After some serious number crunching, a UBC researcher has come up with a mathematical model for a viable time machine.

Ben Tippett, a mathematics and physics instructor at UBC's Okanagan campus, recently published a study about the feasibility of time travel. Tippett, whose field of expertise is Einstein's theory of general relativity, studies black holes and science fiction when he's not teaching. Using math and physics, he has created a formula that describes a method for time travel.

"People think of time travel as something as fiction," says Tippett. "And we tend to think it's not possible because we don't actually do it. But, mathematically, it is possible."

Ever since HG Wells published his book Time Machine in 1885, people have been curious about time travel—and scientists have worked to solve or disprove the theory, he says. In 1915 Albert Einstein announced his theory of general relativity, stating that gravitational fields are caused by distortions in the fabric of space and time. More than 100 years later, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration—an international team of physics institutes and research groups—announced the detection of gravitational waves generated by colliding black holes billions of lightyears away, confirming Einstein's theory.

The division of space into three dimensions, with time in a separate dimension by itself, is incorrect, says Tippett. The four dimensions should be imagined simultaneously, where different directions are connected, as a space-time continuum. Using Einstein's theory, Tippett says that the curvature of space-time accounts for the curved orbits of the planets.

In "flat"—or uncurved—space-time, planets and stars would move in straight lines. In the vicinity of a massive star, space-time geometry becomes curved and the straight trajectories of nearby planets will follow the curvature and bend around star.

"The time direction of the space-time surface also shows curvature. There is evidence showing the closer to a black hole we get, time moves slower," says Tippett. "My model of a time machine uses the curved space-time—to bend time into a circle for the passengers, not in a straight line. That circle takes us back in time."

While it is possible to describe this type of time travel using a mathematical equation, Tippett doubts that anyone will ever build a machine to make it work.

"HG Wells popularized the term 'time machine' and he left people with the thought that an explorer would need a 'machine or special box' to actually accomplish time travel," Tippett says. "While is it mathematically feasible, it is not yet possible to build a space-time machine because we need materials—which we call exotic matter—to bend space-time in these impossible ways, but they have yet to be discovered."

For his research, Tippett created a mathematical model of a Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (TARDIS). He describes it as a bubble of space-time geometry which carries its contents backward and forwards through space and time as it tours a large circular path. The bubble moves through space-time at speeds greater than the speed of light at times, allowing it to move backward in time.

"Studying space-time is both fascinating and problematic. And it's also a fun way to use math and physics," says Tippett. "Experts in my field have been exploring the possibility of mathematical time machines since 1949. And my research presents a new method for doing it."

Tippett's research was recently published in the IOPscience journal *Classical and Quantum Gravity*.

**Explore further:**
How Einstein could help unlock the mysteries of space travel

**More information:**
Benjamin K Tippett et al. Traversable acausal retrograde domains in spacetime, *Classical and Quantum Gravity* (2017). DOI: 10.1088/1361-6382/aa6549

## khermerker

We can't confirm 100% a theory, at best the theory has passed other test. This is important cause that means we actually don't know if we can travel in time. We can only know that when we travel in time, beside a lot of paradox in time travel make us see something is amiss in the nature of time.

## kow

## GatorALLin

## Mayday

## Steelwolf

## JeanD

The exact present moment, NOW Moment Reality NMR, is a dynamic and flexible grid system moving forward on the Reality Dominion Axis RDA.

From MIST, NMR and RDA it is possible to construct the Traversable Acausal Retrograde Domain in Space-time (TARDIS) -model, and find its inaccuracies and shortcomings.

When the MIST NOW moment travels curved and spiral RDA routes we can iterate different universes. The MIST NOW moment "flexible grid/net" can be effected by several forces, when the grid/net gets discontinuities in forms of appendages, 'planets', 'siblings', 'daughters' etc.

The MIST Dimensions model is based on topology and its part of a "structuring the reality project" SRP.

- JDa

## antialias_physorg

Erm...no? Spacetime is 4D for Einstein.

The rest of your post is...'interesting' (and by 'interesting' I mean: total garbage)

## Occulus

Why? Well... Which future? As we look forward from our current point in time, the probability that this or that event will occur becomes increasingly fuzzier. More precisely, the probability that the *effect* of this or that event will be X becomes increasingly fuzzier.

Eventually, we can't know which future is likely (or even possible) to any reasonable degree of accuracy that is useful to any destination targeting in our time machine. I think that, given the numbers of particles that make up the matter of the universe (as well as the properties involved with each), targeting any time machine to a point forward in time beyond the next instant would be impossible from a calculation standpoint.

## antialias_physorg

How so? We do it all the time (we can't NOT do it).

But if you mean some arbitrary far flung future then that is also doable - just travel very fast and relativistic slowdown will get you there. If you manage to travel at the speed of light then this will seem like instant time travel to you.

## zave

it closed.But i don't see how the hole in time would close.

## rrwillsj

Time & Gravity are constants, (maybe indivisible?) uni-directional attractors. Dependent on local and universal mass.

What differentiates T&G from Electro-Magnetism, is that E-M is an accelerating energy. i.e. T&G pulls, E-M pushes.

I opinionate that there is no past to return to and the future has not occurred yet.

Robert Heinlein did an amusing invention of this viewpoint in his book "Tunnel In The Sky'.

Traveling at Relativistic speeds will not move you into the future any sooner than the mundane plodding through life of us planet-bound dullards.

As you approach the speed of light, you will still be experiencing one dreary hour after another within your vehicle. Though it will appear as if the Universe outside your vehicle is occurring a sped-up clock. That POV is only real too you and only as long as your vehicle can carry you.

## kenknudson

## danR

## danR

Do you object to the name 'quark', or flavors 'charm', 'beauty', etc.?

## adam_russell_9615

Or even an entangled particle as a first step.

## Mayday

## Mazarin07

I wouldn't call it viable. This is is a pure theoretical speculation for the time being.

## Da Schneib

## spanishtoenglish01

spanish to english

## vacuumforce

## FineStructureConstant

## TimLong2001

## zave

Let's say that someone projects themselves back in time by one second, also traveling through space with perfect accuracy so that they appear right next to their previous self. What happens to all the air that occupied that volume before the time traveler arrived? Wouldn't the poor fellow explode or at least balloon up painfully? It's always been too big a leap for my sci-if sensibilities.

The time portal itself prevents that from happening because

you cannot go that fast to cause that to happen.The natural laws still apply.

## Da Schneib

## vacuumforce

This is the same as saying, we can build a free energy machine mathematically, its just not physically possible... yet.

Jesus Christ.

## Da Schneib

## rrwillsj

However, several of the commentators to this article have brought up an interesting point.

For some time now, even before I started to rudely interrupt you adults solemn debates over angels dancing on the head of a pin.

I have been considering how often the blaring headlines proclaim "Alien outhouses found on Mars!". And then reading the posted article talks about a breakthrough un breeding hornytoads. Then I'd follow up tracking down the original research paper. Wading through a soporific quantity of verbiage to discover the researchers had figured out that moderate rainfall is a good thing. And if we all invest a billion dollars in their project to breed flying unicorns pooping rainbows on our heads, it would create a 'Golden Age' for all Mankind!

All too many publishers and editors go for the profitable click-bait headline.

## cantdrive85

## Tessalator

## Dingbone

## Da Schneib

I'll be happy to prove this if anyone makes an argument that shows sufficient knowledge to make it meaningful to them; trollish hand-waving will be ignored.

## rrwillsj

For the rest of you, I do not see any evidence advanced that the Past or the Future have an actual physical existence.

In my opinion, the problems we are all having with communicating our hypothesis' are, that we cannot even agree on the words to use to explain these concepts.

I hold that Space/Time/Gravity are three different views of the same phenomena. Doesn't mean your POV is wrong. Doesn't mean my POV is correct. We could both be wrong, we could both be right. And THAT guy over there just advanced a supposition that leaves our arguments behind in his dust!

## anonymuse