Time Travel, Impossibilities, Fate?

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Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 02:05 am
Einstein showed us that time is relative and can be affected by velocity and gravity.
Clocks in the basement run slower than clocks in the attic - this has been measured and proven already (the difference is in nanoseconds, but, the difference is important).
Moreover, the closer to the speed of light an object moves, the slower time moves for that object relative to everything else.
This proves that simply by passing by an object with immense gravity or moving at an extremely high velocity a human could pass through time at a slower rate than time on Earth, return to Earth and effectively have traveled into the future.
This is time travel without the use of exotic, science fiction-esque time machines, but just a natural happenstance of everyday reality.
If a person could use space-time in a circular way, effectively traveling backwards in time, it would raise certain obvious questions.
Could that person change the future?
Presumably that person could effect changes, but not in any way that would restrict that person from reaching the point in time from which he traveled to the past.
For example, he could not assassinate his own mother, because that would lead to a paradox. However, he would be able to prevent an assassination of his mother, leading to his own birth, and that would not lead to a paradox.

So, assuming that a person could naturally navigate into the past by means of manipulating space-time, what would stop that person from committing actions that lead to a paradox?
Essentially, what I'm asking, is this: does the universe have a mechanism that would restrict humans from causing paradoxes? If so, would that be what we commonly refer to as fate? Does this bring notions of fate and destiny out of the realm of the supernatural and into the realm of the natural?

Is it possible that all the things we consider to be supernatural simply be a category mistake due to our ignorance of the ultimate nature of reality?

"It's like you were meant to be a teacher."
"Maybe it's my destiny."
"Maybe...or, perhaps, if you don't become a teacher the universe will implode..."
Mentally Ill
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 01:05 pm
@Mentally Ill,
I went to bed last night and couldn't stop thinking about this, and upon further reflection, I realized that time travel into the past is not possible.
This is because there is no past or future, but only the present.
Time is relative, so, a person could decrease the rate of change for him or herself while the rate of change continued at normal pace on Earth, and it would appear as though that person had traveled to the future, but in actuality, that person never left the present. What is being manipulated, in the scenario, is not a timeline, but the object in time.
The most extreme example of time manipulation can be found in a black hole, where time ceases to exist, or in other words, there is no rate of change. Upon entering the black hole, time begins to slow down more and more until all objects would simply freeze in place. There would never be an effect of "reversing" time, however. Although this is a linguistic error, because time is not a line moving forward and therefore can not be reversed. Time is simply the rate of change of one single moment, relative to all objects in space.

In conclusion, time (the rate of change for an object) can be increased or decreased, but it is not a line on which we could travel forward or backward.
Reply Thu 8 Apr, 2010 04:20 pm
@Mentally Ill,
You could also look at it this way:
Right now we are moving forward in time at a set rate. The process required to start moving backwards in time would not happen instantly, but rather you would begin to slow down, then stop, then go backwards. The problem here is the "stop" portion. If you were to be stopped in time, other objects in the universe would experience you as an object of infinite mass. Thus, if you believe the force of gravity travels at the speed of light, then the universe would have a sphere of instant destruction growing in radius at light speed. If you believe gravity is instant, then the universe would instantly be destroyed. I don't think this has happened yet, as I seem to be typing this... but who knows, there could be a sphere of destruction approaching.
Also, if we assume that it is possible, our worry about paradoxes is pretty serious. Best case scenario is that a sphere influenced by your presense growing at the speed of light (the small forces of things like gravity that are coming from the matter that makes you) could break your time travel. I suppose if you outran it you could go back in time, but you were to ever stop or turn around, you would break it, so you wouldnt be able to come even close to meeting yourself. Also if someone else had the same ability as you and were to try to pull the same trick you did but in the opposite direction, it would break.
Mentally Ill
Reply Wed 14 Apr, 2010 01:48 pm
Very interesting thoughts...

"Right now we are moving forward in time at a set rate."

In my understanding of time though, it is not like a dimension of space that we move 'through'. I don't think it would be accurate to say that we are moving 'forward in time'.
Time is a measurement of the rate of change. How quickly or slowly change occurs is governed by the amount of gravity impacting the event and the velocity at which the event is moving.
This means that time is slightly different for all objects in space, which seems to me more like a perception than a dimension (like space).

"The problem here is the "stop" portion...I don't think this has happened yet"

Isn't that what happens inside a black hole?
Infinite density & singularity, the ultimate gravitational pull? If ever there were a place where time stopped, it would be in a black hole, and I'm fairly certain that's already happened.
But since time is relative it allows a black hole to have zero rate of change while there is still a rate of change on Earth.
Different locations in space have different rates of change, or times.
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 08:14 am
@Mentally Ill,
Only proof I see, is the way we messure time will differ under certain circumstances, time itself hasn't been proved ..Imo.

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