Traveling Back In Time...

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Flashy, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. Flashy

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    i was watching a very interesting thing on the History Channel about the Battle of Thermopolyae (sp?) (i.e. the famed battle "300" was based on)

    now i always had researched it and learned etc out of interest...but here is something i found exceptionally interesting.

    what the battle ultimately did, the historians said, was cause the Greeks to unite as one nation, as opposed to the city states they used to be. This eventually led to Greece's eventual defeat of the Persian Empire, and the conquest by Philip and later ALexander of all the lands that became the Greek Empire, and that brought about the beginnings of democracy, philosophy, drama, etc. that was to develop from there in to the beginnings of western culture, and by definition, the beginning of what we have today.

    in other words, had those 300 soldiers not made that stand, and given the greeks impetus to eventually unite, the likelihood of greek and by extent western culture would never exist, since the Persian Empire would have likely crushed all the rest of a fragmented Greece, instead of a United one...especially considering that when the Persians took Athens they burned the place to the ground...

    so, obviously we have many examples of similar battles etc. that may have had an incredible effect on the world (the defeat of the Spanish Armada, had it actually been a Spanish success, etc.)

    but here is where time travel comes in to play...

    whenever you see a movie, read a book etc. about time travel, from the most serious to the most silly, the one common thread is basically "Don't touch anything, don't disturb anything, don't talk to anyone etc." obviously because you are changing the course of the history from the time you go back to from when you left...

    my proposition is this...

    if time travel did occur like that, obviously, there are some things that might change things vastly (like going back and stopping John Wilkes Booth from killing Lincoln, or going back and killing George Washington and Thomas Jefferson etc. Etc.)

    but is it always the case that every thing no matter how small would alter history?

    what if you just went back, and for 4 hours, you just sat on a nice hillside, and stared out at the sea?

    would that have an affect necessarily? probably not...but *COULD* it?

    i think so...what if you were stretching, and you accidentally knocked a small rock about a yard away...after you leave, a young man named Napoleon comes along, trips on the rock falls and breaks his neck, and he dies on the hill.

    so, i guess i am saying, would it in fact be possible, to go back in time, and not effect anything in the course of history, even if by your very presence, you have ultimately changed something, no matter how minutely small, like just the extra of presence of one more little human being on the planet, even for just 5 minutes, in a place where he was rather isolated, like a desert or a glacier etc....

    thoughts?
     
  2. dreamer20

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  3. TXgirl77

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    I don't have an answer for that, but I sure wish I could do exactly that! Thanks for writing this very interesting post.
     
  4. Flashy

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    my pleasure... :smile:
     
  5. Flashy

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  6. Flashy

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  7. Rugbypup

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    You're welcome...
     
  8. Flashy

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    very interesting...wish i had and extra unneeded $250,000 lying around to help him out :cool:
     
  9. jakeatolla

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    The answer to your question lies within the Original Star Trek Episode
    "The City On The Edge Of Forever."
     
  10. prince_will

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    For a really good read and answer for your question, you should read The Time Traveler's Wife. Ignore all the hoopla about the movie for now and read the book because it covers stuff like this in great detail.

    Plus, it's just a good book.
     
  11. HazelGod

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    You're basically describing the thought experiments pertaining to the field of study known as non-linear dynamics, better known as chaos theory in the popular culture.

    The premise, in a nutshell, is that our reality is so complex that even the smallest perturbations in the initial conditions of any system can drastically affect the developmental trajectory of that system in ways that are chaotically unpredictable. It's commonly known as the butterfly effect, based on the notion that an insect flapping its wings could very well be the initial link in a chain of events giving rise to a hurricane on the other side of the world.

    To your OP, every instant in time is essentially a starting point of initial conditions for every possible future. Due to the non-linear nature of the myriad interdependent variables, even the smallest change in that initial state could dramatically alter the ensuing future...and the farther along the timeline you proceed, the more pronounced those changes tend to become.
     
  12. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    Perhaps I am too influenced by Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder, Back to the Future :09:, and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, but I do not believe there is a way to exist, even in isolation, without having an impact in the world.

    In my view, every action, inaction, and even negative thought/energy, reverberates and I do not trust any person to respect basic tenets of time travel to remain separate, even for a short time, when faced with the possibility of improving their condition. Maybe I lean pessimist, but humanity has not evolved enough to entrust with that kind of technology, we are still too clannish and malevolent to time travel responsibly.

    *wonders if the 2012, alien technology guy (with the hot abs) will chime in?*
     
  13. Phil Ayesho

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    Small correction... because the movie, and many stories about this simply gloss over that there were 300 Spartans there.

    There were also 3000 OTHER greeks there from other city states.

    Funny how 10% get all the credit... What the Spartans did that was nobel was that they volunteered to COVER the retreat of the survivors of the other 3000 greeks... Because their city states would be the first ones attacked when the Persians got thru.

    Time travel is impossible in a truly causal universe.
    A small alteration, such as killing a butterfly, which means the animal that originally ate that butterfly did not catch it, which means that animal did not get to reproduce because it was not where it would have been had it caught the butterfly, which means that none of its offspring would have fed any of the animals that might have relied on catching them....

    The smallest change will snowball in its consequences until it can effect massive changes across the board.

    The odd time travel results that occur in relativistic physics might merely be an artifact of a theory that is not actually accurate...

    But they do call for any time travel to essentially deposit you so far from your point of origin that you could not possible travel back to where you started and arrive at any point prior to when you left essentially meaning that you can not travel in time and end up within REACH of anything you could change.

    Closet determinists love to see the world of physics as being symmetrical... that things could just as easily happen backwards as forwards...

    But personally, I thing that's a crock of shit... the arrow of time moves in one direction only because of wave function... events can only move from the uncertainty of the wave function, to the certainty of the actual event that transpires on the collapse of the wave function...

    Plus, one of the most promising schools of thought is that TIme itself does not exist at all. That everything happens right now and only an ever changing and dynamic present exists...
    The past is just an illusion born of our ability to remember prior states of NOW.
    The future just a fantasy born of our ability to imagine future states of Now.

    That makes the very idea of time an artifact of conscious perception that has no bearing at all on reality.
     
  14. jason_els

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    Here's (I think) a better explanation of Dr. Mallett's theory. It shows how these sorts of things would work.
     
  15. Rugbypup

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    Only in a universe, we have proved the existence of other, parallel dimensions, all be it purely mathematically. This means we actually live in a multiverse.

    A multiverse would imply the grandfather paradox can be solved and being that time and space are as intertwined as electricity and magnetism, if we know space bends... so must time.
     
    #15 Rugbypup, Sep 11, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2009
  16. HazelGod

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    Actually, it shows that Mallett has a very poor understanding of relativistic physics.

    The whole basis of special relativity is that the speed of light cannot be exceeded, regardless of your inertial frame of reference. If I'm standing on the shore watching an aircraft carrier sail toward me at light speed and a fighter jet launches off the deck, both the jet and the ship will appear to me to be moving at light speed.

    His simplified assumption that velocities are additive is a grade-school approximation that only works in Newtonian mechanics, and his use of this as the basis for his "theory" shows why he has no business speaking authoritatively on such matters.
     
  17. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    OK, what about stuff we see, like galaxies or tachyons, shifting away from us faster than the speed of light? Is that a measuring error?

    I'm a bit skeptical myself, but then I don't have doctorate in physics.
     
  18. SpeedoGuy

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    If I remember correctly (and that's a big if) I think the theory is that the bodies we perceive to be receding at very high speeds are actually being shoved away by space itself expanding, not of their own movement.

    Hope that made sense.
     
  19. HazelGod

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    Skepticism is always good, Jason.

    In answer to your question, we don't see anything moving faster than light in any direction. It isn't mathematically possible.

    The light emitted from any galaxy that is moving away from us at high speed still approaches us at the speed of light. Much like the Doppler effect changes the apparent pitch of a moving train whistle, the wavelength of the arriving light is changed by the difference in speed between us and the remote galaxy. If the galaxy is moving away from us, the wavelengths are increased, shifting the apparent color toward the red end of the spectrum. If it's moving toward us, the opposite change is observed with the light being shifted toward blue.

    The tachyon is a theoretical mathematical construct arising from possible solutions to the total energy equation Einstein put forth in special relativity:

    E = (mc²) / &#8730; [1-(v²/c²)]

    For any value of v > c, the denominator would be the square root of a negative number...known in mathematics as an imaginary number. Since the total energy (E) must be a real quantity, it logically follows that the rest-mass (m) of such a body must also be imaginary since the division of one imaginary quantity into another yields a real result.

    So a tachyon would be a particle with imaginary mass that travels faster than photons. Interestingly, such a particle would be bound to the superluminal realm in the same manner than real matter is bound to the sublumimal...it could never slow down below light speed. The reason is found in the asymptotic nature of the equation...if v = c, then the denominator becomes zero, resulting in an undefined state.
     
  20. Phil Ayesho

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    Um, No , we have ZERO proof of other parallel dimensions. Not even mathematically.
    Its just a story made up by scientists who can not deal with the non-deterministic universe that quantum mechanics actually describes.

    In point of fact, Quantum mechanics is the most accurately verified theory in physics... and it says that reality is fundamentally probabilistic.
    The "multiverse" is one of the stupidest exercises in mental masturbation ever conceived, and is closer to religion than to real phenomenally based physics.



    It is extremely hard for us to wrap our heads around the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that time even exists.... but there isn't any.

    We create a variable in an equation that stands for time, and that's useful for our purposes, but time may be as illusory an idea as is centrifugal force- which also doesn't exist. ( it is a combination of inertia and acceleration, nothing more )

    Einstein could not make sense of time, and so teated it rather successfully as nothing more than another dimension... But it can not be another dimension, because motion in that dimension is constrained in only one direction, which means it can not possibly be a true dimension...


    The only theory that actually fit Quantum fact is that EVERYTHING only happens in the NOW... there is no time, just the eternal present of collapsing wave function... and what we perceive as reality is nothing but the ongoing moment of change itself...
    What seems like an arrow of time is nothing but the fact that change is the point of conversion of potential into actual.

    It is not a narrative explanation of time nor reality... but it actually is the one that has the least evidence arguing against it.
     
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