Since we humans have had the pleasure to occupy time we have wondered how to manipulate it. We love to think about how society is going to change in the future, especially since technology has exponentially intertwined its ways into our network. How much more dependent on technology will we be in the future? Wouldn’t it be incredible traveling a thousand years into the future to observe the difference? To be able to go back in time and have a conversation with someone who doesn’t exist in your time frame?
Going into the future can become a reality if you decide to become an astronaut and travel through space at high speeds. To be able to understand this concept, you must first understand space time and its implications, which can be found in our last post. Say you had a twin brother or sister that stays on Earth as you travel to Pluto. You are accelerating close to the speed of light as the Earth remains in its orbit around the sun. Moving so quickly is a length contraction that has caused a time dilation; traveling at a substantial fraction of the speed of light has caused a difference of elapsed time between these two events. When the one twin comes back from his journey around Pluto, he will be younger than his twin on Earth.
As of now, time travel seems to be a one way street. Going back into the past would create paradoxes and seems much more difficult, if not impossible, to do. If you want to gaze into the past you can simply watch the night sky. We see the stars when their light reaches Earth, which can takes time. The further away the star is, the further into time you see.
Going into the future is practical, however, as astronauts have already traveled fractions of a second into it. As our society advances with technology we will get closer to the speed of light and be able to send astronauts on longer missions.
With the help of the Hadron Collider, we have recently beaten the speed of light barrier with the neutrino. With this knowledge, who knows what we’ll be capable of in a thousand years?
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