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  1. #31
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owlcroft View Post
    Gravity propagates through time.
    I'm not sure you understood the question (or I really didn't understand your answer!).

    Psik was wondering how someone can travel in time and not arrive at his destination embedded in some object that was already there... or, for that matter, why don't you stay in the location you traveled from, while the Earth continues 'round the Sun, leaving you in open space when you arrive?

    Since most time travel stories are about "blind transit," IOW, you pick the moment and just "arrive" there, the unanswered question is: How do you aim yourself to arrive where you want to be as well as when? Even if you figured in the motion the body was in when it transited, it would not match the speed and orbit of Earth, and you'd end up off-planet for sure.

    Time machines with physical portals at each end make more sense, as they form anchors for transit.

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Jackdash View Post
    All space, all time and all possibility exist in an eternal now so there is no need for parallel universes at all. I don't think it's been done before - I would be interested to hear if it has.
    While I wont pretend to know exactly what you mean just from that sentence, the general concept that all points along the space/time continum have a simultaneous reality has been done to death. Generally, in these books, if you go "back," the time stream either adjusts instantly, self-corrects, or a wave propogates up the time stream.

    It sounds like you are also folding in some sort of play on the uncertainty principle with divergent possibilities existing simultaneously prior to somehow collapsing into a single reality, with your aliens somehow able to observe these possibilities pre-collapse. If that is what your doing, I cant specifically recall a similar story, but there are a LOT of stories that riff off the uncertainty principle in various ways, so it wouldnt surprise me if there is something similar.

    I started pondering whether the Infinite Improbability Drive that powered The Heard of Gold in The Hitchhiker's Guide worked along similar lines, but no one should seriously ponder anything arising from the Guide . . . except perhaps the number 42
    Last edited by ArtNJ; November 8th, 2011 at 05:19 PM.

  3. #33
    Jack Dash
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    I agree with your comments ArtNJ, in a four dimensional universe anyway. What I’m talking about is a five dimensional universe, the fifth dimension being the possibility dimension where every variation of an event happens. Everything that can possibly happen from the big bang to the big crunch exists simultaneously.

    Our consciousness exists at a particular moment and moves forward through time and sideways through possibility as we make choices. Consciousness itself is the collapsing of the wave function. Time streams do not need to adjust or propagate upstream because they already exist. The concept doesn’t rip off the uncertainty principle – it removes the need for it altogether.

    If I had the math for it, I’d write a paper on it, but I don’t so I used it in my book instead
    Last edited by Jackdash; November 8th, 2011 at 07:35 PM.

  4. #34
    A chuffing heffalump Chuffalump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    I'm not sure you understood the question (or I really didn't understand your answer!).
    I quite liked Owlcroft's answer myself . The idea that gravity continues to act on your body throughout travel in the space/time continuum thus acting as an anchor to a particular point on the planets surface. I wonder how much changes in the Earth's surface affect the local 'micro' gravity though. Possibly enough to throw your arrival point off by a few feet in any direction.

  5. #35
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuffalump View Post
    I quite liked Owlcroft's answer myself . The idea that gravity continues to act on your body throughout travel in the space/time continuum thus acting as an anchor to a particular point on the planets surface.
    The problem with that is, Earth's surface movement isn't linear (nor does it "stay still," as our local perceptions suggest); it's a spiral in a curved orbit, essentially. If the suggestion is that the body transiting time is also moving with the Earth, it would be taking a curved corkscrew course through space-time.

    If that were true: If you travel to the future to the same spot as you left... why aren't you frozen there in-place, visible to anyone, until you reach the future point where you "arrive"? If you stay with the Earth as you travel, you should appear as a statue (or maybe a ghost), frozen in place. Wells' Time Traveler could see the future and past rushing by him; if so, he should have been visible to anyone who was nearby. That is one of time travel's biggest paradoxes, and possibly the least discussed.

    Most time-travel stories suggest you "disappear" from the present, which would suggest that your body actually leaves its location and takes a different route through spacetime, probably a straight line; and since the Earth's surface travels in a curved corkscrew, your body would leave the position on the Earth where it started, travel through open space until it bisected Earth's orbit later in time, and return to your original location at that point when you arrive.

    Which suggests that gravity does not impact time travel.

  6. #36
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Interestingly, I just finished watching a PBS program: The Fabric of the Cosmos- The Illusion of Time. The program sought to explain how the laws of physics state that time can run in either direction, that past and future exist simultaneously. It states toward the end that entropy seems to dictate the direction of the flow of time, from the past (ordered) to the future (disordered).

    The interesting thing about time travel is its insistence on using phrases like "traveling into the future" or "into the past," when in fact, nothing of the sort is happening; instead, one observer's time slows relative to another, giving the personal impression that one has traveled "into the future." At no time does one person exceed the "speed limit" of time, X. Essentially, one person travels through time at X, and another travels at X-y. When the two arrive at the same moment, this gives the impression that the X-y traveler has traveled into the X traveler's future, when in actuality he has crawled through time as if he was frozen in place.

    Our difficulties in precisely defining time is what results in these word-games and mind-games we play with the concept, trying to fool ourselves into believing in things that are not possible, such as moving through time at different rates in either direction.

    (There I go, being a wet blanket again...)

  7. #37
    I agree with your comments ArtNJ, in a four dimensional universe anyway. What Iím talking about is a five dimensional universe, the fifth dimension being the possibility dimension where every variation of an event happens. Everything that can possibly happen from the big bang to the big crunch exists simultaneously.
    This reminds me of Amber, where there's one true existence that casts infinite shadows in the fifth dimension of every possible reality. You travel betweeen them by physical travel over distance, if you have the knack. You may have to travel quite far, but you can find any type of reality you can imagine. However, even in the world of Amber, time only flowed in one direction, so I think your idea is unique in that respect and has a lot of potential.

  8. #38
    Way Too Human
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    Interestingly, I just finished watching a PBS program: The Fabric of the Cosmos- The Illusion of Time. The program sought to explain how the laws of physics state that time can run in either direction, that past and future exist simultaneously. It states toward the end that entropy seems to dictate the direction of the flow of time, from the past (ordered) to the future (disordered).<snip>
    That sounds like a subject relative to one of my favorite Star Trek: TNG episodes, "All Good Things". It's the episode that a (mentally) ailing Picard causes a chain of events to occur that creates an "anomaly". The anomaly propagated backwards in time, becoming larger. Once I wrapped my thoughts around the concept, I thought it was pure genius.

  9. #39
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lazerus View Post
    That sounds like a subject relative to one of my favorite Star Trek: TNG episodes, "All Good Things". It's the episode that a (mentally) ailing Picard causes a chain of events to occur that creates an "anomaly". The anomaly propagated backwards in time, becoming larger. Once I wrapped my thoughts around the concept, I thought it was pure genius.
    I remember it: The character "Q" was there, and continually berated Picard for having "linear thinking" (or something like that).

    An interesting concept, though it contradicts the entropy effect, and was apparently a totally unique phenomenon in the universe (I would've suspected Q of intentionally creating it just to mess with Picard's mind).

    Trek loved to do time stories, probably because they were impossible to contradict... like the one in which the explosion of the Enterprise sent it backwards in a time-loop, to relive the accident and explosion over and over again.
    Last edited by Steven L Jordan; November 10th, 2011 at 12:55 PM.

  10. #40
    Back to the Future could have been more interesting if it was a story like this:

    Marty should have failed to get his parents together so then he would never have been born.

    If he was never born, then he wouldn't have gone back in time. So his parents would have gotten together, and he would have been born.

    So he would zap back to 1985 not knowing he had been back in time before, and would continue to do the same things over and over again.

    Also maybe the direction of time is just an illusion because our brains can only process one thing after another thing. Maybe if we could wire our brains differently we could move through time in other directions.

  11. #41
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    I vaguely recall a movie about time travel, back in the 50s or 60s. The movie was totally forgettable, except for its last few minutes, in which you discover the story (and the world) has fallen into a time loop, and the moments of the movie are replayed, over and over again, faster and faster, with a frenetic background "noise" (because it wasn't really music), until the whole thing fades to white... end of movie. The ending was captivating to watch, which made it even funnier that I couldn't remember a thing about anything that happened before that...

    In The Fabric of the Cosmos- The Illusion of Time, Stephen Hawking suggested that travel back in time would result in "feedback," elements of the future that would rush into the past, adding to the past's mass, creating more mass in the future to rush from the future to the past, ad infinitum, like a sonic feedback between microphone and speaker... and which would ultimately result in the destruction of the universe. Very similar to the dumb old movie I saw.

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