Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Time Travel

A direct link to the above video is at

A direct link to the above video is at

This is a great video from National Geographic showing serious scientific discussions of how we might some day be able to travel through time the same way that we travel through space now. The physicist featured prominently in this video is Dr. Sean Carroll, who I've talked about a number of times in this blog, in entries such as Wormholes, What Would a Flatlander Really See?, Time in Either Direction, Scrambled Eggs, and The Big Bang is an Illusion.

I've been a big fan of Dr. Carroll's work ever since I came across an article he wrote for Scientific American last year called The Cosmic Origins of Time's Arrow. There are two quotes I've pulled from that article before:

Our universe may be part of a much larger multiverse, which as a whole is time-symmetric. Time may run backward in other universes.
The universe began empty and will end up empty--the appearance of stars and galaxies is a temporary deviation from its usual equilibrium condition.
Persons familiar with Imagining the Tenth Dimension will instantly recognize how excited I am to see mainstream physicists finally starting to say the same things I've been saying with my project. Now, I see that Sean Carroll has a book coming out next month, called From Eternity to Here: the Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time. Here's a link to a page at his blog telling us a bit more about the book:

And here's another link for you:

This page from features a 24 minute video of Sean Carroll discussing some of his ideas. The presentation is called "Why Does the Universe Look the Way it Does?". There is a full text transcription of the presentation there as well, very useful for future reference back to these ideas.

From Eternity to Here goes on sale January 10, 2010, I can't wait to read it. You can pre-order it right now from if you're feeling impatient!

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton

Next: Life is But a Dream


Fred said...

Very cool video.
A very bright and unusual woman named Jeannie Gminor once gave me an old paperback book written by Einstein. It was my first exposure to the general and special theories of relativity, and made you realize certain paradoxes. (i.e. a rock falling from a moving train makes a straight line as well as a parabola, depending on if you're viewing it from the train or an embankment.) After reading it we discussed time travel. She said excitedly: "That's easy! You just fold space." Oddly enough according to her brother, she dissapeared not long after that day and no one ever saw her again. She must have either been eccentric enough to reinvent her life by cutting all ties with family and friends; the victim of foul play; or....figured out how to fold space. I hope it was the latter but that seems like a stretch.
But I always have to wonder HOW does one fold space? Maybe like the mobius strip, something else from a higher dimension has to fold it for you.

Dark Half said...

I don't understand how a rock falling from a moving train makes a straight line as there is linear inertia that gravity is overcoming. Not to mention the drag and terminal velocity. The rock is making a parabola in either case but because it is leaving the trains inertia constant, the parabola would merely be more extreme from the trains point of view than from the ground at a complete stand still.

Julia said...

Fred's comment is freaky. Last name Gminor?

Is that real? Great story either way.

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