Science 3 min read

Paradox-Free Time Travel is Possible Says Physicist

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Geralt /

Germain Tobar, a student physicist from the University of Queensland, claims that paradox-free time travel is plausible.

To date, time travel is still considered a thing of the future. No one has managed to achieve such ambitious feat yet. In fact, scientists are still stuck with the question of whether time travel is possible or not.

As theories suggest, and many science-fiction movies depicted, traveling through time could result to different odd situations known as time travel paradoxes. Movies like The Terminator, 12 Monkeys, See you Yesterday, and Looper all portrayed how traveling back in time could lead to the famous grandfather paradox.

For the uninitiated, the grandfather paradox is a situation in which a time traveler goes back to the past and kills his/her grandparents or parents. Some physicists believe that if that’s to happen, the time traveler would not be born, leading to another paradox known as inconsistent causal loop.

However, Tobar alleged that he was able to “square the numbers” to make paradox-free time travel possible.

Paradox-Free Time Travel

Together with his professor, Dr. Fabio Costa, Tobar did the math and, using a virus as an example, explained how time traveling without paradox works.

“Say you traveled in time, in an attempt to stop COVID-19’s patient zero from being exposed to the virus,” Dr. Costa said. “However, if you stopped that individual from becoming infected – that would eliminate the motivation for you to go back and stop the pandemic in the first place.”

The said situation could lead to an inconsistent causal loop paradox, which makes time traveling an impossibility.

“Some physicists say it is possible, but logically it’s hard to accept because that would affect our freedom to make any arbitrary action. It would mean you can time travel, but you cannot do anything that would cause a paradox to occur,” Dr. Costa added.

However, Dr. Costa and Tobar claimed that neither of these situations must happen. The duo’s calculations show that space-time could adjust itself to be logically consistent to the actions the time traveler makes. Tobar explained:

“In the coronavirus patient zero example, you might try and stop patient zero from becoming infected, but in doing so you would catch the virus and become patient zero, or someone else would. No matter what you did, the salient events would just recalibrate around you.”

Meaning, regardless of what action the time traveler makes, the pandemic would still happen. That can give the time traveler’s younger self the motivation to go back in time and stop it.

“Try as you might to create a paradox, the events will always adjust themselves, to avoid any inconsistency,” Tobar added. “The range of mathematical processes we discovered show that time travel with free will is logically possible in our universe without any paradox.”

The duo’s research is published in the journal Classical and Quantum Gravity.

Read More: Physicist Claim Wormhole Travel Is Possible, But It’s Not A Shortcut

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Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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