Thanks to Glenn (hey dude, where’s your blog to link to!?) who just pointed me to this fascinating claim by UCONN professor Ronald Mallet suggesting that we’ll probably be traveling in time this century, and that time travel will be verified on the subatomic level within a few years using this clever experiment:
To determine if time loops exist, Mallett is designing a desktop-sized device that will test his time-warping theory. By arranging mirrors, Mallett can make a circulating light beam which should warp surrounding space.
Because some subatomic particles have extremely short lifetimes, Mallett hopes that he will observe these particles to exist for a longer time than expected when placed in the vicinity of the circulating light beam.
A longer lifetime means that the particles must have flowed through a time loop into the future.
… Mallett – an advocate of the Parallel Universes theory – assures us that time machines will not present any danger.
“The Grandfather Paradox [where you go back in time and kill your grandfather] is not an issue,” said Mallett. “In a sense, time travel means that you’re traveling both in time and into other universes. If you go back into the past, you’ll go into another universe. As soon as you arrive at the past, you’re making a choice and there’ll be a split. Our universe will not be affected by what you do in your visit to the past.”
The parallel universe stuff is not all that fanciful either, rather it’s consistent with the new but increasingly mainstream thinking in physics called “M Theory” that supports the *possibility* of parallel universes that would be essentially invisible to earch other except perhaps by the influences of gravity.
Yes, it sounds like science fiction but it’s not fiction at all, just speculative rather than hard science. At least for now.