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In the novel by Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse number 5 or The Children’s Crusade,” the main character named Billy Pilgrim was abducted by aliens. Aliens from the planet Tralfamadore reveal to Billy the secret of time travel and allow him to feel like one of them, giving him the opportunity to move to different time periods of his own life. It is also noteworthy that for the Tralfamadors there is no death, since death is only a period in time that you can look at at any time.

A similar idea can be seen in the 2016 film “Arrival”. But if we distract from science fiction works and think about the Universe surrounding us , then how do we know if it is possible to actually travel in time?

Is time travel possible? 105

It is possible that when scientists discover a new, revolutionary theory of everything, it will help to understand how to travel in time.

In 1915, Albert Einstein was able to more or less explain our world. So far, the general theory of relativity (GR) remains the best description of gravity in modern physics. The predictions of the theory were confirmed by numerous observations and experiments carried out both in the last century and in the present.

GR predicted the discovery of supermassive black holes and gravitational waves. Thus, we say again and again: “Einstein was right.” However, today researchers are in search of a new theory that can explain the reasons why the universe expands with acceleration. But according to GTR, our Universe should not expand faster and faster. Scientists believe that the mysterious dark energy – the invisible substance and the driving force of the Universe – is responsible for accelerating the expansion of the Universe.

But there are other inconsistencies: recently, researchers discovered a black hole in our galaxy, which, according to GTR and our knowledge of the evolution of stars, should not exist. It turns out that we need a new fundamental theory of everything, which will be consistent with both general relativity and quantum theory.

The genius of Albert Einstein

Isaac Newton reflected on the fundamental forces of the universe long before the birth of Albert Einstein. Shakespeare describes his thoughts about our place in the Universe in the best possible way:

“The whole world is a theater, and the people in it are actors.”

Newton believed that all objects in the Universe are actors on the stage: the Sun, comets, a dog, and even an apple. And the scene itself was space and time, two things that are absolute, and nothing can affect them. The clock moves at a constant speed, regardless of where they are, Newton believed.

These thoughts laid the foundation for classical mechanics, which could explain almost everything. However, the word “almost” is unacceptable if we try to explain how the whole Universe works , and not just its part.

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Time is relative, do not forget about it

After about two hundred years, Albert Einstein suggested that space and time can be combined with all objects in the universe. What Newton considered absolute, Einstein made part of the play. According to GTR, three dimensions of space and one dimension of time are combined into one four-dimensional space-time. And space is not inviolable: there are massive objects that can affect the shape of the space itself, as well as the passage of time. But that’s not all: Einstein argued that time is individual. Theoretically, this allows for the possibility of special “paths” in space-time that can deviate into the past – these are kind of closed curves along which you can go back to an earlier point in time.

One of the most talented philosophers and mathematicians of the 20th century, Kurt Gödel believed that a particle can get to a point in its own past through closed time-like curves . However, for Gödel’s assumption to work, our Universe must rotate, and its size must remain unchanged. But you and I are well aware that the Universe is expanding with acceleration. After Godel, other scientists created theories that were consistent with Einstein’s concept. But even if closed time-like curves exist in order to pass them, it is necessary to achieve a speed exceeding 220 thousand kilometers per second. However, the inconsistency of GR with the fact of the accelerating expansion of the Universe and the existence of closed time-like curves is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to time travel, because we are faced with a much more serious problem:

Einstein’s theory in no way correlates with quantum physics. And this is the biggest problem in modern physics. We really need a different theory to describe the universe. A theory that will take into account the quantum nature of matter.

One of the attempts to explain the Universe by placing all the points over, is string theory . Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, as you know, worked precisely on it. However, string theory is also not without problems: for it to be correct, the existence of six additional dimensions of space is necessary.

Along with string theory, there is a theory of loop quantum gravity , a theory of causal sets, and many others. Nevertheless, despite the fact that, none of them today is not able to fully explain everything that happens in the universe, scientists are in no hurry to write them off. At least when thinking about time travel.

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Today, our knowledge of the universe is not as extensive as we would like

So, the study , which scientists from Oxford University who worked on it, suggests that the creation of a time machine is actually possible. The paper considers the logical, metaphysical and physical possibility of time travel, based on the existence of closed time-like curves.

Scientists believe that these curves can be detected with the help of new technologies and argue that none of the proposed paradoxes excludes time travel. Also in the work, researchers write that time travel is possible in accordance with the theory of quantum gravity, the theory of strings and the theory of loop quantum gravity. Be that as it may, there are more questions today than answers.

Is it possible to stop time?

Albert Einstein demonstrated that time is relative: it moves slower if an object moves fast. Events do not occur in the prescribed manner. There is no single universal “now,” in the sense in which Newtonian physics would describe it . It is true that many events in the universe can be streamlined, but time is not always clearly divided into past, present, and future.

Some physical equations work in any direction. One of the aspects of time perception that many of us share is how we think about our past: we present it as a gigantic video library, an archive in which you can familiarize yourself with the recordings of our own life events. Some theoretical physicists, for example Carlo Rovelli, go in their thoughts even further, believing that time is not linear or does not exist at all. However, although some physicists suggest that time does not exist, our perception of time exists. That is why the evidence of physics is at odds with how we perceive the course of life. Our understanding of such meanings as “future” or “past” does not necessarily apply to everything in the Universe, but reflects the reality of our life here on Earth. However, as in the Newtonian idea of ​​absolute time, faith over time can lead us astray.

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Most likely, stories about a journey into the future will remain on the pages of science fiction works

Some researchers believe that the passage of time can be stopped, although this may not be practical. To understand how to stop time, one must again turn to the theory of relativity by Albert Einstein: the speed of light is 299 792 458 meters per second and is constant in the entire Universe. This speed remains unchanged even if the observer moves relative to it. However, according to data obtained by researchers from the University of South Maine, our perception of light can be changed. Theoretically, this means that our perception of time can also be changed using a phenomenon known as “time dilation”. Time dilation is the time difference when measured at two hours. Imagine that one of these clocks is mounted on a spaceship that moves at or near the speed of light, while the other clocks remain on Earth.

When the spacecraft reaches the speed of light, time at two o’clock starts to go differently. Since the speed of light is constant, it may seem that the time on the ship will move much slower.

The results of the study showed that the greater the speed of the ship, the greater the effect of time dilation. Only when the ship’s speed approaches the speed of light, the effect of time dilation becomes significant. Thus, if the spacecraft reached the speed of light, then time on board would simply stop.

You can try to imagine that the ship will continue to move at the speed of light until 2214. In that case, two hundred years would have passed for us, and nothing would have changed on the ship. This is extremely strange, but theoretically correct. However, do not forget that from the point of view of the fundamental laws of physics, it is impossible to achieve the speed of light.

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Would you drive Delorian?

Professor Stephen Hawking believed that Einstein’s research in the field of gravity, space and time, since 1915, may have solved the problem of time travel . The answer, as you probably already understood, lies in wormholes.

A wormhole is a passage through the fabric of spacetime that connects two remote points of space. Thus, a wormhole can connect not only two different places in the Universe, but also two different Universes. Recall that the British theoretical physicist did not exclude the possibility that black holes and wormholes could be a portal to other universes. Moreover, one of Hawking’s latest works was devoted to parallel Universes. If representatives’ developed civilizations exist and possess the technologies necessary for space travel, it is possible that they can travel from one part of the galaxy to another and in a week or two they can return home before they set off. That is a paradox.

And yet, when it comes to time travel, do not forget about the most important thing – every night, when we look at the starry sky, we see the past. The light of distant stars reaches our planet millions of years later, and the objects that emit it have long been extinguished. Despite the fact that you and I are not the Tralfamadorians and our perception of time is very limited, we still have devices with which we can look back in time and see the signs of the Big Bang. It turns out that we are all time travelers.

Metaphysics & Psychology

Research confirms that “near death experience” is not an illusion

Research confirms that "near death experience" is not an illusion 122

Dr. Alexander Batthyany, a professor of psychology at the University of Vienna, has studied thousands of cases of near-death experiences. Human thinking ability has nothing to do with the brain.

Near death experience case study

Dr. Batthyany and others collected thousands of complete cases describing near-death experiences , and recorded in detail the content of the near-death’s private prosecution and doctor’s consultation.

Doctors ask dozens of questions about what the patient sees (visual), what he hears (hearing), what he thinks (consciousness and thinking), life background (such as religious beliefs, life experience), etc., such as “Have this experience before Do you?”, “Do you see the light?”, “Who do you talk about your death experience?”, “Do you believe in your death experience?”, etc., to judge and evaluate the credibility of the patient’s narration of the near death experience Degree and the patient’s mental state after death (whether normal, etc.).

Dr. Batthyany said that the results of the study are reliable and fully confirm that the near-death experience is a real mental activity rather than an illusion. He also said that research methods have certain limitations, which will lead to underestimation of the proportion of near-death experiences.

Extremely credible near-death experiences

Dr. Batthyany explained that due to the limitations of the method, cases are likely to be missed, so the actual rate of near death experience should be higher.

Dr. Batthyany explained how he and his colleagues analyzed thousands of cases by compiling and integrating medical records into a resource library (such as the NDERF website), and then using search terms related to vision (vision) or cognition (such as “See” (saw) or “thought”> search for related medical records and score them according to visual or cognitive content, and then further narrow the scope of the study, such as selecting near-death experience cases with detailed medical records. This screening method based only on search terms is likely to miss cases where there is no such vocabulary in the expression.

Dr. Batthyany said that the near-death experience cases are highly credible. They considered that thousands of cases with near-death experiences are likely to have false reports, but in the process of sorting and analyzing, they noticed that only 1% of near-death cases were deleted due to validity.

Therefore, Dr. Batthyany believes that even if there are still false cases, the number is not enough to affect the overall conclusion.

Evidence of the phenomenon

In addition to these near-death experience studies, Dr. Batthyany also pointed out that the phenomenon of back light also shows that the phenomenon of thinking consciousness is extremely complex, even in the case of severe deterioration of brain function, there can be active thinking.

Dr. Batthyany studies the back-to-light phenomenon in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Among patients with Alzheimer’s disease (ie, Alzheimer’s disease), some people have been completely incoherent for many years, but suddenly showed a marked improvement or normal thinking shortly before their death. This is what is commonly referred to as “return to light”.

According to the current neurological concept, as the brain function of Alzheimer’s patients gets worse and worse, their thinking performance should be that their memory and various thoughts and feelings are becoming more and more lost, and there is even no human thinking at all.

However, the actual situation is just the opposite. The whole state of mind of Alzheimer’s patients may suddenly become intact like a spark burst.

“Psychological Vision” of the Blind

In fact, there is also a phenomenon of “mindsight” or “mind intuition” which also illustrates the independence of thinking. “Psychovision” refers to the sight of a blind person who reports during a near-death experience.

Kenneth Ring of the University of Connecticut found that among 21 blind cases who reported near-death experiences, 15 blind people described seeing the scene and had vision.

Dr. Batthyany pointed out that some scientists believe that near-death experiences are hallucinations produced by human neurophysiological processes. However, “in this study, the results of near-death experience, rebirth, and psycho-visual phenomena suggest that patients experience near-death experiences when their condition deteriorates, die, or have no neurological activity, and it is common.”

Therefore, Dr. Batthyany concluded that even when the brain function changes or even the electrical activity of the brain stops (the EEG is flat), there is still a clear sense of self, complex visual images, and clear mental activities. And other thinking phenomena.

Even though back-lighting and psychological vision are very rare phenomena, the countless examples of near-death experiences are enough to illustrate the problem.

Dr. Batthyany wrote:

“Our research results show that the visual scene, mental state and self-awareness that people continue to appear in the near-death experience are a rule rather than an exception.”

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Metaphysics & Psychology

What people see after clinical death: Stories from survivors that they would rather forget

What people see after clinical death: Stories from survivors that they would rather forget 123

Humanity still does not know much about death. Of course, it’s easy to write it off as “nothingness,” but what if in reality everything is a little more complicated? In the selection below – ten creepy stories “from the other world” from people who survived clinical death.

Recently, the user Aidanmartin3 asked near-death survivors on Reddit to describe what it was like. The post quickly went viral, with hundreds of people sharing their stories in the comments.

I was about fifteen years old. Climbed onto the kitchen counter to grab something from the top cabinet, but slipped and fell headlong onto the marble floor. The next thing I remember is walking barefoot on water. Then I look to the right, I see a very bright light and a hand, as if calling me. I go to her and suddenly realize how peaceful and relaxed I am. Like the best deep sleep ever. Then I said to myself: “Dude, this is so cool, I would never wake up.” And then all of a sudden everything disappears, and I wake up because of my mother, who is crying over me.By that time, I was already numb, cold, pulseless and even managed to urinate in my pants. As an atheist who does not believe in all this, I often think about that case.

Cule4444

My father died for a short while and then said that at that time he was walking along a long corridor to the door. But when he was about to open it, his father felt himself being “sucked” into his own body

Whiskeynostalgic
What people see after clinical death: Stories from survivors that they would rather forget 124

GIF © Giphy

He died of an overdose for several minutes.In reality, there was nothing. It’s just darkness and an incomprehensible period of time. It was almost like waking up after hanging out all night and feeling like a horse kicked in the chest.

Th30xygen

It seemed to me that I was kind of floating in a long tunnel and I felt very tired. I remember how I fell asleep then and had a dream that I was in the kitchen of my childhood home, and dad was preparing breakfast. I heard turmoil and chaos at one end, and at the other, there was a warm light that seemed soothing. But then all of a sudden I ended up in the chaos of the emergency room.

Free_Hat_McCullough

The story of my ex-girlfriend’s mom. Her heart stopped for 28 minutes. The doctors had already told the family that she had left, and even brought in a priest to bless the room. But in the end she returned. She said that she recalls running around the field with a little girl, who, according to the woman, was her niece, in the dress in which she was buried.

CastingPouch
What people see after clinical death: Stories from survivors that they would rather forget 125

GIF © Giphy

I heard a loud, high-pitched noise telling me that I am still too young to die. Then he got even higher, and I saw a bright light and woke up. The ambulance driver was shining a flashlight in my eyes

Workerhard62

Anaphylactic reaction to the deadly sting of the Irukandji jellyfish. I saw this white glow and how I soared up, then my family and the doctors and nurses who were saving me. Came back and felt a lot of pain

Georgestarr

It felt as if my body was being filmed on a CCTV camera from a third person. Then the camera gradually moved away and rose. I became very cold and began to hear loud clanking sounds. Woke up in an ambulance to the sound of a gurney bouncing on a rough road. It was so surreal. Since then I have not been afraid of death, to be honest. It was almost six years ago, but I still think about that case several times a month.

Hemptations
What people see after clinical death: Stories from survivors that they would rather forget 126

GIF © Giphy

I was hit by a car. I could see everything, blood had not yet got into my eyes. I heard all the commotion. I felt myself being pushed in the back, and then doing artificial respiration … After that I felt only the first beats of the heart and how the blood flowed through my body. The pain began to build up with renewed vigor, and then everything went black

Outsider531

I was pronounced dead three times. But “after death” I have never seen anything. At least i don’t remember

Amihuman159

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Psilocybin mushrooms sprout in the blood of an ‘experimental’ patient

Psilocybin mushrooms sprout in the blood of an 'experimental' patient 127
Image: Giphy.com

US doctors described the story of a man who tried to relieve depression with psilocybin mushrooms in an unconventional way. He injected an intravenous infusion of mushrooms, causing the mushrooms to continue to multiply in his blood and cause multiple organ failure. The case was reported in the Journal of the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry.

Many drugs that people traditionally use as psychedelics are increasingly becoming the focus of medical attention. Some of them have already been repurposed and started clinical trials: for example, micro-doses of LSD have proven to be at least safe in the case of Alzheimer’s disease, and psilocybin has helped patients with  migraines and  depression. Often in such experiments we are talking about microdosing – that is, the mass of the substance is not enough for a psychoactive effect.

The story of an American who decided to experiment on his own was described by doctors led by Curtis McKnight of Creighton University School of Medicine. According to relatives, the 30-year-old American suffered from bipolar disorder, but shortly before the incident stopped taking his prescribed medications and suffered from alternating states of mania and depression.

When he stumbled upon research on the potential benefits of psychedelics, he boiled psilocybin mushrooms and injected the filtered solution into his vein. A few days after this experiment, relatives found him in a lethargic state with jaundice, diarrhea and bloody vomiting and took him to the hospital.

Doctors discovered the patient had a problem with multiple organs at once: acute renal failure, liver damage, tachycardia, and low blood saturation and ionic imbalance. He was prescribed droppers to normalize the composition of the blood, vasoconstrictors to raise blood pressure, antibiotics and antifungal drugs. Despite this, he developed septic shock and DIC (excessive blood clotting) and needed plasmapheresis. Only eight days later he was discharged from the intensive care unit, and at the time of publication of the article he had already been in the hospital for 22 days.

In the patient’s blood tests, in addition to the Brevibacillus bacteria , there were also Psilocybe cubensis fungi  – the same ones from which he injected himself intravenously. Apparently, due to insufficient filtration of the solution, the fungi entered the bloodstream and multiplied there, causing intoxication and multiple organ failure.

Psilocybin mushrooms sprout in the blood of an 'experimental' patient 128

The authors of the work note that this is not the first such case – at least in the 80s of the 20th century, doctors already described a patient with similar symptoms after an intravenous injection. Therefore, McKnight and coauthors warn their colleagues: since psychedelics are increasingly used as a medicine (at the end of 2020, they began to legalize it in the United States), it is important to remind patients of the inadmissibility of self-therapy. Intravenous administration can be dangerous – doctors still do not know if it has the same psychoactive effect as the classical methods of administration.

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