While Einstein’s theory of relativity predicts that time travel is possible, designs for a time-machine have so far been unrealistic and relied upon the presence of “worm holes” and an undiscovered “antimatter”.
Professor Amos Ori of Techion Israel Institute of Technology has proposed an idea for time travel that does not require the presence of exotic matter, instead using ordinary matter and the vacuum of space.
Accelerated time travel into the future is theoretically possible due to the predicted slowing of time when travelling at a rate near the speed of light.
But travelling into the past is not such a simple matter. Einstein theorised that space-time may be made to curve back onto itself using a heavy mass, which has lead to the popular theory of time travel via worm holes. But these hypothetical worm holes rely on the presence of antimatter, an exotic form of matter which has not yet been observed by physicists.
Prof Ori’s mathematical calculations published in Physical Review Letters earlier this month, further elaborate on the curved space theory. He proposed space could be twisted to produce a local donut-shaped gravity field. According to Prof Ori this would produce a time machine where every period of time after its creation would exist somewhere in the vacuum inside the donut.
In theory it should be possible to travel back in time to any time after the time machine had been built. But how to initiate the formation of the gravity field or enter it once created are problems waiting to be solved.
The idea has received mixed reviews, with many scientists congratulating Prof Ori on an original and valuable contribution. Others have suggested the field core may not be stable, or they hold onto Steven Hawking’s theorem which says that time travel is not possible without negative energy.
Prof Ori himself admits that his theory is wild speculation, but estimates a 50 per cent likelihood that time travel into the past will be possible, sometime in the future.