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Once the domain of Science Fiction writers and blockbuster Hollywood productions, the concept of time travel has gained credence in recent decades. Advances in a field of physics known as quantum mechanics has many believing that time travel is possible.
And it isn’t just the stereotypical mad scientists we’re talking about, we’re talking bonafide, the real deal, got a full-time job at an esteemed university physicists. Although, one supposes that, like artists, any physicist worth their weight in salt must be at least a little insane. Consistently grappling with concepts like the space/time continuum most likely doesn’t lead to mundane chats over cups of green tea.
Ronald L. Mallett is a perfect example. The University of Connecticut physicist has been working on the idea of time travel since the 1950s. As a boy he found solace to his father’s death in H.G. Well’s seminal novel, The Time Machine. Since then he has dedicated his life to time travel in his altruistic quest to warn his father of his own impending death.
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But this is where the story gets complicated. Even if we could travel in time – no small feat – some scientists believe that it would only be possible as passive observers, and not as active participants in the past. Or, you actually cannot physically pick the winning numbers of the lottery ticket, nor would you be able to tell your other self what the correct numbers are. Your time-traveling self could only watch your past self pick the wrong numbers, run that red light, or screw up your relationship with the one that got away. Whatever. You’re still powerless to alter history. So you might have to drop the “I’m gonna change the past” approach.”
And that is just one obstacle. Even Mallet agrees that even if he could successfully build a time machine, he could probably only go as far back in time as the machine’s first moment of operation. Which means you could only go back in time to witness a future phenomenon that has not occurred yet. Not bad. Certainly, law enforcement must be interested (the recent film Déjà vu explored this idea), and there’s a huge market of jealous spouses who would pay for some of that intel.
Sorry that we cannot get into the scientific nitty-gritty details. I’m not even going to touch that one with a flagpole – but we certainly do recommend that you do not take our word for it. In the investigative of science, check our sources, and our sources’ sources. And after you do come back and let us know what we’re talking about. Meanwhile, I’ll be out DeLorean shopping.