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T2 got it right

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by zarikdon, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. zarikdon

    zarikdon IncGamers Member

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    T2 got it right

    Most people probably have heard of the "grandfather paradox" regarding time travel in some form... it goes something like "what happens if you go back in time and kill your grandfather, which should prevent you from going back in time in the first place?" Usually it's given as argument against the possibility of time travel at all, but there's a short paper out that suggests a resolution to the paradox based on quantum mechanics. Basically, the conclusion is that even if you were able to travel back in time, you would only be presented with possibilities that would lead to the future you were from. So, no going back in time and preventing that post-apocalyptic world you're stuck in... which all of a sudden makes those Terminator movies seem pretty reasonable as far as time travel goes.

    Of course, this doesn't mean that time travel is possible, but if it is, at least you won't have to worry about destroying the universe.

    Article here: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7535

    Paper here: http://arxiv.org/abs/quant-ph/0506027
     
  2. AeroJonesy

    AeroJonesy IncGamers Member

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    All that stuff is a bit over my head. The whole idea seems like a cop-out though, a sort of excuse to make time travel work. But then again, where would we be if we didn't postulate the theories that can't be disproven?
     
  3. Stoutwood

    Stoutwood IncGamers Member

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    I thought that the T1 version of time travel was more plausible than the T2 and T3 versions. How can you change history if history is already written?
     
  4. garublador

    garublador IncGamers Member

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    I really like the way T1 did it. I like that neither John Connors nor Skynet would have been born if Skynet didn't send the Terminator back to kill John.

    It seems to me like it would be so futile trying to send stuff to the past to try and change the present. You already know it didn't work.
     
  5. Gigas

    Gigas IncGamers Member

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    Time abhors a paradox.

    In every situation, the flow of time takes the path of least resistance. Disruption in the already-set path of history (i.e. an attempt to alter the future via changing the past) would instigate a chain of events intended to repair the damage and prevent a paradox that would potentially destroy the fabric of time and space.

    There are numerous examples that I could cite, but my favorite is the "I'm My Own Grandpa" theorum.

    Which, I guess, is pretty self-explainatory.
     
  6. farting bob

    farting bob Banned

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    I think the authors of those articles were forgetting 1 thing. Its all irelevent and a load of bullpoop. Oh wait, thats 2 things.
     
  7. Steve_Kow

    Steve_Kow Banned

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    Reminds me of an episode of the Outer Limits (possibly) a fellow travels back in time and tries to assassinate Hitler, yet fails for the reason discussed in the paper.
     
  8. Ash Housewares

    Ash Housewares IncGamers Member

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    it makes complete sense, it's what I've always sad about time travel, that you can't change anything, everything you do can only serve to maintain the status quo

    although, it's hard to say whether minor events could be impacted by time travel, but this isn't new to Terminator, H.G. Wells wrote it into the Time Machine where the inventor was motivated to build the time machine to prevent an event but could not change that event because without the event the time machine would never have been invented yada yada yada
     
  9. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    We should focus all our powers on going back in time and preventing this popsicle disaster from taking place.
     
  10. plasmo

    plasmo IncGamers Member

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    The grandfather paradox has never really been proven; it's more that physicists just don't feel it should be possible than that they've ever proven this way that time travel is impossible.

    However, time travel is impossible according to the theory of relativity because you can't take the square root of a negative number and get a real number.

    Well, backwards time travel. Forwards time travel happens all the time. Wanna live "forever"? Just go really fast.
     
  11. Technetium

    Technetium IncGamers Member

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    I think time travel is still the sort of thing where anyone's guess is as good as anyone else's. No one's ever done it, so there's no evidence for any theory. With that in mind, I prefer my own theory, which is that there are infinite universes which connect at points where determinations are made, and when you go back to change the past, you merely realign yourself onto a different universe. The universe you came from still exists with whatever problem you were trying to correct, but you won't know it. Strangely enough, I came up with this idea way back in like junior highschool, but some guy on the internet claiming to come from the future had exactly the same idea.
     
  12. zarikdon

    zarikdon IncGamers Member

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    Yeah, I used the Terminator reference mainly just for a catchy title, and upon reflection, yes, T1 definitely had the most plausible time-travel scenario. The paper's actually not that big a deal beyond being a curiosity, mainly because it looks at time travel from the perspective of quantum mechanics, whereas usually people who dabble in ideas like that approach it from the perspective of general relativity.

    Well, in flat space-time (where special relativity holds) it's certainly impossible, but it's true that general relativity admits these solutions for closed time-like curves or CTC's (which are basically what you would need for "time-travel"), except that these solutions typically have pathological problems like singularities. According to what my string theorist roommate told me once, apparently for a while people weren't sure if these solutions could actually be useful, because perhaps if you took into account quantum corrections to GR (because we know GR by itself must be wrong) they would somehow allow the possibility of CTC's that have a "smoothed out" singularity so you could actually use them to transport things. However, apparently preliminary work in string theory suggests that this isn't the case, so maybe time travel IS completely ruled out.

    That's sort of in-line with the many worlds description of quantum mechanics (which isn't necessarily known to be true or not, though it's gotten a bit more traction in the last decade or so), where basically at each point in time where there are a number of different outcomes for a "choice," the universe will divide into a number of different branches, each one corresponding to each outcome. These different branches are complete separate from each other and there's no possibility of communication, but before the split they were all the same. However, this paper makes the curious suggestion that even if you were able to go back in time, perhaps in an attempt to get onto an alternate branch, you would still only end up on the branch of the universe that you came from. Again, the whole thing isn't meant for practical application, but it's sort of interesting to think about.
     
  13. garublador

    garublador IncGamers Member

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    Here's one...What would have happened if John Connor hadn't sent Reece back? I supposed it's just a different verion of the grandfather paradox, but John couldn't just blink out of existance. Is James Cameron suggesting that we don't actually have free will and that the future is set in stone (John didn't have the choice, he had to send Reece back to avoid the paradox) or that Reece isn't actually John's father?

    If it's the former, then is the Terminator a metaphor for our existance. While it appears as if we have free will (the biological coating on the Termniator) underneath we're really just part of a pre-programmed machine and don't really have the ability to make choices, we just do what we're meant to do.

    If it's the latter I think I just found part of the plot to T4. Skynet sends the latest and greatest Terminator back to kill Reece and at the climax of the movie succeedes but we find out that Sarah was actually getting some on the side with an unknown man. ;)
     
  14. Draconis

    Draconis IncGamers Member

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  15. KnightFall

    KnightFall IncGamers Member

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    It also needs the Bursaar from the Terry Pratchet books.

    He goes round, after traveling back in time, treading on ants in the vague hope one of them might be Ridcully's Grandfather.

    Such a funny book, forget which one it is though.

    This will go so far over the heads of those who haven't read the book that planes will have to watch out...

    KnightFall
     
  16. Stoutwood

    Stoutwood IncGamers Member

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    I don't understand why scenarios like T1 always bring up predestination. You can still have free choice. For example, Woodrow Wilson could have had free choice in 1917, but now its 2005 and he has already decided to make war. Does he have free choice now that he's dead? The event is already part of history and there's no changing it.
     
  17. myleftfoot

    myleftfoot IncGamers Member

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    Sure what you've always been saying and it makes come sense to you :lol:

    What about Dr. Emmett Brown?
     

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