Time Travel. It’s one of those pie in the sky ideas that everyone tends to have a ‘great’ scientific reason for why it would never work.
Basically, the main theory that is brought up is that if one travels into the past, you could create a paradox-like killing your own father. After that, something bad would happen. There’s plenty of thoughts on what the “bad” thing would be out there, and if you want one of those, I suggest you google it.
I have a thought, though. I have always heard of time being called “the 4th dimension” as if it was another axis of existence. What if they are wrong?
I’m no mathematician, so let me give you my thought in layman’s terms. What if time is not one axis, but a plane? Two axes that cross, forming the “plane” we call time.
This would result in something like the following:
George stepped into the time machine, setting it for 1928 in Germany. He pressed the button and the machine whirred and buzzed, there was a flash.
There he was, in 1928. He spied a man just finishing a discussion with a reporter. Brown hair, brown eyes, a somewhat distracted yet haughty expression on his face.
George walked up to him and said, “Wie heißen sie?”
The man stopped suddenly, his eyes squinting in confusion at George’s odd appearance. “Ich heisse Adolf Hitler.”
George smiled, pulled the .38 special from his pocket, and shot Hitler in the head. His brain evacuated from his skull, he fell down dead.
George ran back, jumped into the machine, and hit the “Return to last” button. A flash, a whirr, and he reappeared in his office.
Now, you may recognize this from the old plot of the game “Command and Conquer: Red Alert”. George has gone back 85 years, killed one influential man, and now all of history should be rewritten. If time is not one axis, but a plane, then this is what happens:
George rushed out of the machine, excitedly grabbed the nearby history textbook. He began to scan the book for World War 2… and found that nothing had changed.
Confused, he goes back to the machine. He changes the date to the following day in 1928, and hits the button.
Arriving in 1928, the day after he shot Hitler, he is stunned to see Adolf Hitler come out of the nearby butchery. George immediately got back into the machine, now setting the machine for 1 minute prior to his earlier arrival, and offset the spot of appearance into a nearby alley. He hit the button.
Emerging from the machine, he crept down the alley until he could see clearly the exact spot of his earlier arrival. He waits the last few seconds and sees himself appear, and events unfold just as they had the last trip.
A gunshot. Hitler lies dead. The original George leaps back to the machine and hits the return button. People pour from the nearby buildings, having heard the shot, and Hitler is indeed dead. George returned to the device and hit return to origin. He stepped out, less hopeful, and grabs up the history textbook.
Nothing has changed.
Odd, huh? I’d be confused as well, if I were George, because George is thinking of time as a line.
George sat and thought. Suddenly, inspiration struck.
He headed over to the machine and added a few commands in a batch file. He ran the file and hit send. On the display, it read, “Origin marked”.
Arriving back in 1928, at a new location just before his last two arrivals, he stepped from the machine and waited.
There was a buzz. A gunshot. Another buzz. Screams.
He walked down the street to have a look, and saw that Hitler was dead.
George returned to the machine. He ran the batch file with the added command to save the result as “origin 2”
Pleased with himself, he set the computer to move to 2013 based on origin 2. He pressed the button.
George stepped out of the machine, and went to pick up a nearby paper. It was now 2013 in what should have been Germany.
He looked at the paper, then slowly looked around at the signs and license plates on the cars.
Cyrillic. The Russian alphabet.
George has now thought of time as a plane. He set the point of original reference, the point of “divergence” as his base, and moved up the stream from there. He is now at a new point on the “plane” of time.
What do you think? Does this “fix” the problem of time paradoxes? George is now a ‘guest’ on a new timeline. There may or may not be another George running around this place, but that hardly matters, as the traveling George is not “the same material” or anything. He is “new material”. He can shake hands with himself with nothing bad happening or anything.
Would this leave a “material vacuum” in the original universe? Maybe.
It might be an interesting story, wouldn’t it? 🙂
(Sorry for the quality of writing for the story. I was deliberately trying to keep it extremely basic.)