Saturday, June 15, 2013

the time travel we really want...

Almost everyone would have seen the movie series called "Back to the Future". In fact in the second part is where the hero, Marty, meets his teenage mother in the past, and she even falls in love with him. Very fascinating sci-fi movie. And it made the blockbusters too...

...but it gave us the wrong idea.

But why talk about time travel when this blog until now was talking about humans and the way of life, and other related but abstract things?

The short version: although we may not want to admit it, we are eternally searching for meaning and purpose of our lives, our existence - the universe. This is humanity. You can take a look at all major religions in the world today and see what they preach if you are still not convinced.

Time travel is possible. But it requires massive energy. Such scales of energy are only found near stars and black holes. Scientists equate the notion of time to that of a meandering river. There can be whirlpools inside it along the way; or the river itself can fork.

Time that forks simply means that there can be an alternate reality. The alternate reality part can be best understood by looking up a famous thought experiment called Schrodinger's cat. You'd find a link to a collection of videos and other articles in the end - one of then explains this idea.

So what is the future?

You can say its an event which takes place at time which is ahead of the one you are in now. But, behind the scenes, there are always factors or related events, which must produce outcomes that support the possibility of that event being successfully observed. For e.g. a plane taking-off is an event. The weather in the airport is an influencing factor. If its favourable the plane can take-off. The plane can take-off during a bad weather also. That is also a possibility. There can be engine failure at a critical time, like when its on the runway and on the verge of take-off. This is also a possibility. But the plane doesn't take-off - the event in that sense is unsuccessful.

But around that event there are many outcomes. The outcomes decide if we'd be able to successfully observe that event or not. These multitude of outcomes can be fit into a huge equation of probability, where the probability is simply computed as the probability of that specific sub-event happening successfully or not.

This is extremely complex to model, and those sub-events can drill down to the quantum scale theoretically speaking. Here things are even more complex.

So what does this all say?

The future like all other events is an event. That event has a lot of sub-events associated with it. From the perspective of the event being successful, all those sub-events should have supporting outcomes. Its an astronomical number of combinations which has to be correctly supported. This is what I would call Fate. (I know that word is taken, but bear with me).

And now time travel: everyone out there wish they'd want to go back in time, fix things and have a life changing future. The riddle is, how does one plan on getting to the exact same state of events as that of the desired point in the past. Isn't knowledge of all those events required?

So well, time travel is possible, technologically impractical, and as of today, not really reliable. :)

You can never change the past, but you can control your future, and have faith in the fact that you would.

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