Monday, 25 November 2013

Scarfs, Fezzes and Sink Plungers

A short paper by Benjamin Brooks

Now, nearly all of us have seen an episode of Doctor Who and wondered: can we really travel in time? I have come from Gallifrey to give you the answer!

To answer the ultimate question (to which the answer does not include 42) we must first look at different ways that people of Earth have tried to travel in time, as well as the purely fictitious ways we all know and love from various 60s Sci-Fi.

The first way that we have thought to allow us to travel in time is the one and only time vortex. An infinite entity in time and space, this vortex can be manipulated by the TARDIS, as well as vortex manipulators, as per River Song and Captain Jack, and deposits the person in a specified place in time and space. However, this technology has been proven to damage the structure of space-time, so that is probably unwise.

In another much loved sci-fi series, Star Trek, Captain Kirk and Spock decide to travel to the 1950s, so jump into the past by traveling at light speed, specifically Warp 5, around the sun, and slingshot into the past. This method is theoretically possible, if you had a ship that could survive the heat, and protect you from the intense solar radiation, but the problem here is that the calculations would take a very, very long time. At the moment, one of the most advanced computers in the world, IBM Magellan, would take 36,000 years. So we have a long wait ahead of us…

Also, we must consider the direction of travel in time, and the effects it might have. For example, if you were travelling backwards in time, if you still occupy the same universe, you will theoretically decrease in age the further back in time you get, until you will cease to exist, because you won’t have been born. The same goes for travelling forward in time, as you will age, and eventually die. So getting out of the Tardis in the 3000s with the same face as you had getting into it in 2013 is theoretically impossible. 
So, to get to the question we all want the answer to: is time travel possible?

The answer is: Yes, but it is unwise.

If you don’t mind, I’m off back to the future. I hope you enjoyed my work.


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