Hyperluminal Spaceship, Tachyons and Time Travel

Einsteins theory of relativity suggests that none can have hyperluminal speed. Negative mass or tachyon are the particles which always travel at superluminal speed and had a negative time frame means time run backward for them. What if a spaceship is travelling at hyper light speed? Would time run backward for that space ship? These are questions which are to be solved here by Earnst L Wall.

By Earnst L Wall

To depart somewhat from a pure state machine argument for a moment, we will consider a more general discussion of the argument that an object that moves faster than the speed of light would experience time reversal.  For example,  the space ship Enterprise, in moving away from Earth at hyperluminal velocities, would overtake the light that was emitted by events that occurred while it was still on the earth.  It would then see the events unfold in reverse time order as it progressed on its path.  This phenomena would be, in effect, a review of the record of a portion of the Earth=s history in the same manner that one views a sequence of events on a VCR as the tape is run backwards.  But this does not mean that the hyperluminal spacecraft or the universe is actually going backwards in time anymore than a viewer watching the VCR running in reverse is moving backwards in time.

Further, it must be asked what would happen to the universe itself under these circumstances.  To illustrate this, suppose a colony were established on Neptune.  Knowing the distance to Neptune, it would be trivial, even with today’s technology, to synchronize the clocks on Earth and Neptune so that they kept the same absolute time to within microseconds or better.  Next, suppose that the Enterprise left Earth at a hyperluminal velocity for a trip to Neptune.  When the crew and passengers of the Enterprise arrive at Neptune, say 3 minutes later in Earth time, it is unlikely that the clocks on Neptune would be particularly awed or even impressed by the arrival of the travelers. When the Enterprise arrives at Neptune, it would get there 3 minutes later in terms of the time as measured on both Neptune and Earth, regardless of how long its internal clocks indicated that the trip was.  Neither the Enterprise nor its passengers would have moved backwards in time as measured on earth or Neptune.

The hands of a clock inside the Enterprise, as simulated by a state machine, would not be compelled to reverse themselves just because it is moving at a hyperluminal velocity.  This is because the universal state machine is still increasing its time count, not reversing it.  Nor would any molecule that is not in, or near the trajectory of the space ship, be affected insofar as time is concerned, provided it does not actually collide with the space ship.

In the scheme above, reverse time travel will not occur merely because an object is traveling at hyperluminal velocities.  Depending on the details of the simulation, hyperluminal travel may cause the local time sequencing to slow down, but a simulated, aging movie queen who is traveling in a hyperluminal spacecraft will not regain her lost youth.  Simulated infants will not reenter their mother’s wombs.  Simulated dinosaurs will not be made to reappear.  A simulated hyperluminal spacecraft cannot go back in time retrieve objects and bring them back to the present.  Nor would any of the objects in the real universe go backward in time as a result of the passage of the hyperluminal spacecraft.

The mere hyperluminal transmission of information or signals from point to point, nor objects traveling at hyperluminal velocities from point to point, does not cause a  change in the direction of the time count at the point of departure nor at the point of arrival of these hyperluminal entities, nor at any point in between.

Based on concepts derived from modern computer science, we have developed a new method of studying the flow of time.  It is different from the classical statistical mechanical method of viewing continuous time flow in that we have described a hypothetical simulation of the universe by means of a gigantic digital state machine implemented in a gigantic computer.  This machine has the capability of mirroring the general  non-deterministic, microscopic behavior of the real universe

Based on these concepts, we have developed a new definition of absolute time as a measure of the count of discrete states of the universe that occurred from the beginning of the universe to some later time that might be under consideration.   In the real universe, we would use a high energy gamma ray as a clock to time the states, these states being determined by regular measurements of an object’s parameters by analog-to-digital samples taken at the clock frequency.

And based on this definition of time, it is clear that, without the physical universe to regularly change state, time has no meaning whatsoever.  That is, matter in the physical universe is necessary for time to exist. In empty space, or an eternal void, time would have utterly no meaning

This definition of time and its use in the simulation has permitted us to explore the nature of time flow in a statistical, non-determinate universe. This exploration included a consideration of the possibility of reverse time travel.  But by using the concept of a digital state machine as the basis of a thought experiment, we show clearly that to move backward in time, you would have to reverse the state count on the universal clock, which would have the effect of reversing the velocity of the objects. But this velocity includes the not only the velocity of the individual objects, but the composite velocities of all objects composing a macroscopic body. As a result, this macroscopic body would also reverse its velocity, providing the state was specified with sufficient precision.

But if you merely counted backward and obtained a reversal of motion, at best you could only move back to some probable past because of the indeterminate nature of the process.  You could not go back to some exact point in the past that is exactly the way it was.   In fact, after a short time, the process would be come so random that there would be no real visit to the past.  A traveler would be unable to determine if he was going back in time, or forward in time.  Entropy would continue to increase.

But doing even this in the real universe, of course, would present a problem because you would need naturally occurring, synchronized, discrete states (outside of quantized states, which are random and not universally synchronized).  You would need to be able to control a universal clock that counts these transitions, and further, cause it to go back to previous states simultaneously over the entire universe.   Modern physics has not found evidence of naturally occurring universal synchronized states, nor such an object as a naturally occurring clock that controls them.  And even if the clock were found, causing the clock to reverse the state transition sequence would be rather difficult.

Without these capabilities, it would seem impossible to envision time reversal by means of rewinding the universe.  This would not seem to be a possibility even in a microscopic portion of the universe, let alone time reversal over the entire universe.

But aside from those difficulties, if you wished to go back to an exact point in the past, the randomness of time travel by rewind requires need an alternative to rewinding the universe.  This is true for the simulated universe, and a hypothetical rewind of the real universe.  Therefore, the only way to visit an exact point in the past is to have a record of the entire past set of all states of the universe, from the point in the past that you wish to visit onward to the present.  This record must be stored somewhere, and a means of accessing this record, visiting it, becoming assimilated in it, and then allowing time to move forward from there must be available.  And, while all of this is happening in the past, the traveler’s departure point at the present state count, or time, must mover forward in time while the traveler takes his journey.

Even jumping back in time because of a wormhole transit would require that a record of the past be stored somewhere.  And, of course, the wormhole would need the technology to access these records, to place the traveler into the record and then to allow him to be assimilated there.  This would seem to be a rather difficult problem.

This then, is the problem with time travel to an exact point in the past in the real universe.  Where would the records be stored?  How would you access them in order just to read them?  And even more difficult, how would you be able to enter this record of the universe, become assimilated into this time period, and then and have your body begin to move forward in time.  At a very minimum our time traveler would have to have answers to these questions.

Still another conundrum is how the copy of the past universe would merge with the real universe at the traveler’s point of departure.  And then, if he had caused any changes that affected his departure point, they would have to be incorporated into that part of the universal record that is the future from his point of departure, and these changes would then have to be propagated forward to the real universe itself and incorporated into it.  This is assuming that the record is separate from the universe itself.

But if this hypothetical record of the universe were part of the universe itself,  or even the universe itself, then that would imply that all states of the entire universe, past, present, and future, exist in that record. This would further imply that we, as macroscopic objects in the universe, have no free will and are merely stepped along from state to state, and are condemned to carry out actions that we have no control over whatsoever.

In such a universe, if our traveler had access to the record, he might be able to travel in time.  But he were to be able to alter the record and affect the subsequent flow of time, he would have to have free will, which would seem to contradict the condition described above.  We obviously would be presented with endless recursive sequences that defy rationality in all of the above.

This is all interesting philosophy, but it seems to be improbable physics.

Therefore, in a real universe, and based on our present knowledge of physics, it would seem that time travel is highly unlikely, if not downright impossible.

We do not deny the usefulness of time reversal as a mathematical artifact in the calculation of subatomic particle phenomena.  However,  it does not seem possible even for particles to actually go backwards in time and influence the past and cause consequential changes to the present.

Further, there is no reason to believe that exceeding the speed of light would cause time reversal in either an individual particle or in a macroscopic body.  Therefore, any objections to tachyon models that are based merely on causality considerations have little merit.

For the sake of completeness, it should be commented that the construction of a computer that would accomplish the above feats exactly would require that the computer itself be part of the state machine. This could add some rather interesting problems in recursion that should be of interest to computer scientists.  And, it is obvious that the construction of such a machine would be rather substantial boon to the semiconductor industry.

We already know from classical statistical mechanics that increasing entropy dictates that the arrow of time can only move in the forward direction .  We have not only reaffirmed this principle here, but have gone considerably beyond it. These concepts would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to develop with an analog, or continuous statistical mechanical model of the universe.

We have defined time on the basis of a state count based on the fastest changing object in the universe.  But it is interesting to note that modern day time is based on photons from atomic transitions, and is no longer based on the motion of the earth.  Conceptually, however, it is still an extension of earth based time.

But finally, history is filled with instances of individuals who have stated that various phenomena are impossible, only later to be proven wrong, and even ridiculous. Most of the technology that we take for granted today would have been thought to be impossible several hundred years ago, and some of it would have been thought impossible only decades ago.  Therefore, it is emphasized here that we do not say that time travel is absolutely impossible.  We will merely take a rather weak stance on the matter and simply say that, based on physics as we know it today, there are some substantial difficulties that must be overcome before time travel becomes a reality.

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About bruceleeeowe
An engineering student and independent researcher. I'm researching and studying quantum physics(field theories). Also searching for alien life.

21 Responses to Hyperluminal Spaceship, Tachyons and Time Travel

  1. amrit says:

    time travel are pure illusion
    yours amri

  2. Nelson says:

    The mere hyperluminal transmission of information or signals from point to point, nor objects traveling at hyperluminal velocities from point to point, does not cause a change in the direction of the time count at the point of departure nor at the point of arrival of these hyperluminal entities, nor at any point in between.
    Can’t give some more speculation about such hyperluminal entity for whose time will run backward? Very awkward!

  3. Rob says:

    So, if I left Neptune and returned to Earth in 3 minutes (round trip of 6 minutes), wouldn’t I be arriving at Earth before I’d actually departed?

    • Nelson says:

      No, not! Even travelling at superluminal speed you have taken some time to make a round trip. No matter what is time running for inside of crew.

    • keith says:

      no you fool,where ever you are is the time you are at, where ever your time is,is where you are, time travel
      is impassable for matter. but not fore energy. your mind and sole is energy ?

  4. Rolf says:

    If time travel is possible is possible it leads to another questiosn “Where are they”. We would expect to see people from the future all around us all the time. Of course there may be many reasons why we do not see any time travellers. It may be that future time travellers have efficient ways of hiding from us or it may be that humankind does not survive the singularity etc..

  5. bruceleeeowe says:

    Of course, if time travel is possible, this question comes naturally in our mind “where are they?”. This is unlike to fermi paradox. For aliens, we have quite long range for detection or signal. But we haven’t any experimental evidences of information being transfered from one time frame to another. So, if any time traveller lands even 1 nanosecond forward in time dimension, we would never detect him. He would always travel 1 nanosecond forward to us unless he had technology to control flow of time itself.

  6. Pingback: Blog de Astronomia do astroPT » Viagens a hyper-velocidades

  7. Dave says:

    My understanding was that Einstein’s theories did not prohibit superluminal speed, rather, they prohibited CROSSING the lightspeed barrier. Thus the hypothetical tachyon particle, which cannot travel SLOWER than c.

    Although your article did give me an idea for an FTL drive! If you had a way to jump into a different universe (say, one in which the value of c was higher), you could then accelerate to above c (our value, still subluminal in the universe you were in), then pop back into our own universe at superluminal speeds! To decelerate, you would simply reverse the process!

    What effect traveling at above c in normal space might have on your perspective of time is an interesting question.

    In any event, the article is based on a fundamental flaw – the concept of a universal state machine, and in particular, the flawed idea of “absolute time”. Such a thing does not exist! If there is one thing Einstein taught us, it is that time is relative!

    Even in your example, the passage of time would likely be different even for clocks on Earth vs. Neptune, due to differences in velocity, as well as differences in the local gravity well (remember, gravity affects the passage of time as well!), thus making “synchronizing” clocks on the two planets impossible.

    Premising an argument on the illusionary idea of “absolute time” is kinda like basing a scientific argument on the assumption that the world is flat. 😉

  8. bruceleeeowe says:

    When you assume something as absolute, you need to measure other parameters relative to absolute. In fact, a absolute clock could be pulsar. Rest of the time frames can be measured relative to absolute. Measurement is still relative and would definitely be different for both Earth and Neptune. For universe which has different value of c, would certainly have different laws of physics and my idea is that such type of cheating won’t work with universe. Universe will manage to maintain its laws. Well it will remain hypothetical until we have technology to conduct such experiments.

    • Dave says:

      No matter how you try to measure it, there is no such thing as absolute time. The problem is not simply that time passes at different rates, but that, as Einstein stated, there is no such thing as an objective or universal “now”.

      With regards to my FTL idea, each universe maintains its own physical laws for objects within it. It does not violate any physical laws to accelerate to 250,000 miles per second, in a universe where c is 500,000mps. Nor does it break the law to exit back into our universe at such a speed. Again, remember that Einstein’s theories do not say that moving faster than c is impossible (otherwise, the theoretical tachyon particle could not exist), but rather that you cannot CROSS the lightspeed barrier.

      What effects exiting into this universe at a superluminal velocity would have on your perspective of mass and time, however, could prove interesting!

  9. bruceleeeowe says:

    Dave: If you have read Einstein theory of relativity and Lorentz transformation, you would find speed of light as absolute. No matter how fast are you going, light speed will always be c. Well speed of 250,000 miles per second is subluminal speed. Tachyon is a hypothetical negative mass particle that’s why it always have superluminal speed with negative curvature of space time.

    • Dave says:

      “you would find speed of light as absolute”

      The speed of light is not absolute, but actually varies, depending on the material it is passing through!;) The speed of light in a vacuum (also known as “c”) is a constant value.

      Different universes could have different physical laws, including different values for fundamental constants such as c.

      Indeed, the idea of different values for these constants is the aspect of the Multiverse theories used by scientists as a primary argument to refute the “Fine-Tuning is proof of a supernatural designer” claims made by some religious folks!

      “Well speed of 250,000 miles per second is subluminal speed.”

      Incorrect – at least in this universe!;) The speed of light in a vacuum is about 186,282 miles per second, so the example I gave of 250,000 miles per second would in fact be superluminal.

      BTW, while thinking about how life would be like traveling at above c, I came to an interesting realization. Traveling at such speeds would at first glance seem intrinsically dangerous. Given that the laws of physics would prevent you from slowing-down to less than c in this universe, and turning at hyperluminal speeds could be problematic to say the least, what would happen if you collided with something? Would you instantly be vaporized into a cloud of tachyons?

      Or traveling backwards in time, what would be the effects of hitting an object traveling forwards in time? Would this somehow protect you? Or would the cloud of debris that USED to be your spaceship continue to travel until it ran into a singularity in 13.7 billion years or so?

      Then I realized something. Relative time and mass both change when approaching lightspeed (and are presumed to flip to negative values for above-lightspeed tachyons).

      But they are not the ONLY things that change.

      As an object approaches lightspeed, it’s relative size (specifically, it’s length), also SHRINKS. What happens if this also flips negative at superluminal speeds? Would such an object even be visible?

      What would happen if an object with a negative dimension collided with normal matter? Might it simply pass right through?

      This could also make superluminal particles even harder to detect than elusive neutrinos, which might explain why no one has spotted a tachyon yet!

  10. bruceleeeowe says:

    Thanks for your comments. You are among the creative thinking persons, which I have found, best yet. Err, my fault. I thought it was 250,000 kilometer/seconds. Well, travelling above light speed barrier, would change your body configuration means, your body will become that of negative matter and will never collide to any object since it always repels anymatter. You can travel at light speed but universe will manage to convert you into some sort of photonic arrangement. A lot of questions remaining to be unanswered. A recent paper on arxiv.org named throat cosmology suggests some speculations but totally doubtful. Well thanks for your ideas. I will write a article on tachyonic universe.

    • Dave says:

      Your welcome. Thanks for the compliment!

      I had also considered the repulsive gravitational effect between negative mass and regular matter as a possible protection strategy. But then I realized that, compared to the other fundamental forces, gravity is actually a fairly weak force, and the repulsive effect from negative mass would be no greater than the gravitational attraction if both masses were positive.

      Given the tremendous velocity (greater than c), an object with a very large mass (like a large star) MIGHT produce enough repulsive force to nudge your path. But an object like an asteroid (or even a small moon), with a fairly weak gravity, the repulsive force would be likewise weak, and especially given your tremendous velocity, would be insufficient to prevent a collision.

      But the repulsive effect of negative mass raises another interesting possibility! (see further below).

      Of course, the ultimate thrill ride would be to point your superluminal spaceship with negative mass at a galactic-center black hole! 😉

      I like your idea for an article on a tachyonic universe. Given the possibility that superluminal particles might also have a negative spacial dimension (and thus perhaps be undetectable by more traditional means), if you carry that thought process further…could there in fact be an entire zoo of superluminal particles (and perhaps even matter), that is invisible to us due to this negative spacial dimension?

      And here’s the kicker…What if subluminal matter was actually in the minority? What if the majority of mass in our universe was actually tachyonic, traveling with the arrow of time pointed in the backwards direction, towards the eventual “big crunch”?

      Their negative spacial dimension might make them invisible to us. But even tachyonic matter would generate gravity (although at their velocity, this might appear spread-out across the entire universe). Or in their case (with negative mass), from our perspective, anti-gravity. Is any of this beginning to sound familiar?

      Could tachyonic particles be, in fact, at least partially responsible for the main component of mass-energy in our universe, the mysterious, unexplained anti-gravitational force we now call Dark Energy???

  11. Pingback: Why Extraterrestrial Contact is ‘NOT’ Blithering? « WeirdSciences

  12. Light does not travel… Light is a chemical reaction process and a bi-product of Universal Respiration…

    Many of the problems associated with determining how the universe was created relates to the measurement of light, which is used to measure our distance from other star systems. Current theory regarding the motion of light, supports the speed of light at 186,000 mps. This is highly theoretical! I would like to propose to you that light doesn’t move at all like contemporary science tells us. Light as opposed to particles (photons) moving through space, is a chain reaction associated with the motion of electrons and moves at the speed of frequency, which is almost instantaneous! Light is a chemical reaction which would occur at a slightly slower speed but nevertheless, almost instantaneous. In other words, the light which is used to measure whether a star is moving away from a center, is inaccurate as we are seeing this light in almost “real time”!

    J.S. Thompson

    To read article in its entirety, visit http://tinyurl.com/29uuqrp

  13. bruceleeeowe says:

    Not to disappoint you but your new theory isn’t much impressive for me. Have you any satisfactory logic on which your theory is based or at least any observational evidences or anything that is credible enough to prove it? I promote such kind of new elementary theories. I received many theories from thoughtful readers so far most of them were absurdly argued as they don’t know anything about physics. Your theory is pretty much interesting. I would like to receive positive response from you. Thanks.

  14. Pingback: Superluminal Light Speed..!! « WeirdSciences

  15. ndechihiro says:

    am interested in astrophysics n want 2 b an astrophysicist recently i read abt hubble’s law and thought that if the adge of the observable universe is where the galaxies move at superluminal velocity then the unobservable part has a possibility of containing tachyons if tachyons exist in this area they realy dont interact wit matter thats why we see and observe nothing

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