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Specific question about time travel...

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posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 01:08 AM
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I'm sure there are plenty of threads in here about time travel, but I have a specific question concerning time travel:

In the movie "Back to the Future", Doc tests out the Delorean time machine by sending it five minutes into the future. The car disappears and five minutes later it reappears. What would have happened if instead of sending the time machine five minutes into the future as a test, he sends it five minutes into the past? So in theory, five minutes before he sends the time machine, it appears, correct? But he hasn't actually sent it...?

Does the one he hasn't sent disappear? Or does he suddenly have two time machines?

If he has two then when he reaches the point in time five minutes after he received the car he had sent back from the future, would he be forced to send it back five minutes in order to be in keeping with the timeline he created previously, and creating an endless loop of sending and receiving the time machine? (I know this is confusing, that's why I'm posting the question.) If he isn't forced to, and doesn't send it back five minutes when he reaches that point five minutes after receiving it, does the one he received disappear?

Any thoughts or ideas to help clear the fog? I'm not boned up on quantum physics, or whatever it is that deals with time travel, but how is this exlained by people who are?

[edit on 15/12/04 by an3rkist]




posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 02:01 AM
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Interesting question. I'm no expert either but some say you would end up an a Parallel universe. I would think there would be two cars, but this is definately a paradox type idea and no I don't think he needs to send it back, because he's not really where he started.


You might want to check out the site of Dr. Michio Kaku. He's pretty good at explaining this type of stuff to non-Physicist and he may even answer you question directly.



[edit on 15-12-2004 by outsider]



posted on Dec, 15 2004 @ 03:03 AM
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Originally posted by an3rkist
What would have happened if instead of sending the time machine five minutes into the future as a test, he sends it five minutes into the past?


Well, in the case of Back to the Future and their method of Time Travel, the car with Einstein (Doc's Dog) would have appeared 5 minutes before he had sent it. There would then be 2 cars and 2 Einstein's as well. That is until he sent the other time machine into the past of course.

Similar to when in Back to the Future 2 when they went back to 1955 for the second time and Marty had to avoid making contact with himself from when he went back to 1955 the first time in part 1. Even Doc ended up almost meeting himself while hooking up the cable on the clock if you remember.


So in theory, five minutes before he sends the time machine, it appears, correct? But he hasn't actually sent it...?


Yep, that's time travel for ya. What is really interesting to think about is whether or not Doc could choose NOT to send the time machine back five min. after the other one arrives. If he did, he would then have 2 Time Machines and Two Dogs for as long as he wanted. Or would he even be able to do such a thing??


Does the one he hasn't sent disappear? Or does he suddenly have two time machines?


Using their version of Time Travel you would have Two. Until he sent the other one back then he'd have One again.


If he has two then when he reaches the point in time five minutes after he received the car he had sent back from the future, would he be forced to send it back five minutes in order to be in keeping with the timeline he created previously, and creating an endless loop of sending and receiving the time machine? (I know this is confusing, that's why I'm posting the question.) If he isn't forced to, and doesn't send it back five minutes when he reaches that point five minutes after receiving it, does the one he received disappear?


Yep, that is certainly the big question isn't it. It's just like in the Matrix where the Oracle forgives Neo for breaking the vase before he breaks it. Then tells him that what will really 'bake his noodle later' is wondering whether or not he would have knocked it over in the first place had she not said anything to begin with.


Any thoughts or ideas to help clear the fog? I'm not boned up on quantum physics, or whatever it is that deals with time travel, but how is this exlained by people who are?

[edit on 15/12/04 by an3rkist]


In Back to the Future they did play it safe however by atleast explaining briefly how alternate branches of time can exist. Remember the other 1985 where Biff was a Multi-Billionare? That was an alternate 1985 that happened as a result of Old Biff giving the Young Biff the Sports Almanac. That then had to be changed back again to the normal 1985, or atleast a very similar 1985, by Doc and Marty going back to 1955 again and stealing the Almanac back from Young Biff after Old Biff had given it to him.

By having alternate timelines instead of just one single timeline you can avoid the paradoxes. Look up Many Worlds Theory for more on that.



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