Physics · Temple university · Time Travel

Physics: Time Travel

Growing up watching movies such as, groundhog day and back to the future i never understood the physics behind Time Travel and it was really too confusing for me as I was too young. However, looking back at those movies now I can sort of identify the physics of some of the Time Travel movies. As an introduction, Time Travel theory comes from Einstein’s theory of special relativity. This theory explains that time is not constant and can be changed relative to something else. For example, the famous twin paradox, explains that twin brothers one brother stays at earth and the other brother travels through space with a high speed rocket and then comes back to find his brother is older than him. Special relativity also, explains why we have different time zones in different continents because time changes by our position and speed. Time Travel movies suggest that time can be manipulated to travel through past and future by assuming that they already have a device that is faster than light. In simplified explanation, Time Travel Physics can be possible in real life if we have something that is faster than light to manipulate time. However, Time Travel is still a theory which movies use to visualize and entertain us with how fascinating it is to be true. (some figures under the blog of different paradoxes you can look up if anyone is interested).

The Zeno’s Paradox


The Grandfather Paradox




6 thoughts on “Physics: Time Travel

  1. Interesting post. I’ve always just dismissed time travel as something in movies to entertain us, which you pointed out that it is, in part. It was cool to learn that there is physics that supports time travel, in a theoretical sense.


  2. This is an interesting post, I always loved the Back to the Future movies and how they made you think about how ones actions can drastically change the events of the future, like your grandfather paradox image. In addition, I’ve read about several theories like the twin paradox and they all are interesting, they really make you think. Thank you for sharing!


  3. This is a good post, my old physics teacher always raved about the idea of time travel and use to spend up to 15 minutes of a 50 minute lecture just talking about it. I enjoyed the figures to demonstrate the meaning of each paradox.


  4. Really interesting post. I never thought about time travel as something we can accomplish in real life, since it seems too complex. However, your explanation make a lot of sense and it make time travel look like something we might achieve at some point, if we put the effort and learn more from it. Thanks for sharing


  5. Cool post about time-travel. Always fun to think about. And I love the different ways movies portray the time travel, through either scientific or mystical means. Two interesting “Time-Travel” movies you might want to check out are Primer and Safety Not Guaranteed. Both are pretty unique takes on the genre.


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