Wandering back and forth in space and time as in the best science fiction tradition? According to Columbia University physicist Ben Tippett, from a mathematical point of view, it is possible. The trick would be to use the space-time curvature of the universe to bend time in a circle and allow passengers to travel at will.
“People have an idea of time travel related to films on the subject and therefore we tend to believe that it is not possible,” explained Tippett, who together with the astrophoto David Tsang of the University of Maryland has developed a theory called TARDIS (Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time). “But mathematically it is possible to do it”.
The starting point of the two scientists’ research was Einstein’s theory of relativity, which led them to develop a mathematical model which – theoretically – allows time travel. This does not mean, of course, that Tsang and Tippett have come to work on the operation of a real machine, equipped with a cabin and comfortable seats to enjoy the holiday time, but only that – from a theoretical point of view – is possible ” bend “time.
The two scientists, in particular, contest the three-dimensionality of the universe and affirm that even the fourth dimension – time, in fact – should be calculated simultaneously with the others. In this way there would be a continuum between space and time that allows the different directions of space and time to be connected with the curved fabric of the universe.
According to Einstein’s theory, the gravitational effects in the cosmos would be conjoined precisely with the space-time curvature, which is also the basis of the elliptical movement of the planets and stars: if space and time were flat and not curved, the planets would move on lines straight.
“Even the direction of time on the space-time surface shows a curvature and this is evident when we approach a black hole, because time flows more slowly there,” explains Tippett. “My time machine model uses this curvature to bend time into a circle that takes us back.” Science enthusiasts can already start dreaming.