There are as many infinite theories and possibilities about time as … well … time itself!! But, can we travel in time? The theory about traveling backward in time is as simple as looking up at the stars. What we see has been traveling a long distance over a long period of time – but even though it’s reached us “now” – it’s still “out of date”. For example, a star that’s 4 million light years away, when seen by the human eye, is where that star was 4 million years ago (if we could travel toward it at the speed of light, using the speed of light as the basis for the speed of time). Given that – there may be a very safe and reasonable way to test the theory, and the solution may lay in the question about whether or not the future can influence the past (as was recently discussed in Through The Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, on the Science Channel). While I’m not one of those amazing mathematicians that can seemingly form equations out of … um, nothing, that can explain what is, well, not really explainable – I can examine this question from a more fundamental perspective. One of our unique advantages to answering this question is our rotational orbit around the sun. Let’s take a look at the following:
In this illustration, the blue circle represents the Earth at different points in its rotation around the sun. Our rotation is what defines a 365 day year. And, for the purposes of this model, the Earth at point A = January 1, at point B, 245 days after that, and at point C, 300 days after that. Based on spatial relativity, our physical locations at point A and B, and the various speeds of electromagnetic energy (ie. radio waves, light waves, x-rays, etc.), we know how long it would take a message transmitted on January 1, at point A, to reach the exact location where the Earth would be at point B, and we can literally communicate with ourselves in the future.
The phenomenon of residual interference from old carrier signals still traveling through space is one such example of this. However, let’s try an experiment where, we set a date in the future, approximately 300 days from January 1 (point B), to transmit a message back to where the Earth will be at point A. Based on the standards of physics, by the time the message reaches the Earth, it will not be 300 days in the past, it will be 65 days in the future because the message will have been traveling forward through time. But, based on the theory of relativity, if traveling past the speed of light would cause time to slow down (or even reverse), we can then transmit a signal in a wavelength that moves faster than the speed of light (cosmic, gamma, x-ray, and ultraviolet waves all travel faster than the speed of light),and reach “backward”in time to ourselves.
While it would take a tremendous amount of energy to generate a wavelength strong enough to travel that distance and test this theory, we do have particle accelerators that release a tremendous amount of energy and it may be possible to configure the experiment to utilize this, or some other form of power. However, if successful, it would validate that the future could potentially affect the past and provide some substantial proof of the existence of time as an energy (or 4th dimensional object) in which we can travel. But, let’s take another look back at the drawing from earlier where the Earth is at point C. We couldn’t transmit a message directly back to ourselves at point A based on the simple premise of line of sight and the sun’s interference in between us.
We know that electromagnetic energy (in the form of wavelengths), can be altered by gravity. If we were to use the gravity of the sun to not only bend, but also accelerate the speed of the transmission, using the gravitational slingshot effect, a message transmitted to the Earth on day 245 could be sent in the form of an x-ray (or similar FTL wavelength) and be accelerated into speeds well beyond that, reducing the energy needs. Performing both tests would also provide some substantial support for whether or not the speed of light could also be used as a basis for the speed of time. But, for now, we’ll just have to wait and see if scientists stop trying to create wormholes and destroy the universe to test their theories, or use a more simplistic test such as the one above!!