Time Travel and Fiction
The magical allure of time travel has held a fascination for the layman and scientist alike. Indeed, no well-read individual can think of time travel without their mind creeping back to H.G Wells. His powerful ‘grand-father’ of fictional time travel, ‘The Time Machine’, catapults the reader into impossible possibilities, not least those of change and its implications. Fast forward 90 years to Marty, in the 1985 film ‘Back to the Future’, who watches his own reality disappear as he desperately tries to get back to his own time without changing it inextricably. Sounds terrifying! So why are we so irresistibly drawn to the concept of time travel, revelling in offerings from author and film director alike?
Would You Want To Know The Future?
Could it be that we know the passage of time is something over which we have no control? Though merely a man-made concept, it steals things away from us; the people we love; the places we remember; even our own selves as its passing hastens our last breath and the cessation of our consciousness. The idea of having some control may give us comfort-some hope that what is lost may actually not be. As another of H.G Wells observations explains ‘’We all have our time machines, don’t we? Those that take us back are memories…And those that carry us forward, are dreams’’. Our present reality means this is where our memories and dreams stay; never to be experienced again, or never to be lived at all. Time travel changes this actuality. But herein lies the paradox. The paradox of Marty, and of any dabbling ‘Time wizard’-to change one thing is to change another. By changing our bad experiences, might we also be changing the good? And would looking at the future really manipulate our ability to transform the decisions we make today for the better? Furthermore, would the ability to time travel really result in righting the wrongs of history, the eternal circle of repetition which haunts mankind’s past, and the avoidance of historic catastrophes?
The Impossible Possibility Of Time Travel!
Perhaps the complications of these deliberations enhance our fascination in the concept of time travel. Given that, for the time being, time travel remains an impossible possibility, we must content ourselves with delving into one of our favourite elements of science fiction in our imagination only. But as yet, neither has time travel been proved impossible. In fact, according to Professor Gary, T, Horowitz, there is nothing within the fundamental laws of physics to discount the possibility, particularly in relation to travelling forwards in time- which is why serious physicists backed by countless Universities continue to study this phenomena.
The real question is, if and when the first opportunity arose, would you be the one volunteering?