Wednesday, August 10, 2005

My future self when she travels back in time will not disrupt the path of my present self

Apparently, the laws of physics do permit time travel. There's a lot of paradoxes to grapple with, but a recent paper proposes a model in which they "may be ruled out by the weirdness inherent in laws of quantum physics," as summarized at

"If you travel into the past quantum mechanically, you would only see those alternatives consistent with the world you left behind you."


(But wait. Will I be able to act at all, or simply observe? If I'm travelling back to where the quantum waves recombine, will there be two of me, or will I be my past self? I need a nap.)


Tim said...

With this particular theory, it appears that you could do more than observe. Though, from the glance I've given it, I don't know that it would be much more than observe, as your actions would have to fall within a certain fixed set of parameters, least they be voided out. In the long run, traveling back in time (during your own lifespan) may not equate to more than Quantum deja vu.

However, I suspect that the real benefit would be to historians. Being able to travel to the time of Alexander the Great, and see how he marshaled an army would, no doubt, be invaluable to research.

Of course, given the way this particular theory is reading, it seems to create an interesting side effect. Apparently, you couldn't kill Alexander, but he could kill you (as that wouldn't interfere with your past life at all).

Of course, that would make for one interesting tombstone....

1967 - 2020
He went back to find Merlin.
All he found was a pissed off Saxon.

rachel said...

Well, there goes my mad scheme to go back and smother Billy Joel in his cradle. All that's left me now is my mad scheme to unzip the earth and turn it inside out...

Isabella said...

This puts me in mind of an article I read, oh, some 20 odd years ago (22! whatever happened to OMNI magazine? and why was I reading it as a 13-year-old?). And — lo! — I just found it! That we live on the inside of a hollow sphere, mathematically difficult to disprove.

Please find another outlet for your evil genius, Rachel. If you turn the Earth inside out, we might fall off.

Tim: Quantum deja vu!?! I need another nap.