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Going Back vs. Going Forward: Just a sign change?



Has anyone read anything regarding what physical quantity would be changed (reversed?) in order to turn a backward travelling time-machine into a forward-travelling one?

I went to a discussion on time-machines at Caltech a number of years back and the contraption they imagined was a couple of VERRY large spheres one inside the other. You would enter through the outer sphere and when you exited out the inner sphere, instead of perceiving that you were going into the inner sphere, it would seem that you were exiting out of the outer sphere into the new time.

I didn't have a chance to ask them what they would do to control the amount of time travelled back/forth (distance between the spheres?) or even more interesting, how they would control going back as opposed to forward in time (change the polarity? charge? color?)

Anyone have any info on this? Is it not just a simple alteration? Are forward travelling machines totally different than backward travelling machines?
For me, your very last question here is the most thought provoking.

I'd be interested in hearing why you think there might be a different concept involved in each of the two. I'm already thinking in terms of the implications of the EPR paradox and how Lewis Little's theory might have an answer for you.

You can review this at: http://www.yankee.us.com/TEW/

Let me know what you think.

Re:Re:Going Back vs. Going Forward: Just a sign change?

Thanks for pointing out these great articles. I read them through and then sent the following note to the author. Also, I responded to your questions at the end of this e-mail.

Thank you very much for the clear summary of Dr. Little's TEW. You stated in you article that you hoped to make his theory clear to the average reader. I have a technical background (B.S. in Physics, B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering) but as I have been working as a computer scientist for several years now, my understanding of Physics has been somewhat on the wane.

There are a few things in your articles that weren't clear to me. I would just like to point them out in hopes that you might be able to rewrite your articles so they are clearer to me and others.

Thanks again for writing the articles.

1) TEW suggests that the matter of the detector causes the elementary waves in space to become coherent and thus act as a quasi-source of waves which affect the particles at the source. However, the source, and especially the particles generated by the source, also consist of matter and so they should also act as points of coherence. Thus every particle, even under TEW, might look like a "wavicle", i.e. a particle that seems to also generate waves which are just the elementary waves being summed up coherently due to its own matter. This was not discussed.

2) Your article suggests that the coherent elementary waves from the detector cause the particles to be emitted from the source. This is like saying that a target causes a gun to shoot a bullet. Is this truly the case, or is it more accurate to say that the detector sets up boundary conditions which cause the particles emitted from the source to follow specific paths (e.g. like ruts in a road)?

3) I once heard that experimentalists were able to detect a single photon "interfering" with itself going through a single slit, and also going through a double-slit. If this is the case, then how can you say that a photon is a particle? Am I wrong, or is it the case that the coherent elementary waves from the detector so distort the experiment that we observe a particle as a wave interference pattern?

4) Your article seems to suggest that rather than space-time being distorted, that the elementary waves disort our perception of reality. Is this what you meant to communicate or did I misunderstand? Your article suggests that while the standard theory suggests that the universe is unknowable because of the uncertainty principle, that the TEW suggests that the universe as it exists is unknowable because elementary waves distort our view of it.

5) Your description of the EPR experiment was confusing in one respect. First you claim that all electrons (or pencils) are generated in pairs with the same polarization. Then you say that when the polarizers at A and B are offset, that sometimes both polarizers read an oncoming electron (or pencil). How can this be? If the electrons have the same polarization and the polarizers are at different angles then you can either have one polarizer making a reading or neither polarizer making a reading, but you could never have both polarizers making a reading. What am I missing?
Regarding your questions:
1) As was suggested in other threads in this forum, time travel into the future is possible by "merely" putting a human consciousness on ice while the history of the world unfolds. This might be doable through some form of cryogenics, implantation in a robot or computer memory, or putting the person in a rocket ship that can travel for some time near the speed of light and then return to earth. There is no similar method postulated for going back in time.

2) The only methods that seem to be possible for going back in time involve distorting space-time or somehow tapping into the essential nature of space-time and crossing vast distances and times by going through a wormhole or popping a bubble in the quantum foam of space.
If this kind of time travel is possible, then I imagine that the process of going back in time would be similar to that of going forward in time. If for example, we were always just a quantum event away from any point in space-time, then going forward in time may involve an electron while going backward in time may involve a positron. I don't hold out much hope for such methods.

3) As far as TEW goes: If space-time is constant and it is just the distortion of elementary waves by matters that we are seeing when we measure the universe, then it might be possible to visit the past by measuring the distortions of waves created by past configurations of matter. There was nothing in the articles to suggest that the constancy of space-time means that you can't reverse or fast-forward through it. There was also nothing mentioned regarding predetermination, i.e. that what has past will remain that way for eternity.

Here is a possible time machine: With a VERRRY large staff of anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, and computer scientists, I create a virtual reality replica of an exact time in past history. I tell some unwitting person that I have created a time machine and I place him in this VR contraption. He goes in under sedation and then wakes up thinking himself to be in the past. The VR machine is filled with AI technology so that it can respond accurately to his prescence.
After a certain amount of time he is once again sedated and wakes up outside the machine to tell everyone what he experienced. Of course it is not a true time travel machine, but in his mind it is.

Now let us assume that we could locate the elementary waves that were created as a result of past configurations of matter. If we could place ourselves at that point, then would it be like we were actually in the past? Would we be surfing the elementary waves of history? Is there some point out in deep space where there is NO earth, but where the elementary waves of the past sustain life because the sum total of their heat, energy, mass, etc. are capable of sustaining life? Can we visit such a place?
Re:Re:Re:Going Back vs. Going Forward: Just a sign change?

Yes, you discovered some of the same issues I had with Dr. Little's theory, particularly the "target causing the bullet to fire" issue. I would think he should find a better way to describe the effects of his hypothetical Elementary Waves.

With regards to your point #5 to the author (If I read your question properly), I think what you may be missing is the fact the polarizers are not the ultimate target for the electron pair. Their purpose is to prove the duality of the pair itself and thereby solve the problem which arises in the double slit experiment, if I understand it correctly. Unfortunately, the effect of the polarizers falls under the constraints of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and thus the EPR Paradox itself arises. Maybe I'm the one whose missing something here, but it seems logical to me that even though in the case of unequal polarity of the two, the electron will only reach ONE target, but both COULD be detected at the polarizers regardless of THEIR state. The Polarizers of course are NOT the target itself, merely an interference designed to prove no two targets can be struck by the same electron. (If I read it correctly.)

I've referred to Little's TEW here before, not because I think he has actually solved the particle/wave duality problem to a degree that it is foremost in acceptance, but merely because it is one of the most 'elegant' solutions I've seen that is certainly as credible as "wave collapse" or causality reversal which are rather illogical in themselves and lead to even wilder theories in order to solve the problems they cause.

I see QM (Quantum Mechanics) as in a state of confusion right now in a manner more implausable then ever before. The words "weird" and "strange" have actually crept into the vocabulary of what is supposed to be hard science. To me, this is nothing more than a 'cop out' for "I don't know".

As to Cryogenics or Relativistic Time Dilation, I don't consider either of these to be time travel since the time line remains unchanged for all observers. Perception is not real travel, it is, well,...Perception.

You seem like a good candidate to take up a challenge I've offered on this board before. A frendly one of course.

Can you describe any scenario that involves time travel that does NOT lead to a paradox. Forward or back. In our existing timeline. I have yet to see anyone do it. In fact, even for this reason alone, I contend that it is not possible. And that there is no solution in either QM or Relativity that can solve it. Worm holes or not, which would be the Einstein-Rosen Bridge as a shortcut through space, not time. I agree that they take "time" off the journey, but any hop to the "future" is purely perceptual on the part of the traveller. Just like Cryogenics or Dilation.

The concept of Multi-universes is not the same thing since It implies alternate realities to define hypothetical timelines different from our own. Besides, in multiversity, there has to already exist an infinite number of them, or there are none at all other than the one we exist in. This would be Einstein-Rosen Bridge stuff of the Euclidian type, but in and of itself, does not really count as time travel does it.

I thank you for your response and your questions.
Re:Re:Re:Re:Going Back vs. Going Forward: Just a sign change?

With regard to multiverses, I am definitely a skeptic. I agree that they are an overly complicated way of trying to handle the weirdness in the current state of QM. The TEW seems much better, although I remain a skeptic of that as well.

I don't know that if there is more than one universe, then there necessarily have to be an infinite number of them. For example, if it is proved that time is also quantized, then there will have been M points of time since the Big Bang. If there are an average of N quantum events occuring at each time interval, and a new universe is spawned for each event, then there will be N*M universes spawned from ours. If you take into consideration universes spawned from the other universes, then you will exponentially more universes. This will be a VERRRY large number, but not necessarily infinite. Also, even if there are an infinite number of universes, this does not lead to EVERY event that could happen, happening in at least one of the universes. For example, I can list a infinite number of numbers, but they could all be '6' so I would have an infinite set of identical numbers. It is possible that all of the multiverses are identical or at least similar. If this were not the case, then some of the universes would exhibit rather weird (or even less weird behavior.) For example, if every quantum event can be tagged as either result in a wave-like result or a particle-like result, there would be at least one universe where the wave-like result always happens, and another universe where the particle-like result always happens. The scientists in these universes might never discover Quantum Mechanics. One universe might even work out so that F=ma down to the Plank level! Even weirder universes would exist where the wave result would occur exactly 32.8% of the time. What would the scientists make of this?? Would 32.8 become some sort of magic number?

In short my only answer for time-travel that DOESN'T result in paradoxes would be a system whereby we are experiencing ALL of the universes simultaneously and our consciousness is superposing our experiences. Thus traveling back in time would only mildly alter the superposition, since it would only be one of the universes we are occupying. Could it be that we get a heart attack when a number of our other selves die in their parallel universes? We die slowly when one-by-one, our other selves die out, but we die quickly when all of our parallel selves die out at the same time.

I really don't even believe in the above theory, but I think it is kind of interesting and I haven't gotten any response to it yet. Plus it dovetails with Feynman's integration over all paths, so it has an aura of validity to it!

I think the whole problem with time travel is one of the strengths of mankind, especially those who ended up in America: if we can imagine something as possible, then we begin to think of it as inevitable. Certain fatalistic cultures would have given up long ago on trying to develop a time machine. However, we keep plugging at it even though it looks like there is no hope. In the meantime we develop a bunch of other physics that helps with other things and we realize that the search for a time-travel machine might not have been such a bad deal afterall.
Re:Re:Re:Re:Re:Going Back vs. Going Forward: Just a sign change?

And your very last point here is one I certainly agree with. It's sort of analagous to how the space program has produced technological benefits in many other areas such as medicine, manufacturing etc.

My only point on the logic of multivers is simply, even including Feynman's integration is that no matter how many experiments you can set up to address, define or otherwise investigate possible instances, I can always set up a situation that will define one more. Like trying to find the "highest" number problem we all thought about when we were kids. Untimately, it deteriorates into an exercise that in itself becomes illogical by it's very nature. I'm NOT prepared to say they DON'T exist, merely that if they do, they have to be infinite. It leads to the very scenario you describe regarding the "heart attack" situation. I can try to wrap my mind around that concept, but the further I go the more the combination of these infinite universes becomes indistinguishable from 1. In the final scenrio, the end result is the same.

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