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Time travel is indeed possible says a scientist. Dr. Ron Mallett is a world famous theoretical physicist who works at the University of Connecticut, but he was once a child who lost his father very young. Mallett’s father passed away when the boy was only 10 years of age and even then, the thought of traveling back in time in order to try to stop his father’s death riveted his imagination.
However, this was not a childhood dream. He studied physics while in college, with a distinctive focus on black holes. He believed that learning about black holes might be able to help him understand more about time travel. At that time, black holes were thought to be something crazy, but they were considered at least reasonably crazy. However, Mallett stated that time travel itself was just considered plainly insane. He added because of that he used studying black holes as a cover-up.
Albert Einstein believed that time was a fourth dimension and he stated that it and space were connected. This is why physicists speak about space-time. It is thought that space-time twists and curls around black holes. Mallett questioned if he could duplicate such conditions on Earth.
Dr. Mallett realized from Einstein’s theories that time was affected by both time and speed. He also knew that light could produce gravity. He then realized he could use lasers for what he wanted to do. He had worked with lasers many times and knew that a ring laser produced circulating light. He thought that possibly a circulating light would do the same to gravity that a revolving black hole would.
If the laser could produce this kind a loop, then formation might be able to be sent into the past in binary formula. A sequence of neutrons could be arranged so that several face up and others are down, signifying 1’s and 0’s respectively. That would make a binary message.
Now came the rough part. He would have to test his theory in mathematical equations. He took over six months just to figure out and prove that circulating light could actually twist space. It would be a few more years before he was able to show that the twisting of space also twisted time. Even though it was a long, painstaking effort, Dr. Mallett worked on his experiment until he felt he found what he was looking for.
He stated that all the time and effort was worth it. When he got to see the equations and that they predicted time travel was actually possible, it was an amazing thing. His next thrill came when an admired science journal printed his first article about time travel.
Dr. Mallett has since then also penned a book about his private journey along with details of his scientific discoveries, in the book, Time Traveler: A Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality.
Mallett, However, is a theoretical physicist, not an experimental physicist. This means he has come up with the mathematical proof that time travel to the future can work. Now it is up to experimental physicists to find the right equipment and create the time machine.
If a time machine were to ever be created from Dr. Mallett’s plans, what might happen when the on switch is flipped? He thinks there might be a message from the future instantly show up. The time machine would be only able to send data along the timeline from when the machine was first turned on until the time it goes off.
If it were to stay on for 200 years, binary messages may be sent to any specific time within those two centuries. Someone living in the future would know that the machine will be turned on at a certain point in time and send back a message to that date, possibly to himself or herself.
Dr. Mallet believes that if time machines ever come into use, they will be strictly controlled. He does not believe that they will be in common use. He thinks their proper usage will be to warn individuals about upcoming natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes, in order to try to stop the large loss of life that comes from such events. Do not plan on seeing spacemen talking to cavemen anytime soon because that is not what Dr. Mallet has in the cards, but that could be on down the line eventually.
By Kimberly Ruble
Photo by Scott Beale –Flickr License