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IS TIME TRAVEL POSSIBLE?
by
Michio Kaku

In H.G. Wellsí novel, THE TIME MACHINE, our protagonist jumped into a special chair with blinking lights, spun a few dials, and found himself catapulted several hundred thousand years into the future, where England has long disappeared and is now inhabited by two groups of strange creatures, the Morlocks and the Eloi.

       That may have made great fiction, but physicists have always scoffed at the idea of time travel, considering it to be the realm of cranks, mystics, and charlatans, and with good reason. However, rather remarkable advances in quantum gravity are reviving the theory; time travel has now become fair game for theoretical physicists writing in the pages of PHYSICAL REVIEW  magazine.
 

Michio Kaku

       One stubborn problem with time travel is that it is riddled with several types of paradoxes. For example, there is the paradox of the man with no parents: What happens when you go back in time and kill your parents before you are born? If your parents died before you were born, then how could you have been born to kill them in the first place?

     There is also the paradox of the man with no past. For example, letís say that a young inventor is trying futilely to build a time machine in his garage. Suddenly, an elderly man appears from nowhere and gives the youth the secret of building a time machine. The young man then becomes enormously rich playing the stock market, race tracks, and sporting events because he knows the future. Then, as an old man, he decides to make his final trip back to the past and give the secret of time travel to his youthful self. Where did the idea of the time machine come from?  
 

Dr. Michio Kaku, Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City University of New York, is the author of VISIONS: HOW SCIENCE WILL REVOLUTIONIZE THE 21ST CENTURY and the best-seller HYPERSPACE.

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