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Time travel is a notion that has been widely discussed and has provoked vivid debates. It includes the idea that traveling through time is theoretically possible in both directions – to the future and to the past. However, the representatives of philosophic schools, physics, metaphysics, and the public, in general, have been arguing whether time travel is implementable at all (Carroll 36). The purpose of this paper is to investigate the domain of time travel and to provide evidence that traveling to the future is more likely than to the past if the necessary conditions have been considered.
Traveling to the Future
It should be noted that many scientists emphasize the opportunity of traveling to the future for various reasons. However, the concept of the relativity of simultaneity considers that approach in a new way. According to this theory, the concept of simultaneity is reflected in the idea that two spatially separated events simultaneous in the same time system cannot be simultaneous in another timeframe, even taking into account the condition that the two systems move uniformly and rectilinearly (Maudlin 116). It is especially crucial for those events that have a causal link; in particular, causal events cannot be simultaneous in two time systems. To be more precise, the event, which is the cause, will always be preceded by the consequence. That is to say, it largely depends on the observer’s reference frame.
In the same manner, the approach of time dilation, questions the issue of simultaneity as well. It should be noted that the relative amount of time is one of the most important issues raised by scholars (Gott 256). According to this approach, the time interval between two events can be different in different reference frames, notwithstanding the question of whether the two events are moving relatively equally to each other or not. It does not depend on any aspect other than the nature of spacetime. Thus, it is not a technical problem but a universal one.
Another aspect to be considered when searching for evidence of time travel to the future is the twin paradox. As mentioned above, the effect of relativistic time dilation is concluded to the idea that the clock moving relative to the inertial reference system is slower and shows less time between events (Schiappa 211). This slowdown can be seen at near-light speeds. In the twin theory, one brother started traveling while the other one stayed at home. The brother that stayed at home could assume that the traveler’s clock has slowed down; therefore, his watch was faster.
On the other hand, the Earth moves relative to the traveler, and he believes that the clock of the other brother who stayed at home should be slower. However, the paradox lies in the fact that the brothers cannot be simultaneously older over each other. It is important to note that the paradox of the theory is of purely technical character in its connection to the theory of relativity that is applicable to the inertial reference system, which is not the case of the two twins. In the moments of speeding or turning, the traveler experienced acceleration; therefore, the above-mentioned provisions cannot be applied to the theoretical assumption. Thus, the relativity of simultaneity of events is integral to the clock slowdown in the traveling brother.
Traveling to the Past
One of the consensuses put forward by theorists who discussed traveling to the past is a wormhole. According to this approach, the existence of these loopholes in time and space does not contradict the theory of relativity. Through the wormholes that exist in the space, it is possible not only to travel back in time but also in the distance. For instance, by traveling from one wormhole to another, it would be possible to travel through a few days, years, and centuries. In addition, it could be possible to move between distant parts of the space at such speed that exceeds the speed of light (Unger 101). However, this is not an implementable theory due to the fact that these holes are smaller than the mole atoms; in particular, such holes can be found in the quantum foam solely.
In addition, it is possible to assume that travel to the past would also be limited due to the fact that the traveler would not be able to go to the time prior to the emergence of the hole itself. Moreover, in terms of the metaphysical approach, the universe should be as extended in the timeframe as it is in size. Apart from that, it implies that such a journey should necessarily have a destination. However, it is impossible to assume anything particular when considering the events of the future, for instance (Bardon 99). Needless to say that traveling back in time will require the emerge of a specific timeframe in the future as well. Therefore, such an occurrence would require reciprocity.
Thus, it can be stated that the physical and metaphysical approaches discussed above evidence the theoretical possibility of traveling to the future. Nevertheless, it is essential to consider the ideas of time dilation and relativity, which allow drawing a conclusion that while traveling to the future, it would be no longer possible to go back in time to the very moment at which the initial journey has started. Therefore, the debates over time travel should proceed further.
Bardon, Adrian. A Brief History of the Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press, 2013.
Carroll, John. A Time Travel Dialogue. Open Book Publishers, 2014.
Gott, Richard. Time Travel in Einstein’s Universe. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.
Maudlin, Tim. Philosophy of Physics. Princeton University Press, 2012.
Schiappa, Edward. Protagoras and Logos. University of South Carolina Press, 2013.
Unger, Peter. Empty Ideas. Oxford University Press, 2014.