Time travel: Is it possible?

Time travel: Is it possible?

Can time travel be achieved? The short answer is yes, you are doing it now. You’re hurtling forward at a rate of 1 second per second.

Time moves at the same pace, whether you are watching paint dry or wish you had more time to spend with a friend who lives out of town.

This isn’t the type of time travel that has inspired countless science-fiction writers or spawned a genre that includes over 400 titles under the “Movies about Time Travel” category on Wikipedia. “In franchises such as “Doctor Who,” Star Trek,” and “Back to the Future,” characters get into a wild vehicle to blast through the past or spin to the future.

Many people love the idea of being able to change the past or see the future before it happens. However, no one has demonstrated time travel in the manner seen in science fiction, nor has anyone even proposed a way of sending someone through significant periods without destroying them. 

The science does allow for some time-bending. For instance, Albert Einstein’s special relativity theory suggests that time is a relative illusion. It moves in relation to the observer. The observer in motion will experience time much slower than someone at rest. This is why Scott Kelly, an astronaut who spent a year in orbit, aged slightly less than his twin brother.

Time travel is a popular theme in science fiction, and it has been explored in countless books, films, T.V. shows, comics, and video games.



Einstein’s theory of special relativity was developed in 1905. It has since become a foundational principle of modern physics.

Nothing can move faster than light.

Time travel is possible if you follow these simple principles. A person traveling through space at high speed will experience the passage of time slower than a person who’s not moving at such a fast pace.

We don’t speed up humans to near light speed, but we can send them soaring around the globe at 28,160 km/h (17,500 mph) at the International Space Station. Scott Kelly is the twin of Mark Kelly, a fellow astronaut. Scott Kelly has spent 520 days orbiting the Earth, while Mark Kelly only spent 54 days. This difference in their experience of time in space over their lifetimes actually increased the age gap.

Mark Kelly, reported, said that he was 6 minutes older than he used to be. 



While the difference in life expectancy between astronauts in low earth orbit and those on Earth is negligible, it’s a joke that can be shared among siblings rather than a real-life extension.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) helps us to know where we are. It does this by communicating with the network of satellites in high Earth orbit.

According to special relativity, the faster an object is moving relative to another object, the slower it experiences time. This effect reduces the amount of time that GPS satellites experience each day by 7 microseconds.

According to general relativity, clocks that are closer to the center, such as Earth, tick slower than clocks farther away. Physics Central explained that GPS satellites, which are located much further from Earth’s center, add 45 microseconds to their clocks every day. When combined with the negative seven microseconds calculated by special relativity, the result is 38 microseconds.

To maintain the accuracy required to pinpoint your phone or car — or, because the system is operated by the U.S. Department of Defense — a military drone, engineers must account for an additional 38 microseconds to each satellite’s daily day. Atomic clocks aboard don’t move to the next day before they’ve run 38 microseconds more than clocks comparable on Earth.

It would take thousands of years to add up the 38-microsecond shifts if you estimated a blink as lasting at least 100,000 microseconds. This is what the Harvard Database of Useful Biological Numbers says. )

While it may not seem like much, the accuracy of GPS technology is so high that it makes a difference. Your phone’s ability to communicate with satellites flying overhead can pinpoint your exact location in both space and time.


According to NASA, general relativity could also allow time travelers to travel back in time. But it is not easy to achieve.

Theoretical “tunnels” in space-time, wormholes could link different locations or moments in reality. They are also known as Einstein Rosen bridges, or white holes, as opposed to the black holes of science fiction. However, no real wormholes have ever been discovered.

Related: Best time travel movies

Stephen Hsu is a professor of theoretical and experimental physics at the University of Oregon. He told Live Science, the sister site of, that “the whole thing at this point is very hypothetical.” 

Live Science reported that the wormholes at the “mouth” of the tunnel are only 10-34 inches (10-33 cm) wide. Previously, they were thought to be unstable, and therefore, it was impossible for anything to pass through.

The theory, which suggests that wormholes could work as viable space-time shortcuts, was described by physicist Pascal Koiran. As part of the study, Koiran used the Eddington-Finkelstein metric, as opposed to the Schwarzschild metric, which has been used in the majority of previous analyses.

In the past, the path of a particle could not be traced through a hypothetical wormhole. However, the physicist was able to achieve just that using the Eddington-Finkelstein metric.

Koiran’s paper will be described in October 2021 in the preprint database ArXiv before it is published in the Journal of Modern Physics D.



Einstein’s theory of time travel makes it difficult to jump back in time. However, other researchers have come up with alternative solutions. All these alternate theories are flawed. As far as science is concerned, no one could survive the gravitational pushing and pulling that each solution demands.

Infinite Cylinder Theory

“A black hole that’s passed through a pasta factory,” described The Anderson Institute as the mechanism proposed by astronomer Frank Tipler.”

According to the Anderson Institute, after spinning this black-hole spaghetti at a few billion rotations per minute, an adjacent spaceship could travel in reverse time by following a precise spiral around the cylindrical object.

For the time being, we are not able to create endless interstellar spaghetti.

Time donuts

Amos Ori, a theoretical physicist at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa Is,rael, has proposed a model of a time machine made of curved space-time – a donut-shaped vacuum surrounding a sphere of ordinary matter.

Ori, a Live Science reporter, said that “the machine is space-time” itself. “If we created an area in space with a time warp similar to this one, which would allow timelines to close back on themselves, it could enable future generations to return to our time.” 

Amos Ori

Amos Ori, a theoretical physicist, is at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa Is,rael. He has published numerous articles on general relativity, gravitational waves, and closed timelines.

Ori’s machine has a few limitations. Visitors to the past would not be able to travel back to a time before the invention of the time donut. Secondly, and most importantly, this machine’s construction and invention would be dependent on our ability, theoretically, to manipulate the gravitational field at will. This feat is beyond our reach.



Lisa Yaszek is a professor of Science Fiction Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. She told Live Science that time travel has been a popular theme in fiction for a long time.

Each work of time travel fiction has its version, ignoring one or more scientific obstacles and paradoxes in order to meet its plot requirements.

The movie “Interstellar” by Christopher Nolan, for example, shows a character, played by Matthew McConaughey, who spends a few hours orbiting around a supermassive black hole. However, due to time dilation on Earth, the same hours are perceived as decades.

Some take a whimsical approach like “Doctor Who,” a television series that features an extraterrestrial time-lord who travels on a spaceship that looks like a British police box. 

Time travel is a theme that has been revisited by long-established franchises such as “Star Trek,” television shows and movies, and comic universes D.C. and Marvel Comics.

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