore. And if you do manage to go back in time, then that means that the future is also definitive. After all, someone must've seen your current self in the past, which means that the future is predictable which, in my opinion, is impossible.

In a nutshell, time travel is impossible because it doesn't exist, and none of our current selves exist in the past.

And traveling to the future is nothing more than fast forwarding time, in a universe without you.
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Old 2009-12-04, 00:04   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
Time dilation is not really time travel. Slowing down the flow of time is not suddenly going to another point in time. You still cross all the duration of the dilation.

And now I will bring up the black hole theory. You probably heard that black holes in the universe suck light and thus allow you to time travel. The only thing that will happen if you fall in one is that you will be compressed to a size smaller than that of a grain of sand. This misconception as I see it is once again made because most people think lightspeed is time... when it is not.
"Time travel" to the future is certainly possible, moving faster will cause you to "jump" forward in time. Time travel to the future could be interpreted as the lack of experiencing the time from departure to return.

Time experience = the limit as speed approaches speed of light of time elapsed divided by the square root of some function of speed squared. If that made sense.

Really weird thought, summer feels short because the earth moves faster during the summer if only marginally.

With a black hole, first you would be stretched beyond belief, and then assuming you're still alive, then you would feel deflated, literally.

Going back in time requires either higher dimensions or breaking the speed of light barrier or both.

Anyways, my 2 cents. Not really organized, huh?
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Old 2009-12-04, 00:04   Link #9
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Since you (the OP) is not allowing mathematics, I suggest a few good books by people like Stephen Hawkings, Roger Penrose, David Deutsch, or others. They'd explain it a lot better than most.

Reaching the speed of light requires an infinite amount of energy if the acceleration is continuous. Only massless objects or quantum objects may sidestep this fact. Massless objects travel at the SOL - photons. Quantum objects get to play games with known position (quantum tunneling) and information sharing (entanglement or Bell's Theorem).

Though physical objects may not exceed light speed with any physics we know by experiment -- it may be possible for *useful information* to be transmitted and a lot of people are working very hard on it. So far the universe is winning by locking out all the possibilities tried so far (caveat: teleportation seems to have an edge).

Some of this is "by definition".... exceeding the speed of light is, by definition, traveling backwards in time. That's purely the output of the mathematics - just like force computation is the output of mass times acceleration. When you view anything, you're viewing it a few instants back in time (or megayears in the case of stars and galaxies) delayed by the finite speed of photons. Einsteinian time is stretchy, gooey, and depends on where you're standing. Newtonian "clockwork" time is what most people think of... but its rather like "flat earth". Good enough for local work but fails in the big picture.

There's a new theory of gravity being kicked around which may impact things but its still in the early rough stages that disconnects time from space. So far no ones gotten to the "what about time travel" part with it - still testing the basics.
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Old 2009-12-04, 00:20   Link #10
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Looking at things from a religious standpoint, I think it is impossible to travel in time because, things only exist now. The world itself is a timeless fixture, that never changes, but it is we humans that change or alter things on the planet. At the same time, the future is fictional because it doesn't exist yet, and it never will. We set date and times for this and that, but at the same time were only living in the "moment".

I bet that sounds confusing as heck.
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Old 2009-12-04, 02:01   Link #11
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Originally Posted by roriconfan View Post
Time dilation is not really time travel. Slowing down the flow of time is not suddenly going to another point in time. You still cross all the duration of the dilation.

And now I will bring up the black hole theory. You probably heard that black holes in the universe suck light and thus allow you to time travel. The only thing that will happen if you fall in one is that you will be compressed to a size smaller than that of a grain of sand. This misconception as I see it is once again made because most people think lightspeed is time... when it is not.
Hence I said "in a way". Black hole and time travel? Haven't really heard anything about that. Only thing that I heard that could relate black hole and time is that gravity do have effect on time.
But I really shouldn't talk about physics as I said before I was terrible with physics and really have no right to talk about it.
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Old 2009-12-04, 02:40   Link #12
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For a while.. the mathematics seemed to imply that if you hit a black hole *just right* (and it was the right kind of black hole), you could pass through unmolested and jump to "another universe" or some arbitrary point in time-space.

That was before the gritty parts of blackholes and the fact they rotate really fast was incorporated into the model. Turns out there's so much debris around a black hole - good luck with surviving that. Then there's the differential gravity that would spaghetti you and your ship. Oh, you'd go through.... but all the information associated with you would be destroyed.

Usually theories go through all sorts of revisions as they're being hammered out. Sometimes really interesting science fiction comes out of those transitional understandings -- sometimes interesting science documentaries. But laypeople don't often pay attention to the "this understanding is conditional and may change as we learn more". They just grab the model of the moment and take it as fact, and never check back in to see whats up.
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Old 2009-12-04, 04:53   Link #13
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There is also the notion that time is the 4th dimension and that you can "jump" time and space by folding space or moving in an extra dimension where time moves faster. Nice ideas again although I don't see how a three dimensional (or quantum) obgect can gain extra dimensions. Or how using more than three dimension ourselves when the best thing we can do is a Hilbert diagram of simplified n-dimension objects. It's like trying to drive a car with photographs.
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Old 2009-12-04, 05:07   Link #14
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Originally Posted by Autumn Demon View Post
If time travel were possible then why haven't people from the future traveled back in time and told us what the future is like?

"Time travel" like in the movie 12 Monkeys is probably possible, but I don't see how real time travel into the past would be.
There may be problems such as calculating Earth's exact position... we and the galaxy are constantly moving after all. So maybe it's difficult to get back to our location without accidentally ending up in deep space.

Perhaps at the time of it's invention, it's only possible to travel back a certain amount of years.
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Old 2009-12-04, 06:20   Link #15
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I think practically a machine is impossible. However perception is not, if you freeze yourself and wake up later you're the same relative age but are in the future. I would think that a frozen state of being 'dead' would go by in a flash because you have no conscious thought or dreaming going on. The one thing I think is impossible is going to the past.
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Old 2009-12-04, 07:53   Link #16
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Well if you consider our universe as the ultimate "Closed system" and apply law of conservation of energy;
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Albert Einstein's theory of relativity shows that energy and mass are the same thing, and that neither one appears without the other. Thus in closed systems, both mass and energy are conserved separately, just as was understood in pre-relativistic physics. The new feature of relativistic physics is that "matter" particles (such as those constituting atoms) could be converted to non-matter forms of energy, such as light; or kinetic and potential energy (example: heat). However, this conversion does not affect the total mass of systems, since the latter forms of non-matter energy still retain their mass through any such conversion.
If you consider the universe as a point on a line then all motion within this universe becomes linear and time indicates vector of the point. In which case for time to move backward you need to reverse the present vector of the entire universe so I believe time travel is a very tricky feat since you need to move yourself out of phase with present time and move all energy within the universe backwards to maintain conservation of energy.
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Old 2009-12-04, 08:09   Link #17
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^ If you can rewind time by existing outside the universe then it means you need to be in another, seperate universe. And if you are cool enough to be able to travel to other universes, why bother rewinding time?
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Old 2009-12-04, 08:10   Link #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alchemist007 View Post
I think practically a machine is impossible. However perception is not, if you freeze yourself and wake up later you're the same relative age but are in the future. I would think that a frozen state of being 'dead' would go by in a flash because you have no conscious thought or dreaming going on. The one thing I think is impossible is going to the past.
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Old 2009-12-04, 08:18   Link #19
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Time Travel..nothing scientific

When i hear this, i somehow think of two types of times. your own physical time and the world's time. now when i think of that, i think of separating the two *times* and putting them back together at a different point. this allows the transfer.

if you can travel outside your time, you could probably do it within your time. so in a way, you can get old easily.
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Old 2009-12-04, 14:15   Link #20
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^ Most of the people in my village are ignorant to modern views and hardly remember even the basic stuff they told them in school.

I guess time is frozen around here because they still live in the 50's...
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