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Whaat? MindF*ck: Time Travel




As part of the Whaaat? MindF*ck series, the Ghouls explore the possibilities of Time Travel. Kat explains intense and fun plot lines from Dragon Ball Z to Gabe, a DBZ virgin. Gabe discusses the social injustices brought to light when exploring time travel and race in media with About Time, Octavia Butler's Kindred, and See You Yesterday.


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RED: Quotes, someone else's words.


Kat's Facts - Impossibility of Time Travel


Hi friends, today we are learning about Time Travel. The idea that we’re in a time now, and if we go to another time that is either a part of our own existence or before we are traveling there through a wormhole or through other science ways to change stuff cause we think we know everything and should totally do that. In case any of you forgot, this series has been kinda wonky for me cause I’m not a scientist. I will dub myself a historian but i’m 100% not a scientist, so I have to give you what I think, and use some science I found on the internet to maybe help.


So why would people want to go back in time? If you didn’t catch our time loops episode, well go watch it, but also what we saw with time loops is this inevitability that exists when there is no way to break out of the loop. The idea with time travel, in this episode is that there is a past, present and future and we can travel there. So why we want to do this? Being able to travel to the past would give us the opportunity to right past wrongs, fix things that we feel could have been avoided if we had more info, or a nice shove, or a way to have conversations with people we’ve lost, or attempt to prevent bad things that happened to the people we care about, There’s a long list, that all kind of ties back to the fact that many humans are plagued with guilt or regret or a overwhelming feeling of injustice with how the reality surrounding us exists. We want to change the things that we couldn’t. We want to win. We want to create a world where the people we love aren’t hurt, and aren’t taken from us. The question really is though, How would going back in time change our world today, and is one human allowed to make that kind of choice for everyone?


I got this definition from Wikipedia, The Butterfly effect is a theory we’ve touched on previously, but it’s the idea that is more commonly used in chaos theory. A small change can make much bigger changes happen; one small incident can have a big impact on the future. ... The term _butterfly effect_ comes from an analogy where a butterfly flaps its wings in Chicago and a tornado occurs in Tokyo. There are large implications of going into the past and changing things. Something that seems small, can largely impact the world, and those changes may never be able to be undone. One unfolding of time travel outside of my Terminator rants, is presented by my middle school cartoon crush, Future Trunks from Dragon Ball Z. I’ve heard a lot of debate about this because I think in its pre Dragon Ball Super it maye didn’t make as much sense, but I think honestly it’d be accurate in how all this would play out. So I argue that changing and event in time would not impact our timeline but would create an alternate timeline that just gets to exist when it shouldn’t, and we did that so now consequences. OR it’s the futurama ark where Fry was Earl the whole time, and you can’t have two of you existing at the same time so the universe kills the intruder to right the timeline so as to not rip a hole in the space time continuum. What I mean to say is, I don’t think we get to win, and I’m sorry.


So Dragon Ball Z/Super’s whole take, In their time travel they create alternate timelines that should not, or otherwise would not exist. Trunks originally goes back as a way to save his own timeline from the androids who upon waking, kill almost all of the z fighters, and destroy most of the planet and it’s a bad time. Goku, the show’s protagonist, is supposed to get a virus that kills him by attacking his heart, which is why he is not around to stop androids from killing almost everyone he loves.. Trunks goes back in time to give the Z fighters a cure to the virus, so that when Goku contracts it, he will not die, and will be able to fight the androids and save the world Trunks came from. What Trunks doesn’t realize until later is that going back does not change anything, but creates a whole new timeline that cuts through and disrupts the universe. When thinking about the butterfly effect, this event has large implications. If it facilitates events that otherwise would not be able to happen, i.e. Goku black, who in Dragon Ball Super is out here popping in and out of timelines to destroy people who he sees as like parasites. And i’m not gonna argue with him cause we kinda are, but that doesnt mean gods need to come down here smiting us, at least i’d like to hope. So that was my fiction rant about what time travel could be/ i've seen it represented. Now let’s get into the science.


We travel again to space.com for some info. Can time travel happen? They say “Not all scientists believe that time travel is possible. Some even say that an attempt would be fatal to any human who chooses to undertake it.”


What is time? Is it a constant or is it relative? Einstein said it’s relative and that space is 3 dimensional and time is the 4th dimension His theory of special relativity says that time slows down or speeds up depending on how fast you move relative to something else. Approaching the speed of light, a person inside a spaceship would age much slower than their twin at home. Also gravity can bend time in this theory.


“Both the general and special relativity theories have been proven with GPS satellite technology that has very accurate timepieces on board. The effects of gravity, as well as the satellites' increased speed above the Earth relative to observers on the ground, make the unadjusted clocks gain 38 microseconds a day. (Engineers make calibrations to account for the difference.)”


In a sense, this effect, called time dilation, means astronauts are time travelers, as they return to Earth very, very slightly younger than their identical twins that remain on the planet.”

General relativity also provides scenarios that could allow travelers to go back in time, according to NASA. The equations, however, might be difficult to physically achieve.

One possibility could be to go faster than light, which travels at 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second) in a vacuum. Einstein's equations, though, show that an object at the speed of light would have both infinite mass and a length of 0. This appears to be physically impossible, although some scientists have extended his equations and said it might be done.

A linked possibility, NASA stated, would be to create "wormholes" between points in space-time. While Einstein's equations provide for them, they would collapse very quickly and would only be suitable for very small particles. Also, scientists haven't actually observed these wormholes yet. Also, the technology needed to create a wormhole is far beyond anything we have today.


Black holes

Another possibility would be to move a ship rapidly around a black hole, or to artificially create that condition with a huge, rotating structure.

"Around and around they'd go, experiencing just half the time of everyone far away from the black hole. The ship and its crew would be traveling through time," physicist Stephen Hawking