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Science & Technology

Man builds message-receiving 'time machine'

November 3, 2015 | Comment icon 48 comments



Is it possible to receive messages from the future ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 aussiegall
A physics professor is constructing a time machine capable of picking up messages from the future.
When it comes to science fiction technologies, time travel is proving to be a tough nut to crack.

While the concept has featured heavily over the years in science fiction films and TV shows such as Back to the Future, Dr Who and Star Trek, most scientists subscribe to the belief that travelling backwards in time and interacting with past events is fundamentally impossible.

But what if instead of travelling in to the past you could simply send a message ?
This is the basis for a new machine being developed by Ronald Mallett, a physics professor at the University of Connecticut. Inspired by reading the H.G. Wells classic The Time Machine, Mallett is hoping to build a device that can pick up communications sent back from the future.

The contraption, which will cost an estimated $250,000 to build, could open the floodgates to a vast network of data being sent back in time for the people of the present to read and benefit from.

"By using a circulating beam of laser light, I have been able to mathematically show that this can lead to a twisting of space and time," he said.

Whether the finished device will ever actually pick anything up however remains to be seen.

Source: Discovery News | Comments (48)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #39 Posted by StarMountainKid 7 years ago
There's more fundamental problems. Say you build the machine and send a message Tuesday to your past self, and he recieves the message Monday. When 24 hours pass, the Monday you does not become the Tuesday you who sent the message, because it is now Wednsday for the Tuesday you who sent the message. The you who sent the message will always remain in the future, the you who recieved the message will always remain in his past and can never become him.
Comment icon #40 Posted by David Thomson 7 years ago
The problem of space moving is only true if space is purely mathematical. If space is real, as relativity theories suggest, then space drags along with matter where matter is dense. The space in a laboratory is not likely to drift through matter, especially if the laboratory is located underground. Thus, a radio transceiver built to send signals through time could receive signals it sent in the same basement without worry of the signal drifting somewhere else.
Comment icon #41 Posted by Derek Willis 7 years ago
The problem of space moving is only true if space is purely mathematical. If space is real, as relativity theories suggest, then space drags along with matter where matter is dense. The space in a laboratory is not likely to drift through matter, especially if the laboratory is located underground. Thus, a radio transceiver built to send signals through time could receive signals it sent in the same basement without worry of the signal drifting somewhere else. If I want to send something forward or backwards in time (assuming that is possible) and want it to appear in the same place here on Ea... [More]
Comment icon #42 Posted by Sir Wearer of Hats 7 years ago
I was listening to an audio play the other day that did just this and touched upon the implications. The characters were relatively au fait with time travel to begin with (they were mates of Doctor Who), they did things like send letters to their younger selves encouraging them (one of them remembered being in a rather black place, until an odd letter arrived telling him to invest in a theatre, which lead to him owning said theatre and being the master of ceremonies for stage performances, which lead eventually to him meeting the Doctor etc. Things got hairy because this also led to him gettin... [More]
Comment icon #43 Posted by J. K. 7 years ago
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrice_Upon_a_Time A novel about this very subject; one of my absolute favorites.
Comment icon #44 Posted by Ein Sof Sephiroth 7 years ago
For those interested, perhaps one could try think about how small the information packets might be limited. In the anime Steins Gate, it was explored through text messages which were pretty interesting and how timelines would eventually diverge. However, upon receiving a new message, the protagonist is the only one with "memory" between timelines that bifurcated with different messages sent to the past. I don't believe we would have one person "memory-conscious" as different messages are received: http://steins-gate.w...com/wiki/D-Mail
Comment icon #45 Posted by MyOtherAccount 7 years ago
Yep subscribe to the belief that everything is happening now (Past, Present, Future). I also think this is the reason for ghosts sightings, a hiccup happens and all you are seeing is what we perceive as the past or possible future. Could also explain sightings of lake monsters a hiccup and you are seeing it, but its not really in our "time" line, so it's brief, sporadic, and no evidence. Yeah! I would love to see an academic research project that would coordinate an paranormal event location (global positioning satellites) and time (UTC). With that information the project coordinator could ins... [More]
Comment icon #46 Posted by MyOtherAccount 7 years ago
How on earth did I get into this multiple entry mess... Maybe it is a message from the future... hummm... Monitor please delete the multiples THANKS!
Comment icon #47 Posted by MyOtherAccount 7 years ago
...
Comment icon #48 Posted by TripGun 7 years ago
Message received...


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