I was amazed that I have not seen a thread created before regarding this topic. If there is one scientific claim that have eluded the boundaries of my mind it is that of time travel of the physical realm. Teleportation, leviatation and even invisibility can accept some degree of credit.
I have created this thread, not necessarily to air my comments, but in order for others to discuss 'Lorenz Contraction' which is the bases for the apparent possibility of time travel, so that a model can be implemented to furnish prove of possibility or impossibility of time travel.
For the benefit of novices to the topic, like myself, I have included a couple links which illustrates this phenomenon and a brief definition of the term:
, according to Hendrik Lorentz
, is the physical phenomenon of a decrease in length
detected by an observer in objects that travel at any non-zero velocity relative to that observer. This contraction (more formally called Lorentz contraction
contraction) is usually only noticeable, however, at a substantial fraction of the speed of light
; and the contraction is only in the direction parallel to the direction in which the observed body is travelling.
It is important to note that this effect is negligible at everyday speeds, and can be ignored for all regular purposes. It is only when an object approaches speeds on the order of 30,000,000 m/s, i.e. one-tenth of the speed of light, that it becomes important. As the magnitude of the velocity approaches the speed of light, the effect becomes dominant, as we can see from the formula:
L is the proper length
(the length of the object in its rest frame), L' is the length observed by an observer in relative motion with respect to the object,
is the relative velocity between the observer and the moving object,
is the speed of light
is the Lorentz factor
. Note that in this equation it is assumed that the object is parallel with its line of movement. Also note that for the observer in relative movement, the length of the object is measured by subtracting the simultaneously measured distances of both ends of the object. For more general conversions, see the Lorentz transformations
An observer at rest viewing an object travelling at the speed of light would observe the length of the object in the direction of motion as zero. Among other reasons, this suggests that objects with mass cannot travel at the speed of light.
To start the discussion rolling, offer an answer to my questions and debate my opions below:
- Is 'Lorenz Contraction' an illusion?
- If it is an illusion, then would the possibility of time travel also be an illusion?
- Lorenz Contraction is an optical illusion presented to the observer by light being refracted.
- The possibility of time travel is an illussion, and therefore impossiple at the physical realm.