Week 2-The Dimensions and Time Travel- Idy Tam


We are familiar with 3-dimensional space because it is our perspective of the world we live in now. But there is an extra dimension that we should dwell on, the fourth- dimension, which is usually interpreted as time or as space (Euclidean space).

In the lecture, Professor Vesna talked about the evolution of art from a 2-dimensional perspective to Escher, who illustrated how humans began seeing the world in other perspectives, as his art pieces included dimensionality. Escher incorporated mathematical relationships among shapes, figures, and space. He is one of the first artists to sketch planes with what people called “irregular” perspective. Escher not only made contributions to the art field but also to the mathematics field. This demonstrates the bridge of the two cultures.

In another scope of this topic, I would like to talk about the fourth dimension relating to time traveling. Time travel is a concept of moving between different moments in time and different points in space. I am interested this particular area because at some point in a person’s life she may wish to travel back in time to alter history or travel to the future to explore how life would be like.
But many physicists argue that traveling back in time is impossible due to the “grandfather paradox.” This theory questions, what if one travels back in time kills his own biological grandfather before conceiving his father? Although many may wish that traveling back in time may some time be made possible but the chances are very unlikely.

wormhole

wormhole

Wormholes, which is shortcut between space and time, is permitted by Einstein’s field equations of relativity, suggests that it is impossible to travel through a wormhole. But the wormhole can allow timetravel by accelerating the objects speed to a high velocity, relative to the other then sometime later bringing it back together. Scientists believe that it may not be possible to convert a wormhole into a time machine in this manner: some analyses attempted to incorporate quantum effects into general relativity, indicate that a feedback loop of virtual particles would circulate through the wormhole with ever-increasing intensity. This destroys it before any information could be passed through it, in keeping with the chronology protection conjecture.

Instead of inventing a time machine that travels to the future or back in time, why don’t we just think of the events in our lives as a fourth dimensional perspective. From the day we were born, till the day we die, our memories act as the fourth dimension. We can constantly revisit our past mentally, even though not physically. But the closest “time machine” that there is, our memories, is actually what we take for granted. There is no point in altering the past.  What has been done, is done.

-Idy Tam

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