It’s a question that everyone has asked themselves at some point; if you could travel in time, where would you go and what would you do?
Well, according to scientists, it’s not actually as far-fetched a question as you might think.
Brian Greene is a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University.
And while he admits that we won’t be teleporting back to the Jurassic period anytime soon, we might be able to jump forward a little. “Time travel to the future? Definitely possible,” he said.
“We know how to do it because Einstein showed us the way over a hundred years ago. It’s surprising how few people actually really know about this in their bones.
“He showed that if you go out into space and travel near the speed of light, and you turn around, and you come back, your clock will be ticking off time more slowly,” he told Insider.
“So, when you step off it’s going to be the future on planet Earth. You will have time traveled into the future.
“He also showed that if you hang out near a nice strong source of gravity – a neutron star, a black hole – and you kind of get right near the edge of that object, time also for you would slow down real slow relative to everybody else.
“And therefore, when you come back to Earth, for instance, it’ll again be far into the future.”
So yeah, it’s not quite Back to The Future, but it’s still pretty cool, no?
Sadly, however, Brain said if you want to go backwards, you might have a longer wait on your hands.
According to him and others in his field, the jury is still out on going back in time – though there is one theory that could allow for it.
He said: “The main proposal that people at least consider worthy of attention for traveling to the past does make use of a weird concept called wormholes. A wormhole is something that really… Albert Einstein again discovered.
“It’s a bridge, if you will, from one location space to another. It’s kind of a tunnel that gives you a shortcut to go from here to here. Now he discovered this in 1935 but it was subsequently realised that if you manipulate the openings of a wormhole – put one near a black hole or take one on a high-speed journey – then time of the two openings of this wormhole tunnel will not take off at the same rate, so that you will no longer just go from one location in space to another, if you go through this tunnel – through this wormhole – you’ll go from one moment in time to a different moment in time.
“Go one way, you’ll travel to the past, the other way, travel to the future.”
But he encouraged people not to get their hopes up.
Adding: “Most of us think that you’re not going to actually go on a whirlwind journey through a wormhole to the past. But it’s still not ruled out.”
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