Two scientists from Canada and the US have come up with a mathematical model for a viable time machine.
The idea of traveling backwards and forwards through time has captured the imagination of the general public for centuries, but now two physicists believe that they may have found a way to construct a real-life time machine, albeit with materials that don’t actually exist yet.
Theoretical physicist and mathematician Ben Tippett from the University of British Columbia and astrophysicist David Tsang from the University of Maryland maintain that the key to time travel lies in using the curvature of space-time to bend time in to a circle that can be directly traversed.
“People think of time travel as something as fiction. And we tend to think it’s not possible because we don’t actually do it,” said Tippett. “But, mathematically, it is possible.”
They call their model Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (TARDIS) – the same acronym as the blue police telephone box in British science fiction series Doctor Who.
“My model of a time machine uses the curved space-time to bend time into a circle for the passengers, not in a straight line,” said Tippett. “That circle takes us back in time.”
Actually creating a machine that can take advantage of this idea however is another matter entirely.
“While is it mathematically feasible, it is not yet possible to build a space-time machine because we need materials – which we call exotic matter – to bend space-time in these impossible ways, but they have yet to be discovered,” said Tippett.