timetravelfinal

timetravelfinal - John Szmyd FYSE 1214 Space, Time and...

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John Szmyd FYSE 1214 Space, Time and Measurement Professor Noah Graham 12/4/2007 Time Travel into the Future The possibility of time travel has mystified sci-fi enthusiasts for a hundred years, ever since Einstein introduced the four dimensional universe . Breakthroughs in physics have turned this dream from science fiction into a very real possibility . Currently, we are held back from high speeds because of the difficulties in accelerating large amounts of mass, which requires an abundance of energy . Also, time travel by means of space flights will only progress if governments seek to explore the universe and fund these costly endeavors into space . Humans have discovered that we have the potential to travel far into the future, but lack the physical and technological means to do so . Humanity perceives time to be passing relatively rhythmically; we use simple events to measure time—days, lunar months, seasons, and even heartbeats . Another way of measuring time is through lengths of space . The four dimensional system of spacetime incorporates the three dimensions of space—length, width, and height— with time, to define where and when events happen . Richard Price explains that “just as locations are the places on a landscape, ‘events’ are the places in spacetime; […] it takes three coordinates to specify the ‘where’ of an event, and one coordinate to specify the ‘when’,” (Price 22) . This abstract relationship between space and time allows for the idea of time travel into the future by altering this relationship between time and space . 1
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In this four-dimensional universe everything that exists for a measurable amount of time has a worldline, which can be shown visually in a spacetime diagram . “A world line is a continuous sequence of points in spacetime; it represent[s] the history of a particle or photon, or in general, an event ” (Glendenning 38) . (http://www.dkimages.com/discover/Home/Science/Physics-and-Chemistry/Time-and- Space/Unassigned/Unassigned-18.html) For example, Earth revolves around the relatively stationary sun over the course of one year . In a spacetime diagram, Earth follows an ascending helix with a radius of about eight light seconds around the Sun’s vertical worldline . Both the Earth and the Sun pass upward through spacetime as time increases, because to travel downward on the diagram would be to travel into the past . Szmyd 2
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Every event can be mapped in a spacetime diagram with its own light cones . The past light cone of an event shows the boundary of events that have causality, or the possibility of influencing this certain event . The future light cone, also expanding at one light-second, is the boundary of what events in the future are at a space-time difference close enough to have causality . Glendenning defines, “events in the cone with with t (time) greater than that of the vertex of the cone lie in the future of the event at the vertex, while events in the other cone lie in its past
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timetravelfinal - John Szmyd FYSE 1214 Space, Time and...

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