Marty McFly sped his souped up DeLoren into his parent’s past in Back to the Future, but whether we will ever make the journey to our ancestors time is as much an economic issue as one of science, according to a physics expert at The Australian National University.
Dr Craig Savage, who lectures in relativity and quantum mechanics, argued in a public lecture today that, based on the laws of logic and physics, even if characters like McFly could in principle turn up in our present, the cost of developing, building and running a time machine would be so great that time travel remains an unlikely prospect.
“Even if time travel turned out to be possible there would still be an economic problem. The expense of space travel runs into billions of dollars, but you would have to add many zeroes to that before you were even close to the cost of time travel,” Dr Savage said.
“If time travel is possible, it is only likely to happen in the realm of quantum physics. In fact some argue that some aspects of quantum physics almost demand time travel.”
His lecture, organised by ANU student group The Black Hole Society, will outline what makes time travel a logical and physical possibility, but why no one has met Marty McFly or his time travelling friends yet.
“Future human beings who might be able to muster the resources for time travel would probably be so advanced as to be virtually unrecognisable to those living now. This kind of question takes science to the limits” he said.
Source: Australian National University
Explore further: We've just started work on the technology to power a Star-Trek style replicator