Thursday, May 6

Prediction For Possibility Of Time Travel: Professor Stephen Hawking

Humans might one day be able to construct spaceships capable of such speeds that time on board would slow down. Such a craft could travel thousands of years into the future, reaching distant star systems within the lifetime of its crew, according to Professor Stephen Hawking. He says that “Time travel was once considered scientific heresy and I used to avoid talking about it for fear of being labelled a crank, but these days I’m not so cautious,” in his ongoing series being broadcast on the Discovery channel.

Stephen Hawking advises humanity could build a giant “relativistic” spaceship, so called because it would exploit the science set out by Albert Einstein in his theories of relativity.

Albert Einstein found that as objects accelerate through space, the rate at which time passes for them slows down. For objects such as cars and aircraft the effect is negligible, but Hawking’s spaceship would exceed 98 percent of the speed of light, when such effects would be extremely powerful.

Professor Stephen Hawking saus that a ship could theoretically reach speeds of more than 1,000 million km/h, but would have to be built on a huge scale simply to carry all the necessary fuel.

He added “It would take six years at full power just to reach these speeds. After the first two years it would reach half light speed and be far outside the solar system. After another two years it would be travelling at 90 percent of the speed of light.” And “After another two years of full thrust the ship would reach full speed, 98 percent of the speed of light, and each day on the ship would be a year on Earth. At such speeds a trip to the edge of the galaxy would take just 80 years for those on board.”

But Hawking dismisses the prospect of time travel into the past. Some scientists have suggested this could be done by exploiting wormholes, gateways linking different parts of the universe or which provide a short-cut backwards or forwards through time. Theory suggests such wormholes do exist at the quantum scale, meaning they are far smaller even than atoms, so the challenge would be to enlarge them to a human scale.

However, Professor Stephen Hawking dismisses the idea, pointing out that time travel into the past would create the “mad scientist paradox” where a researcher could travel back in time and shoot his past self, raising the question of who could have fired the shot.

Further from Professor Hawking “This kind of time machine would violate a fundamental rule that cause comes before effect.” “I believe things cannot make themselves impossible. So it won’t be possible to travel back to the past, using wormholes or any other method.”
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