Monday, July 30, 2012

Is time travel possible?

It seems that there is still hot debate in the mainstream about whether or so-called "time travel" is possible.  In this article I will put those claims to rest by exposing the implied definition of time given by leading "scientists" to show it's fundamental contradiction.  Then I will propose a definition that can be used rationally (i.e. consistently) which will once and for all show that time travel is a completely surreal notion, belonging only in works of fiction.

So, what do the experts have to say?  Edward Farhi, director of the Center for Theoretical Physics at MIT says,
"I don't know of a definitive theorem that says [time travel] absolutely cannot happen, other than it leads to logical paradoxes and it can also cause the entire universe to collapse."
Indeed, the most famous logical paradox to arise when considering "time travel" is the Grandfather paradox.  The saying goes that if you traveled back to before you were born, you could kill your grandfather before he impregnates your grandmother with your parent- a patently impossible feat.

But a logical paradox tells us nothing at all if we don't know what we're talking about.  So, according to Edward, what is time?
"That was a huge thing when Einstein realized the flow of time was not a constant thing."
So, it's a thing that is flowing but not constantly.  A thing is that which has shape.  Clocks are things because each individual clock will have a shape.  What shape is time?  I cannot even begin to imagine how it "flows" if they cannot describe it's shape.  This is not a semantic issue but an insurmountable challenge for the physicist.  If we are talking about some thing then it must have a definitive shape.  No mathematician alive today can tell you the shape and location of time, or it's direction of flow.

It is popular to respond by saying that time's shape is "4th dimensional" or some other higher dimension.  This still does not describe it's shape, but for the sake of argument let us examine this notion as well.  What is this mysterious fourth dimension?  It is imperative in our study of time to really define the word "dimension" so that we can be sure it is used consistently.  Doublespeak is not good for science.  So, a well known critic of mathematical physics, Bill Gaede, writes this on dimensions:

 In Mathematics and Mathematical Physics, the word dimension means something else:

    “ Mathematics. The least number of independent coordinates required to specify uniquely the points in a space... "
    According to Mathematics, if you heat a cube at 3:00 p.m., the cube is now 5-D: length, width, height, 30ºC, and 3:00 p.m. So why can’t you visualize this cube? What did the mathematical dimensions add to or subtract from the structure of the cube that would suddenly make it invisible or unimaginable to you?

Dimensions in mathematics, as it turns out, can be any kind of quantitative measurement of an object- a sort of coordinate system.  Easy enough.  Is this any different from a physical dimension?  What is a physical dimension?  The common conception of dimension is:
    “A measure of spatial extent, especially width, height, or length.”
The distinction made in mathematics is unscientific.  They are not consistently applying the word "dimension" and this leads to a lot of confusion.  Time is not a physical dimension- or extension of an object into space, but rather as what Einstein defined more much concretely:
"Time has no independent existence apart from the order of events by which we measure it."

Time is what a clock does, or what the Earth does around the Sun.
Time is a measurement of material change, specifically, a measurement of consistent movement- and movement absolutely involves objects to move.  It is a mathematical concept which refers only to objects in themselves. Time is not a physical object, it is a conceptual relationship between objects.  It requires "one or more frames in a movie", as Bill Gaede would say, in order to understand the concept.  Time can be symbolized or represented but it is nothing more than an abstract relationship between two or more objects.

This is a very easy way to have a rational understanding of time.  Imagine you have never heard of or seen clocks before in your entire life and somebody walks up to you and hands you a clock.  Until you saw that the hands moved at a steady pace and day after day the sun rose and set in accordance with certain numbers on the clock, you wouldn't be able to really have a clue what it does.  Time is just a concept.

Is the Universe eternal? What's time got to do with existence?

Did existence ever begin? Was there ever a "time" when there was "nothing"?

As demonstrated above, time is a conceptual relationship between objects.  Objects are, by definition, that which can be objectively measured or detected, things which have relationships. Relationships may not exist without objects and multiple objects create concepts.  Therefore, time requires physical objects in existence to be perceived.  Time is only a conception involving these objects. So does this mean that objects are eternal? It's always good to check with a definition first.


  1. Lasting or existing forever; without end or beginning.
Does this fit with existence? 

It is clear by the definition of eternal that it is a concept. If the concept of eternal is even valid it must involve objects in existence .Objects, again, must exist as they are what concepts are referring to.   Rationally, since objects do exist, they must have always existed.
It is unimaginable that matter was "created" or "formed" in zero time.  "Formation" is necessarily a process occurring over two or more frames of a movie.  True creation (something from nothing as opposed to just moving pre-existing things around) requires matter to appear from the void in a single frame of the movie! Motion in zero-time!  This is a complete contradiction that needs no further illustration.

Thus, existence is eternal.  Time is ultimately a concept of consistent intervals in motion and does not exist in any rational sense.

This article is part of a Series questioning modern physics:
1. Has Physics Become Irrational?
2. Objects vs Concepts
3. Time
4. Specific Quantum Strangeness (Soon to come)


  1. I which I could travel back in time before I tried to comprehend this...

  2. Thanks for sharing this nice info expect some more in near future.

  3. I like your blog post. You define that the importance of time so beautifully. It’s so useful and informative for your blog users. I read your blog with attention. Good work and thanks for your nice sharing.

  4. Your provided information is very useful for all readers. Time plays very important role in our lives. You define different ways of spending our time very beautifully. I mostly spend my free time in traveling. Last year i spend my holidays in washington bus tours that time was became the beautiful period of my life.

  5. I agree with all the above members. Time is most important for us to get success in our life and get some thing beneficial. It is our first priority to establish our time and make it sufficient for us and also for others.

  6. I am also impressed your blog post and I am agree for all over members. This information is very useful for all blog users. Time is very important in our life. I like travel and I mostly spend my time in travelling. Last year I am going to Hawaii to enjoy my holidays. The Sea life Park, Honolulu Zoo and Waimea Canyon State park are the famous places in Hawaii. I am really enjoying my holidays. This is the best time in my life.

  7. Definitely! Time has its own value and importance in every matter of life. It is very important for travelling too. Can anyone suggest me what time will be best to go with buses to boston from dc. I want to go there for a business tour?

  8. Yes, I agree with all above members. Time has much importance in our lives. David I want to give you some suggestions about your trip. I hope these are helpful for you. According to my point of view spring and fall are the best seasons to go there. Because summers are hot, especially in July and August, and can be uncomfortably humid.