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Is Time Travel Possible? Physicists Use Math To Investigate Time Travel

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Time travel is a concept that is a little too far-fetched and fictional for most people. Now, with the help of numbers, a math and physics instructor has come up with a model that makes time travel an actual possibility.

TARDIS

Benjamin Tippett, a mathematics and physics instructor at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and research partner David Tsang has come up with a mathematical model of what people could call a time machine.

With the help of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, Tippett and Tsang were able to create a formula that brings time travel out of science fiction and into the real world. Appropriately named Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime (TARDIS), the model plays with the idea of using the curvature of time and space to bend time into a circle, allowing passengers of the time machine to travel back in time.

In Einstein's Theory, he described how distortions in space and time are created by massive objects such as stars and planets. Following this concept, Tippett explains that this curvature in space-time also accounts for the curved planetary orbits. What's more, Tippett also points to evidence showing that time moves slower as you draw closer to a black hole.

Essentially, Tippet describes TARDIS as a bubble in space-time geometry that could carry a passenger forward and backward through time in a circular path with the aid of curvatures in space-time.

No Time Machine Yet

Don't get too excited, though, because a real-life Dr. Who TARDIS may still be far from fruition or perhaps even unlikely to be created. Even if Tippett believes that the math checks out, he admits that there are still a number of things needed to actually build the machine.

"While is it mathematically feasible, it is not yet possible to build a space-time machine because we need materials — which we call exotic matter — to bend space-time in these impossible ways, but they have yet to be discovered," says Tippett.

Their paper on the TARDIS model is published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.

Relying On Numbers

Numbers do not lie unless deliberately manipulated, and crunching the right ones can bring previously impossible, if not completely fictional, concepts to reality.

Space, for instance, is one such area that was once nothing but an unreachable place that's far too distant to reach but has now become an exploration site for humans, thanks to the numbers that allow for accurate and safe space travels.

Though it's still an idea, TARDIS is yet another concept that could seem too far-fetched now but a reality in the future.

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