àTime: Relativity provides an insight to Time Travel:
In simple words, time can be
perceived as an ongoing progress of events that have occurred in the past, that
are occurring in the present, and that are yet to occur in the future. Time is
something that everyone thinks they can comprehend. Looking at a clock and being
able to tell what time it is means that you understand everything about time,
right? The real truth is that time isn’t just restricted to watches and clocks.
It is much more complex and complicated. That is why I believe that the study
of time is extremely important.
Over the years, study of time has
helped us greatly deepen our knowledge about time. For example, just ten years
after the term ‘time machine’ was originated, Albert Einstein wrote a paper on
special relativity. This concept of special relativity has provided an insight
on how time travel could be possible.
Before Einstein came up with this
revolutionary theory, scientists thought that the speed of light was different
for different reference points. It was believed that there was a specific
viewpoint in space, called ether, where light travels at its true velocity. However,
according to Einstein, there is no such thing as ether. He said that light has
a constant speed no matter what frame of reference you are measuring it from. The
evidence for this theory was provided by the Michelson–Morley experiment in
which light always had a constant velocity independent of the reference point. Based
on the theory of relativity, the passing of time varies for different objects
depending on the gravitational pull on the object as well as the speed that the
object is moving at. This is known as time dilation.
àHow Special Relativity provides
an insight to Time Travel:
Everyone has been fascinated by the
idea of travelling in time since the idea was first coined. Many shows such as ‘Doctor
Who’ have also been made based on the notion of time travel. However, the fact
is that time travel is already happening! An example of time travel in the
future is the GPS system. Due to time dilation, time flows more slowly for
us than it does for a satellite which is used for the Global Positioning System.
Another example is time travel due to a black hole. The immense gravitational
pull within black hole intensifies the time dilation effect which leads to
jumping forwards in time.
Although there are many cases in
which time travel in future could be made possible, there has not been an a
single working physics model for traveling back in time. This is why I believe
the study of time is important. Finding out more about time will help us pursue
seemingly impossible challenges such as travelling in the past.
àOther opportunities from
the study of time:
Furthermore, learning more about time
could help resolve ongoing debates and arguments about time. For example, it is
currently argued by philosophers whether time is ‘flux’ (idea by Greek
philosopher Heraclitus) or fixed. The idea that time is fixed ‘in a series of
events, lined up one after the other’ was first brought up by Parmenides, an
early Greek philosopher. Other than Parmenides, scientists such as Albert
Einstein have also referred to time as a ‘stubbornly persistent illusion’.
àHow the study of time
could be beneficial for my area of interest (Computer Science):
There are many opportunities of
studying time for the technological sector.
The first breakthrough for computers
was made in 1946 when the first computer, ENIAC, was built. In only a matter of
70 years, we have advanced so much in the technological sector that we have
produced handheld compact computers (mobile phones) as well as supercomputers. However,
even though supercomputers are very powerful, they are currently extremely vulnerable
to failure. Therefore, if we could work out how to travel to a distant future
within seconds, it would be possible to bring ground-breaking concepts to the present
from the future. For example, we would be able to use supercomputers in an
efficient manner in order to solve complex problems, which appear in subjects
such as natural science, engineering, etc. with huge amounts of freedom.