Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Time Machine

Possibly the ultimate journey of all time would be not to travel to the stars or to another planet or even under the great depths of the ocean but rather through time itself. Time travelers could explore all of history, past, present, and future, and discover how time affects all life on the Earth.

Time travel and the machines that take you there.

The concept of time travel has been around for nearly 3000 years. Some of the earliest stories ever told about time travelers always seem to go far into the future. But what were some of the earliest stories told about traveling to the past? How would the time traveler get there in the first place? The most logical method of traveling through time would be the creation of a time machine. A hypothetical device highly sophisticated machine capable of transgressing the fourth dimension and break the bonds of linear time. But early authors of time travel made it much simpler than that.

Time travel could be in the form of divine intervention as in Samuel Madden‘s Memoirs of the Twentieth Century, written in 1733 about a time traveling guardian angel from the 1990s who travels back to the 1700s delivering a message and documentation about the future. In 1843 Charles Dickens’ book a Christmas Carol, which featured an Ebenezer Scrooge who was visited by three Christmas spirits, and then transported into his own past and present and future yet to come. Scrooge was given a remarkable opportunity to revisit his past and to see his own present and to see the possible outcomes of his deeds, done that could lead to a dire future.

For decisions that Scrooge relived, reminded him deeply of how he changed and how the consequences of his actions led him to the life he has now. This can be viewed as a sort of spiritual time travel to the past. Thus enabling Scrooge to actually alter his possible future to a better happier life than the grim outcome he was shown.

American writer Mark Twain’s a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889) finds the main character, awakening after an accident, and discovers he has been transported nearly 1000 years earlier to the time of King Arthur. This was made into a musical film in 1949 with Bing Crosby and Rhonda Fleming. What’s interesting about Mark Twain’s story is that the Yankee’s actions in the past actually affect history and the future to come. But soon other writers of the 19th century started writing more feasible methods of traveling through time. Authors like Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau and H.G. Wells started writing about actual time machines.

H.G. Wells is credited for creating the term “time machine” in which a time traveler uses to move forward and backward in time. This has become universally known as the device that all science fiction storytellers today use. Published in 1895 by H.G. Wells, The Time Machine story is about an inventor who creates a vehicle that can travel through time. The time traveler journeys some 800,000 years into the future and meets the deteriorating remains of the human race. The time traveler bears witness to the evolutionary outcome of mankind as he encounters the Eloi and Morlocks. Neither race bears any resemblance to any human being of his own time and with technology lost the entire world seems to be covered in vegetation.

So the concept of time travel can be achieved through many methods. From early writing of the past the main characters in time travel tales merely had to simply go to sleep and awake and into another time. More modern writers simply use the popular device known as the Time Machine to get their characters traveling through the past and the future. But is this completely science fiction? Who are the real believers of time travel? Why do top scientists from our own time actually believe that it is possible to travel through time? Given today in this modern time and understanding the laws of physics, and special relativity and general relativity theory. The notion of time travel is no longer science fiction.

Scientists state that if we can travel faster than the speed of light that we could travel through time. But creating this type of velocity is difficult. Scientists theorize that if a spacecraft can travel safely through wormholes and black holes in outer space that they could travel into the future and the past. But this can lead to more questions than answers. For scientists believe that if you travel backwards in time that you would create a parallel universe. Any action done by the time traveler in the past would create paradoxes and alternate realities, in essence a parallel universe.

The Time Machine (SF Masterworks)
Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the Tenth Dimension
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