Two physicists have figured out the mathematics of time travel. They’ve proposed that we consider time and space a single fabric that can morph as we accelerate past a certain critical mass. Perhaps a form of quantum material like the Bose Einstein Condensate will serve as the “exotic matter” they claim to require.
A partnership forged between physicists Ben tippet from the University of British Columbia and David Tsang from University of Maryland has come to bear some astonishing results. In their scientific article titled “Traversable acausal retrograde domains in spacetime” they explain how a stationary box called the “TARDIS”, a wink to the sci-fi TV show “Doctor Who”, can loop time around itself by employing two separate vacuum domains on the inside and outside of a space time bubble.
The concept is similar in essence to the Alcubierre drive proposed for acceleration beyond light speed to attain faster interstellar travel. With the Alcubierre drive a region of space-time in front of the ship contracts while a region behind the ship expands creating a dilation of space-time around the vessel, preventing the craft from being torn apart by inertia. Unfortunately the Alcubierre Drive also requires some sort of exotic matter. As we will find, this discovery may not be too far off.
PBS Space Time has the best animated explanation of Time Travel and Faster Then Light Travel.
From their article Traversable acausal retrograde domains in spacetime
“Timelike observers travel within the interior of a ‘bubble’ of geometry which moves along a circular, acausal trajectory through spacetime. If certain timelike observers inside the bubble maintain a persistent acceleration, their worldlines will close.”
Though it is not specified, this “acceleration” is likely the result of spin for that is the only acceleration possible while remaining stationary to an external observer.
“People think of time travel as something as fiction. And we tend to think it’s not possible because we don’t actually do it. But, mathematically, it is possible,” thinks Ben Tippett from the University of British Columbia.
“We should start seeing the Universe in four dimensions, simultaneously, with the fourth one being the time, instead of viewing it as a three-dimensional space, as usual. That would permit scientists to use the space-time continuum in which different directions in space and time are all accessible in the curvature of the Universe.”
“The time direction of the space-time surface also shows curvature. There is evidence showing the closer to a black hole we get, time moves slower. My model of a time machine uses the curved space-time to bend time into a circle for the passengers, not in a straight line. That circle takes us back in time,” explained Ben Tippett.
However in order to bend space-time they will need some pretty “spooky” material. Acceleration to such a speed would require immense power. Enter quantum mechanics.
There is a burgeoning new field of condensed matter physics called “quantum materials”, and “quantum states of matter” which are directly on route to producing such an “exotic state of matter”. The first alternate state of matter was discovered in 2000 called the “Bose Einstein Condensate”
Physicists are beginning to discover that when certain compounds are cooled to a particular temperature, arranged at a certain angle, or blasted with magnets their particles begin to exhibit strange properties not otherwise possible.
For example, arranging Graphene compounds at a particular angle produces superconductivity while cutting a Graphene Nano-ribbon so that it’s width begins to alternate will create separate electron probability distributions useful for quantum computation.
“Physicists now report that arranging two layers of atom-thick graphene so that the pattern of their carbon atoms is offset by an angle of 1.1º makes the material a superconductor“
Perhaps we will discover a new quantum material that can produce enough energy to accelerate past critical mass. Alternatively it is possible that we have yet to reveal a new way of arranging current quantum materials to produce this unique curvature in space-time.
“The spacetime geometry is geodesically incomplete, contains naked singularities, and requires exotic matter.”