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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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

What happens if you fall into a black hole?

Surely you believe that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you. But in reality, physicists believe, your fate will be much stranger. This could happen to anyone in the future. Maybe you are trying to find a new habitable planet for the human race, or you just fell asleep on the long journey. What happens if you fall into a black hole? You would expect to be crushed or torn apart. But it’s not that simple.

The moment you enter the black hole, reality will be split in two. In one you will be immediately destroyed, and in the other you will plunge into a black hole completely unharmed.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

A black hole is a place where the laws of physics we know don’t work. Einstein taught us that gravity bends space itself, deforms it. Therefore, if you take a sufficiently dense object, space-time can become so crooked that it wraps itself in itself, making a hole in the very fabric of reality.

A massive star that has run out of fuel could provide the extreme density needed to create this warped patch of space. Bending under its own weight and collapsing, the massive object pulls space-time along with it. The gravitational field becomes so powerful that even light cannot leave it, which dooms the region in which this star is located to a dark fate: a black hole.

The outer edge of a black hole is its event horizon, the point at which the force of gravity opposes the attempts of light to leave it. Get too close and there will be no return.

The event horizon burns with energy. Quantum effects at this boundary create streams of hot particles flowing back into the universe. This is the so-called Hawking radiation, named after the physicist Stephen Hawking, who predicted its existence. After enough time, the black hole will evaporate its mass completely and disappear.

As you plunge into the black hole, you will find that space becomes more and more curved until at the very center it becomes infinitely curved. This is a singularity. Space and time no longer have any meaning, and the laws of physics we know that need space and time no longer work.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

What’s going on at the singularity? No one knows. Another universe? Oblivion? Is Matthew McConaughey floating on the other side of the bookshelves? Riddle.

What happens if you accidentally fall into one of these cosmic aberrations? First, ask your space partner – let’s call her Anna – who watches in horror as you float towards the black hole while it remains at a safe distance. She observes strange things.

If you accelerate towards the event horizon, Anna sees you stretch and distort, as if she is looking at you through a giant magnifying glass. Also, the closer you get to the horizon, the more your movements slow down.

You cannot shout because there is no air in space, but you can try to signal Anna a Morse message with the light of your iPhone (there is even an application for this). However, your words will reach it more and more slowly, as the light waves are stretched to lower and redder frequencies: “Okay, good, good, good …”.

When you reach the horizon, Anna will see that you are frozen, as if someone had pressed the pause button. You will be imprinted there, immobilized and elongated across the entire horizon, as the rising heat begins to absorb you.

According to Anna, you are slowly being erased by the stretching of space, the stopping of time and the warmth of Hawking’s radiation. Before plunging into the darkness of a black hole, you will turn to ash.

But before we start planning the funeral, let’s forget about Anna and see this eerie scene from your point of view. And do you know what’s going on here? Nothing.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

You float straight into nature’s most sinister manifestation and you don’t get a bump or bruise – and you certainly don’t stretch, slow down, or fry with radiation. Because you are in free fall and do not experience gravity: Einstein called this “the happiest thought.”

After all, the event horizon is not a brick wall floating in space. It is an artifact of perspective. An observer who remains outside the black hole cannot see through it, but that is not your problem. There is no horizon for you.

If the black hole were smaller, you would have problems. The force of gravity would be much stronger at your feet than at your head, and would stretch you like spaghetti. Luckily for you, it’s a big black hole, millions of times more massive than the Sun, so the forces that could spaghettize you are weak enough to be ignored.

Moreover, in a sufficiently large black hole, you could live the rest of your life, and then die in a singularity.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

How normal this life will be is a big question, given that you have been sucked against your will into a gap in the space-time continuum and there is no turning back.

But if you think about it, we are all familiar with this feeling, from the experience of communicating not with space, but with time. Time only moves forward, never backward, and sucks us in against our will, leaving no chance of retreat.

This is not just an analogy. Black holes distort space and time to such an extreme state that within the event horizon of a black hole, space and time actually change roles. In fact, it is time that sucks you into the singularity. You cannot turn around and walk out of a black hole in the same way that you cannot turn around and go back into the past.

At this point, you ask yourself: what is wrong with Anna? If you are chilling inside a black hole surrounded by empty space, why does your partner see you burn up in radiation on the event horizon? Hallucinations?

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

In fact, Anna is in perfect health. From her point of view, you really burned out on the horizon. This is not an illusion. She could even collect your ashes and send them home.

In fact, the laws of nature require you to stay outside the black hole, as seen from Anna’s point of view. This is because quantum physics requires that information not be lost, not lost. Every bit of information that speaks of your existence must remain outside the horizon so that Anna’s laws of physics are not violated.

On the other hand, the laws of physics also require you to float across the horizon without colliding with hot particles or anything out of the ordinary. Otherwise, you will violate Einstein’s “happiest thought” and his theory of general relativity.

So, the laws of physics require that you simultaneously be outside a black hole in the form of a handful of ash and inside a black hole, alive and well. And there is also a third law of physics which says that information cannot be cloned. You must be in two places, but there can only be one copy of you.

One way or another, the laws of physics lead us to a conclusion that seems rather meaningless. Physicists call this puzzle the black hole information paradox. Fortunately, in the 1990s, they found a way to solve it.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

Leonard Susskind came to the conclusion that there is no paradox, since no one sees your copy. Anna sees only one copy of you. You only see one copy of yourself. You and Anna will never be able to compare them (and your observations, too). And there is no third observer who can simultaneously observe a black hole from the inside and outside. So no laws of physics are violated.

But you probably would like to know whose story is true. Are you dead or alive? In fact, there is no truth here. The one who looks at the world from the first person is alive. You, who remained on the horizon of the black hole and turned to ash, are dead. There is a splitting of reality, where in one you are no longer there.

There are phenomena where there is no truth; everyone perceives it differently.

For example, you can fly to a parallel world, where you live for only a couple of days, and then return back to Earth. When you return, you will find that all your relatives and friends have long passed away, and the world you are used to has changed to one degree or another. You went to a parallel universe when the year was 2024 on Earth, and you returned in 2088, although it seemed only a few days had passed.

Yes, it really took only a couple of days for you, but on Earth this very period of time proceeded differently, with you it proceeded much more slowly, but this does not change the essence: the time is the same for everyone, but it flows differently everywhere. In your universe, this time was perceived as many years, and in a parallel universe you perceived this time as some three or four days, and unlike your friends of that time, your body has aged for these same three or four days, but not more … Returning back, you can consider that you are in the future, and in part this is true. You will return young and healthy, and these 64 years on Earth were for you several days in a parallel world.

In the summer of 2012, physicists Ahmed Almeiri, Donald Marolph, Joe Polchinski, and James Sully, collectively known as AMPS, conceived a thought experiment that threatened to turn everything we had gathered about black holes. They suggested that Susskind’s decision was based on the fact that any discrepancy between you and Anna is mediated by the event horizon. It doesn’t matter if Anna saw an unfortunate version of you torn apart by Hawking radiation, since the horizon prevents her from seeing another version of you floating in a black hole.

But what if she had a way to find out what was on the other side of the horizon without crossing it?

Ordinary relativity will say no, no, but quantum mechanics blur the rules a little. Anna could look beyond the horizon using a little trick that Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”This happens when two sets of particles, separated in space, are mysteriously “entangled”. They are part of a single invisible whole, so the information that describes them is mysteriously linked between them.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

The idea behind AMPS is based on this phenomenon. Let’s say Anna scoops up some information from the horizon – let’s call her A.

If her story is correct, and you’ve already entered a better world, then A scooped up in Hawking radiation outside the black hole should be entangled with another piece of information B, which is also part of the hot cloud of radiation. On the other hand, if your story is correct and you are alive and well on the other side of the event horizon, then A must be entangled with another piece of information C, which is somewhere inside the black hole. But here’s the point: every bit of information can only be confused once. This implies that A can be entangled with either B or C, but not simultaneously with both.

So Anna takes her particle A and puts it in a manual entanglement decoding machine, which gives her the answer: B or C.

If the answer is C, your story wins, but the laws of quantum mechanics are broken. If A is entangled with C, which is deep inside a black hole, then that piece of information is lost to Anna forever. This violates the quantum law of the impossibility of losing information.

B remains. If Anna’s decoding engine finds that A is entangled with B, Anna wins, and general relativity loses. If A is entangled with B, Anna’s story will be the only true story, which means that you actually burned to the ground. Instead of sailing straight across the horizon, as relativity suggests, you’ll be faced with a blazing wall of fire. So we’re back to where we started: what happens when you fall into a black hole? Do you slip through it and live a normal life, thanks to a reality that is strangely dependent on the observer? Or do you approach the horizon of a black hole only to collide with a deadly wall of fire?

Nobody knows the answer, and therefore this question has become one of the most controversial in the field of fundamental physics.

For more than a century, physicists have been trying to reconcile general relativity with quantum mechanics, believing that one of them will eventually have to yield. Solving the paradox of the aforementioned wall of fire should point to a winner and also lead us to an even deeper theory of the universe.

One of the clues may lie in Anna’s decoding machine. Figuring out which of the other bits of information is confused with A is extremely difficult. So physicists Daniel Harlow of Princeton University in New Jersey and Patrick Hayden of Stanford University in California decided to figure out how long it would take to decode. In 2013, they calculated that even with the fastest computer that can exist, it would take Anna an incredible amount of time to decipher the entanglement. By the time she finds the answer, the black hole has long since evaporated, disappeared from the Universe and takes with it the riddle of the deadly wall of fire.

If so, then the sheer complexity of the problem could prevent Anna from figuring out whose story is true. Both stories will remain equally true, the laws of physics will remain intact, reality will depend on the observer, and no one will be in danger of being consumed by a wall of fire. It also gives physicists new food for thought: the filthy connections between complex calculations (the kind that Anna can’t do) and space-time. Perhaps there is more lurking here somewhere.

These are black holes. They are not only annoying obstacles for space travelers. They are also theoretical laboratories that bring the laws of physics to white heat, and the subtle nuances of our Universe are brought to such a level that they can no longer be ignored.

Do you think that if you fall into a black hole, then instant death awaits you? Your fate will be much stranger

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Metaphysics & Psychology

Some scientists believe that death does not exist. But why?

Each of us will sooner or later face death. But what happens at the moment of dying and after it? Throughout its history, humanity has been looking for answers to these questions. 

Christianity and other Abrahamic religions offer eternal life in heaven or hell, but Buddhism looks at the process of life and death somewhat differently, offering reincarnation. 

The gods of ancient Egypt, Scandinavian folklore, the myths of Ancient Greece – all these stories are somehow connected with death and attempts to cope with loss. But what if you look at death differently? What if death is not really the end, and your consciousness just loads and appears in another space-time?

Groundhog Day

Remember the 2014 film Edge of Tomorrow and 1993 Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray? These movies are similar, as the protagonists get stuck in a time loop and live the same day over and over and over and over again. 

The heroes of Murray and Cruz die many times, but they wake up again in the same place and at the same time. In fact, the time loop hypothesis is extremely popular among science fiction writers and screenwriters all over the world, so you can easily remember a dozen more similar films and stories.

But if you approach the story about Groundhog Day from a slightly different angle, then the question of whether it may turn out that death does not actually exist does not sound so stupid. Moreover, more and more questions arise – what if we just start life anew every time in a different space-time or return to that moment in time where death was avoided?

Bill Murray and the Groundhog are flying to meet the next day (still from the movie Groundhog Day)

Robert Lanza is the head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine, an institute for regenerative medicine that develops stem cell therapies with a focus on diseases that cause blindness. Let us remind you that stem cells are the precursors of all cells and tissues of the human body. These cells are able to maintain their numbers through division and have the ability to “transform” into different types of cells. With age, the number of stem cells in the human body decreases.

According to the British Express.co, according to Dr. Lanz, death is not the end, but simply a quantum reboot that moves consciousness to another place in an alternative space-time. The scientist believes that our consciousness simply creates what we perceive as the Universe, and without an individual, nothing exists at all.

The new theory also suggests that time and space cannot be measured, but are simply concepts created by our minds to help us store information. Moreover, Lanza is convinced that consciousness exists thanks to the energy that is contained in our bodies and is released as soon as physical bodies stop the process, which he calls “biocentrism.” It is noteworthy that Lanza put forward this theory back in 2012. My colleague Ramis Ganiev wrote a fascinating article on this topic, I recommend reading it.

Biocentrism is an irregular ideology or scientific approach to environmental protection. The main thing in biocentrism is the interests of living nature in the form in which they appear to man.

Long Live Quantum Physics Albert Einstein

It is important to understand that when we talk about the theory of biocentrism, we are at the same time talking about Albert Einstein. It was he who first suggested what Lanz later voiced: when our physical bodies die, the energy of consciousness is conserved and can continue to exist at the quantum level. Remember the famous words of Albert Einstein:

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only transform from one form to another.

Reflecting on Einstein’s words, Lanza suggested that reincarnation is real because consciousness is contained in the universe itself. 

In his blog for the Huffington Post, Dr. Lanza writes:

“It was actually Einstein’s theory of relativity that showed that space and time are indeed relative to the observer.” He adds: “If the world is created by an observer, we should not be surprised that it collapses along with the death of each of us. Space and time disappear, and with them all Newtonian concepts of order and prediction disappear.” 

The scientist points to Einstein’s belief that space and time are interrelated concepts and one cannot exist without the other.

Pictured is Dr. Robert Lanza. He believes that time is an exclusively human construction.

Consciousness and time

Let’s say Lanza is right and the time for a deceased person is really rebooted and consciousness appears at another point in space-time. However, there is something, without which neither one nor the other can exist – this is the observer. This means that consciousness simply reappears at another point in space-time after death.

“We think the past is the past and the future is the future. But as Einstein realized, it just isn’t true. Without consciousness, space and time are nothing; in fact, you can accept any time – past or future – as your new frame of reference. Death is a reboot that leads to new opportunities. “

Robert Lanza, Head of Astellas Global Regenerative Medicine

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Metaphysics & Psychology

‘The Matrix’ turned out to be a metaphor for transgender people and gender identity

Director Lilly Wachowski has confirmed fan theory that the Matrix trilogy is about transgender people and gender identity. Interviews with the filmmaker, in which she reveals the meaning and metaphors of films, published on YouTube -channel, the Netflix Film Club.

“I’m glad people talk about The Matrix films through a transgender lens. I like that these movies turned out to be close to trans people who come up to me and talk about how these films saved their lives,” she admitted.

Wachowski emphasized that she is happy that the original idea of ​​the film has surfaced in fan theories:

“It was our original concept, but the world – I mean the film company – was not yet ready for this.”

The Matrix is ​​a trilogy of sci-fi films from 1999 to 2003. It tells about the struggle of surviving people with intelligent machines after the death of human civilization. 

The trilogy has grossed $ 1.6 billion worldwide. The directors were brothers Lawrence and Andrew Wachowski, who then changed sex and became Lana and Lilly Wachowski.

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