Scientists had believed time travel would be impossible thanks to the paradoxes which come with it, such as altering an event in the past. The most common example which comes up is: What would happen if you went back in time and killed your grandfather? If you were to do that, it would ultimately mean you were not born, which would mean you never had the opportunity to time travel.
However, scientists now believe this would not be a problem, if the ‘many worlds’ or infinite universe theory is correct.
The infinite universe theory dictates that every time a decision or action is taken, a new branch of a timeline is created where an alternate decision is made.
Theoretically, this could mean there are an infinite number of versions of you based on an infinite combinations of decisions taken during a lifetime.
And this would not only apply to you, but every other person, animal plant, atom, molecule and everything else which has ever existed in the history of the universe.
Time travel breakthrough: Experts solve paradoxes of time travel
There could be an infinite number of universes out there
Every time something happens, there is a new branch created.
This would mean that if you were to travel back in time and killed your grandfather, it would not make a difference to your timeline as a new one would simply have been created, according to a new theory published in the online journal arXiv.
The paper by Barak Shoshany and Jacob Hauser from the Perimeter Institute in Canada said: “If time travel is possible, it seems to inevitably lead to paradoxes.
“These include consistency paradoxes, such as the grandfather paradox, and bootstrap paradoxes, where something is created out of nothing.
READ MORE: Time travel BREAKTHROUGH: Time can be stopped and this is how
Every action could create a new timeline
“One proposed class of resolutions to these paradoxes allows for multiple histories (or timelines), such that any changes to the past occur in a new history, independent from the one where the time traveler originated.”
However, other scientists believe this theory essentially defeats the point of time travel.
Astrophysicist and dark matter expert Geraint Lewis at the University of Sydney, who was not involved in the research, told New Scientist: “What time travel means here is stepping between those histories — that’s even freakier.
“At some level it doesn’t even feel like time travel anymore, because what’s the point of going back and killing Hitler if the second world war still plays out in the universe you’re from?”
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Building a time machine is a altogether more difficult problem
Astronomer Royal Martin Rees has previously said the next major breakthrough will be realising there are many universes, and ours is just one particular patch in space and time.
He theorised there could have been more than one Big Bang which leads to many universes, and ours was simply lucky.
Dr Rees writes in his new book, ‘On The Future: Prospects For Humanity’: “What we’ve traditionally called ‘the universe’ — the aftermath of ‘our’ big bang—may be just one island, just one patch of space and time, in a perhaps infinite archipelago. There may have been many big bangs, not just one.
“Each constituent of this ‘multiverse’ could have cooled down differently, maybe ending up governed by different laws.
“Just as Earth is a very special planet among zillions of others, so — on a far grander scale—our big bang could have been a rather special one.”