• Question: -How long do you think it will take humanity to discover the ability to time travel? -if so, what would you do if you could go back in time?

    Asked by 954nepk48 to yoyehudi, Oli, Nina, Kerrianne, Ed on 4 Nov 2017. This question was also asked by 326nepk48, Alex. P, 595nepk48, Ayrton, Hannah.
    • Photo: Yo Yehudi

      Yo Yehudi answered on 4 Nov 2017:

      You ask that like you’re certain it’s something we’ll figure out how to do! I’m honestly not sure it’s something we’ll ever figure out.
      I wouldn’t mind attending a Queen concert at a point when Freddie Mercury was alive. He died when I was too young to want to go to rock concerts!
      If you’re in to sci fi and time travel, consider reading “To say nothing of the dog” by Connie Willis. It’s a comedic and entertaining take on what time travel might look like. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/77773.To_Say_Nothing_of_the_Dog

    • Photo: Kerrianne Harrington

      Kerrianne Harrington answered on 5 Nov 2017:

      I love your confidence! Personally, as we’re talking about going backwards in time, I’m not sure it’s something that would be possible, but don’t let that deter you! You get to check out relativity, and this is some of the most exciting concepts to think about in physics. There’s lots of good media on it that break down these concepts for any level on any media platform. “Minutephysics” on youtube has some good videos, “The Infinite Monkey Cage” is a podcast with some episodes on the subject, or you could even check out a book with words from the man himself, where he wrote a short book to try and explain concepts without too much reliance on complicated maths (I read the Routledge Great Minds publication named ‘Relativity’).

      General relativity suggests that travelling backwards in time might not be physically possible, but there are lots of time travel concepts that are wonderful and exciting to play with anyway. Stephen Hawking talked about “chronology protection conjecture”. This is his fancy way of saying he thinks the laws of physics prevent time travel, so even if you found a theoretical solution there would be some new exotic physics that would prevent it. But who knows? It’s still heavily talked about in general science literature, like New Scientist and BBC’s Focus. The appeal is too fun to let go!

      If I could go back in time, I would be a time tourist. I would check out periods of time that interest me, and try to blend in.

    • Photo: Oli Wilson

      Oli Wilson answered on 6 Nov 2017:

      I’m with the others, I’m not sure we’ll ever get there! If someone else gave me a time machine, though, I think I’d love to go and see parts of the world that used to be hugely different to now. It’d be amazing to go back 500-1000 years to my study area in southern Brazil to see the Araucaria forests before they got mostly chopped down, and to see how the local people used them too. I’d also like to go and see what the Amazon was like – in my area of science lots of people disagree about how much people affected it, and it’d be really cool to come back with a definite answer!
      And, on a different note, I might go back just over a year and tell James Comey, the former FBI director, that a little announcement he wanted to make would change the US election and the world! Hopefully that’d keep him quiet, and maybe we could have a Trump-free present…