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  • DR. RONALD MALLETT: It's gotta be something a little bit more sophisticated than a DeLorean,

  • but the possibility of travelling to the future is real.

  • DR. RONALD MALLETT: [Laughs] You got it.

  • DR. RONALD MALLETT: I had to keep my passion for time travel a secret for decades because

  • I wanted to build up my credentials as a legitimate physicist and the thing is is that any legitimate

  • physicist who was talking about it was risking professional suicide to talk about it. It's

  • been a rocky road because you're not getting the support that you need because you're not

  • telling people who might help you what it is you're trying to achieve, even those closest

  • to you. And I can remember feeling very depressed because I felt like I was getting nowhere

  • in trying to understand how to build a time machine. And there would be times in which

  • I would just sit in a dark room listening to Simon & Garfunkel pondering whether all

  • of my life had been a waste to do this. I started actually getting heart palpitations.

  • I was put on medical leave for about 6 months. This condition..um..which I was being treated

  • for was the thing that led to my breakthrough because for the very first time in my career

  • I was totally isolated. That is to say I didn't have anything to do except think about all

  • of the information I had been processing for decades about the various possibilities.

  • DR. RONALD MALLETT: Time travel is now entering into the domain of the legitimate. That is

  • to say that the present generation of physicists who grew up with Star Trek are now the ones

  • who are part of the legitimate community. So it's much more open. Although the way in

  • which it's stated in scientific publications, which is code words like "close time-like

  • loops", which is the same thing as talking about time travel to the past. A number of

  • physicists are working on various ideas. One of the most well known is the notion of the

  • wormhole. A wormhole is just simply...a very simplified way of thinking about it is that

  • suppose you have a rubber sheet..a flat rubber sheet. And suppose you cut a hole in one side

  • of the sheet and you cut a hole in the other side of the sheet and you connect those two

  • holes with a tube, that's a wormhole. This allows shortcuts through space and time and

  • it turns out that by manipulating a mouth of a wormhole in the appropriate way, its

  • possible for a space traveller to travel through a wormhole and come back and see themselves

  • travelling back into the wormhole in the past. So a wormhole is a possibility. The other

  • possibility are what are known as cosmic strings. These cosmic strings are long lines of matter

  • that are..were created. They're sort of like fault lines in the universe that were created

  • after the universe was created. And these..if these fault lines are passing eachother, these

  • these cosmic strings are passing eachother, they can create a loop in time and along that

  • loop in time and along that loop in time you can go back into the past. So this is another

  • mechanism. And then there's my work, which I found a different way. It turns out that

  • in Einstein's theory, not only can matter create gravity, but light can create gravity

  • as well. If gravity can affect time and light can create gravity, then light can affect

  • time. And so my idea was to use light to manipulate time. My time machine would essentially look

  • like a tunnel of light. It would look like a circulating cylinder of light. Think of

  • the coffee in this cup as being a portion of space and think of the spoon as being like

  • a circulating light beam. Imagine, now, that if I take the spoon and stir the coffee, you

  • can see what' happening to the coffee. That's what the circulating light beam is doing to

  • empty space. The circulating light beam is causing empty space to get swirled around

  • and creating a vortex. But if you stir it strongly enough, it can actually begin to

  • twist time into a loop because in Einstein's theory, space and time are linked to each

  • other. Whatever you do to space also eventually happens to time. So in addition to twisting

  • space, you will eventually twist time into a loop and along that loop in time you can

  • go back into the past and that's the core of my idea.

  • DR. RONALD MALLETT: What I didn't realize when I began was the fact that there was gonna

  • be a limitation. For instance if I turned the device on today, a loop in time will begin

  • to form. And if I leave it on, for example, let's say 10 years, someone could travel from

  • 10 years back 7 years, 5 years, all the way back to the beginning where the machine was

  • turned on. But they can't go back earlier than that because the machine didn't exist

  • earlier than that. That means that time travel to the past is possible, but only from the

  • future after the device is turned on. You're not gonna be able to travel earlier than that,

  • which answers the question why we haven't see time travel tours because that means that

  • the first human scale time machine hasn't been built. But that meant that I was going

  • to be blocked from my possibility of visiting my father, which was very bittersweet for

  • me. However, I have to say that one of the things is is that because I've reached the

  • goal theoretically, I feel that that's something that my father would have been very very pleased

  • with, that I have achieved that. And it allows me, I have to say, to be passionate but its

  • not as all-consuming because I now realize that in addition to wanting to control time,

  • it's important to want to live in time. And ultimately, for all of us, even though time

  • travel will allow us to have an unprecedented control of our destiny, we all only have the

  • present moment in our lives and it's important to live that moment as fully as possible.

  • That's what I have learned.

DR. RONALD MALLETT: It's gotta be something a little bit more sophisticated than a DeLorean,

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B1 INT US time travel wormhole travel loop ronald space

How To Time Travel

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    Su Danny posted on 2014/08/18
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