Scientist Proving that Time Travel is Possible
How often do we think about getting back into time? Actually, not so seldom as it may seem at first glance. Some people would love to get back old days and fix the mistakes they made as kids, some dream of going too far to unknown times to see what it was like before the humans or even earlier.
Unfortunately, the past is a closed faraway place. You can’t apply for a visa card there with all the money in the world. The rough fact of the matter is ‒ physics won’t let us get into the mysterious world of the past. And there is no helping to this situation, it seems that we have to give up and never dream of traveling through time ever again. Or is there a point in following the time travel latest news?
The world is full of inventors nowadays, intelligent and diverse minds are all around. There really are some people who are not used to giving up easily and are ready to continue the struggle until they achieve their biggest dream to travel the time. Do you remember the “Back to the Future” series? Even after all these years, people still watch them with their hearts restless. These movies continuously motivate scientists from all around the world to come up with new formulations of time travel to bring it ever closer.
One of these scientists is an astrophysicist Ron Mallett. He dedicated the majority of his life to providing evidence that time travel is real. For many years now, he has been working with theoretical data, elaborating equations, and learning the principles of physics to come up with a technical realization of a time machine. It is hard to deny the fact that Mallett probably won’t live long enough to witness the working machinery in action. Considering this, he has built himself a respectable academic career but never left his attempts at building the thing. It has to do with his early days.
Mallett was only 10 when his father died. The death came too fast to be avoided ‒ a heart stroke did not leave his father a chance. This tragedy has changed the life of the young boy and gave him a new direction in life, a goal that he would adopt with eagerness. He loved his father who was the center of the boy’s universe too much to get over the loss. Now, having become a scientist, he hopes to invent the time travel machine to meet his father again.
Mallett-senior worked as a television technician and loved the science himself. He was the one to encourage the young boy to read books and study the organization of the world. Sometime after his father was gone, Mallett has found a book ‒ an illustrated version of “The time machine”. This was truly a symbolic finding for the boy!
He later revealed during one of his interviews that is was not just a book but actually a turning point in his life. This is how the tragedy of Mallett’s family has gained new contours thanks to the vivid mind of H.G.Wells who wrote the landmark book. Mallett realized that the tragedy was not the end but a new start.
After the long 60 years of struggle, Mallett established a successful career as a physics professor at the University of Connecticut. He studied black holes and the general relativity theory a lot. Albert Einstein has once turned the world upside down by claiming the innovative space, gravitation, and time theory. This theory is still studied by many scientists all around the world even today.
Ron Mallett has spent some long hours elaborating on the possibility of time travel, he always bore in mind a single most important question ‒ “How can I go back in time”. This topic has been of great interest to the most prominent minds for a long time now despite not having achieved any substantial or practical results. They all just agree on the fact that the path to the past would be sophisticated and not a smooth one.
Many believe that Mallett set himself an objective he won’t ever be able to achieve. There are not many people truly believing in this man’s abilities. Even more, most of his colleagues share the same belief that this entire story is too personal and dramatic, full of youthful dreams and passion. They think that his striving to rule over the destiny changing the inevitable events is not going to lead him anywhere, that there is no point in trying to bring the disturbances into the organization of the Universe.
Time Travel as a Duty
When in 1950s people dreamt of space ‒ Mallett already thought about time travel.
“When we were just dreaming of getting out into the far space ‒ it seemed just as unlikely as time-traveling is today,” said the scientist, recognizing the old days.
The inventor’s family lived in a poor area of New York, and then in Pennsylvania. They were always struggling for money ‒ these were some tough times for them. Despite that, the future professor would always come up with a way of getting the necessary study materials. Books were a real shelter for the young boy. He dealt with the lack of his father by delving headfirst into the readings. This is how he got acquainted with the works of great Einstein. It was a new stage for the young researcher who was now not just into fantastic series but studied the real science spending all of his time by the books.
As a teenager, he studied numerous scientific works of different authors. After finishing middle school he was able to get into a college thanks to the military program for American veterans that helped the boy to get his education. Mallett served four years in the USA army, he even took part in the Vietnam war.
This is how he got into the academy. He graduated with a physics bachelor’s degree but didn’t stop there. He continued on his scientific path and got a master’s degree and became a doctor of science later on.
The first significant work of the astrophysicist was his collaboration with the United Technologies company that produced planes. Mallett worked with lasers trying to drill a hole in the turbine blade of a jet engine.
After some years of hard work on the practical implementation of the world’s scientific achievements, Ronald Mallett became an associate professor of physics at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) ‒ the same university he works in up until this very day. But whatever happened in the life of the scientist (military service, Vietnam, university, relocating) ‒ he never left his dream of time travel once.
He publicly declared his intention of building a time machine while being an internal staff member of the UCONN. Now he could talk about this openly as a real scientist. Having achieved a successful career, he was not afraid of being fired for his words. “I had to make sure that I have got to a point where I can share my ambitions with others and not fear anything,” the professor said.
He was nervous that he would be laughed at for his ideas, or that people would consider him crazy. However, when his speech was heard by the public, it turned out that many people were interested in time travel just as much as the scientist himself and are ready to support him in his research. Everyone has moments in their lives they would like to get back in time and change ‒ whether it some things they made or people who left too early. And this is how Mallett got himself a lot of soulmates ready to not just passively agree with his ideas about time travel but also support him in different ways.
“People from all around the world contacted me asking for more detailed information on the potential of time traveling,” said Mallett.
Ron Mallett is a typical professor you would expect him to be. He sits in his laboratory all day long studying some unexplored fields of knowledge, writing formulas on the board, and conducting exciting experiments. The process of exploring the world goes on while our scientist works like a bee ‒ what a respectable occupation, right? It is certainly so, however, the personal story of Mallett may be touching but can science actually deal with such an unreal problem?
The professor claims that it has a lot to do with Einstein’s special and general relativity theory. “To put it as simple as possible ‒ Einstein claimed that speed has a direct influence on time,” says Mallett.
If we take an astronaut for example, when they are in a spaceship moving with the speed of light, it becomes apparent that their time is not the same as our time anymore. The time in the spaceship acts differently than it does here on Earth. In the open space, they could age a couple of years while it is some decades in the planet’s atmosphere. It seems unreal but it is, in fact, a scientifically approved phenomenon, whether you believe it or not.
Do you remember the sci-fi movie called “The planet of the apes”? At the end of the film, an astronaut realizes that he did not actually travel to a different planet. It turned out that his home planet Earth has undergone an apocalypse and now the apes state the rules. Mallett believes that this scenario is indeed plausible. The first rationale is Einstein’s special relativity theory. The professor sees it like this: if you travel at high enough speed ‒ you actually travel through time, it is already time traveling!
But this theory won’t help the scientist to meet his father once again. We may have found the way to travel forth, but the professor is more interested in traveling back into time. So how is he going to do it?
The general relativity theory of Einstein is based on the principles of gravity, it studies how gravity influences time. According to Einstein, more gravity force means a slower time flow. The same theory implies that the phenomenon we call gravity force is not exactly a force but rather distortion of space caused by massive objects.
“If you can distort the space, there is a possibility we can twirl it as well,” says Ron Mallett.
If we delve deeper into Einstein’s theory of relativity, it turns out that whenever we interact with space we also deal with time. It seems fantastic but time and space may be more interrelated than it seems at first glance.
Mallett’s time travel is basically built upon the conclusion that if we are able to twist time into a loop, we will be able to travel back and forth in time without problems. It will be like a tunnel with multiple entries leading a person to the right point in time. The scientist also wants to make use of light in the process ‒ he plans to influence time using a ring laser.
Mallett has developed a vivid prototype to get us an idea. His past experience with lasers on jet aircraft engines has come him handy at last. The prototype shows how lasers can be implemented to form a circulating light beam capable of substantially distorting space and thus twisting time. Understanding the principles of work of a laser has significantly increased the chances of a massive breakthrough in the time-traveling theory.
“Studying the type of gravitational field created by the ring laser can give us a new perspective on the possibility of inventing the time-travel machine based on the circulating light beam,” believes the scientist.
The professor has elaborated on the theoretical equation that explains his claim, providing evidence of its plausibility. According to the developments of Mallett, the circulating light beam can act as the famous time machine causing time distortion which makes it possible to travel back in time.
It seems not that really hard. So what’s the deal?
“You can actually send information back in time, but you can only do it at the exact moment you turn the machine on,” says Mallett.
It all seems quite logical but still, it is just a theory. All these equations and experiments with the ring light beam have not brought the professor any closer to the 1950s he so desperately tries to go back to. But he did not give up yet ‒ he continued work on his theory up until this very day. Because this is the work of his life.
Will Time Traveling Ever Come True?
This topic of science, space and gravity principles with their influence on time have aroused some serious interest in the public. But despite all the curiosity around it, no one has still performed a trip to the future, nor to the past. Many famous writers have published their sci-fi books, numerous filmmakers have produced movies of how to back in time. But all of this is just the result of people’s imagination and nothing more. Can time travel become real in the near future? It might be smart not to be pessimistic about it ‒ because flying in the sky was once not more than a mere dream too, and do we remember what people thought of space travel? Many things people thought to never come true have become our reality today, so you never know ‒ maybe time travel will someday be real and we will think back to the days when no one believed in it.
“We can theoretically travel back in time if we keep to the principles of the general relativity together with our current perception of gravity,” says a famous astrophysicist Paul Sutter, “The problem with this is that to create a device for time-traveling we will need to get eliminate all the other physical factors which are currently kinda hard to deal with.”
Sutter supports Mallett in his work but comments that it all has a meaning as a sole theory without the final goal of time travel itself.
“I must admit that this work won’t ever be fruitful. His (Mallett’s) mathematics and theories are not flawless and have a range of defects. It is really unlikely that there will ever be a practical device based on this theory.”
Sure thing, professor Mallett has faced a lot of criticism on his work over the years. And it is no wonder ‒ he is virtually the first scientist ever to elaborate too seriously on a time travel theory.
In the year 2005 Ken D.Olum together with Allen Everett from the Institute of cosmology, physics and astrology faculty of the University of Tufts claimed to have found some holes in Mallett’s equation. They stated that the practicality of the mentioned device could not be put into practice in the real world and be proved to work because the equation was too flawed.
At the same time, a British scientific writer Brian Klegg has shown interest in Mallett’s developments and picked his words with more carefulness. He even wanted to write about the scientist in his book “How to build a time machine”. The Britishman believes that while Mallett’s device may not give the desired results ‒ it is still a very decent machine to experiment with.
“I think we can all agree that if the mechanism will actually work ‒ the effect on the world is going to be quite significant. Despite the machine is unlikely to the actual time warp, it may still be a good example for a demonstration of the theory,” says Klegg.
Mallett himself has not actually claimed his device to be practical at all. He developed the theory, calculated the conditions for it to work out, wrote the equation. And he is still working on the thing day after day. Currently, the professor tries to get funding for his new more practical experiments.
Despite his theory is far from what we see in the movies, Mallett is always glad to make some analogies with works of the filmmakers who are far from actual science but inspire millions of people with the fruits of their vivid imagination. Mallett loves to compare the films to reality, discuss the concepts shown there, and find even more inspiration in those pictures.
But what about the ethical aspect of time travel? If it is ever to come true, will we be able not to hurt ourselves or those who we will meet in these time trips? How are we going to ensure the safety of the operation and what consequences it may have for the future of mankind? When the scientist himself was asked about it he proposed to create an international police regulation. He even made an analogy with the movie «Timecom» (1994). The movie portrayed an officer representing the time travel regulation agency.
Mallett also didn’t miss the opportunity to discuss the movie «Interstellar» by Cristopher Nolan. In the movie, the director presented the audience with an idea of time acting differently in open space. The movie is made quite realistically thanks to the Nobel laureate Kip Torn taking part in the process of filming.
Ron Mallett was especially touched by the plot about the father and his daughter. This emotionally-driven line of the script had some really deep emotional effect on the scientist ‒ he is familiar with this kind of feeling himself.
Time Travel in Movies
Mallett has been long raising interest among Hollywood producers. He was invited to a backstage quite a few times. He was even proposed to make an adaptation of the autobiographical picture «Time traveler» the co-author of which he became in 2008. Despite the number of famous Hollywood personalities engaged in the project, it eventually closed.
But this wasn’t the last time Mallett tried himself in movies. According to the scientist, the rights for his story were recently bought by a filmmaker who is currently working on a new movie about the life and labor of the professor.
Maybe Ronald Mallett, a scientist, professor astrophysicist who has spent the majority of his life trying to travel back in time to meet his father won’t ever be able to reach his dream. Despite that, the magic of cinema has the power to turn dreams into reality, and maybe one day Mallett will finally find what he is looking for ‒ a pick into the 1950s New York with its unique atmosphere all of his good old friends.
“Seeing my father played on the big screen might actually be almost as magical as bringing him back to life. This thing is really important for me,” says professor Mallett bitterly.