Portugal – land of time travel?

Reverse archaeology where we’ve dug up a piece of ceramic from the Portuguese future?

I’ve noticed on several occasions that Holland has a bizarre relation with time. It’s featured in one of the first time travel pieces of fiction, there are the time travel trains, and don’t forget the extra day in June.

Now it seems that Portugal is putting in a bid to be the land of time travel. Here’s a discovery I found: one of my baking dishes…

Made in Portugal 18944
MADE IN PORTUGAL 18944

In case you missed it, here’s a zoom:

In case you missed it: MADE IN PORTUGAL 18944
In case you missed it: MADE IN PORTUGAL 18944

It seems to me like this is reverse archaeology where we’ve dug up a piece of ceramic from the future!

Paul

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Clock Anti-Clock – a time travel short movie

How does time flow in Clock Anti-Clock? Is there personal time, is it a matter of perception of time, or does time actually flow backwards?

Clock Anti-Clock is a time travel movie produced by Deepak Sharma (Paragravity) with the simple premise of a time traveler who meets himself. But there’s a twist…

I’ve only got one issue with this movie, and I only noticed it because it accentuates the first of a few of my thoughts when I watched Clock Anti-Clock: Is time personal?

It relates to the construction; when the character is experiencing a backward flow of time, he stares at everything running backwards; it’s strange, it’s unusual – it deserves a good look.

But why was no-one staring at him? Relative to their time frame he’s also walking backwards etc. and would be strange to look at. He seems to be in a personal time bubble.

Personal time

In my post A Unique Signature of Time I alluded to the question: Is time personal?

In Clock Anti-Clock the question is very relevant because I think it explains a situation at the end of the film where otherwise there’d be a paradox.

We hear the door knob rattle. He puts his glasses on and from then on it seems that time runs backwards from around 12:00 pm. This is inside the room where we see the clocks going backwards, and also outside where he observes people walking backwards, taps dripping upwards, etc..

By the end of the movie we have a better perspective on what’s going on outside. The ‘experienced’ version of the character tries to open the door (causing the door handle to rattle), and realising it’s locked, walks away.

But here’s the thing: if time is running backwards for the guy inside his room and opening the door (to find no-one there) why hasn’t he seen the guy outside walking backwards back towards the door and trying the handle?

In other words, time appears to be flowing in different directions by the door – or at least, in different directions for each character.

I think it’s clear by the end of the movie we’ve figured out that it’s the glasses which cause the change of flow direction for time (though whether time actually flows backwards, or that things look like they’re going backwards can be questioned!). Since only one person can wear a single pair of glasses at the same time, it seems reasonable to assume that time is indeed personal and that there is a time bubble or something around our guy. After all – he’s still walking forwards whilst everyone else is walking backwards.

The Perception of Time

The flip side of this is that no matter what direction time flows, we perceive it as forwards – rather like applying a modulus function on time ( -2 seconds becomes 2 seconds).

This already happens in physics; I remember a cretinous teacher who took joy in deducting a mark from me when I was calculating “work done”, given as force times distance. We were told that distance was measured positive from left to right, but in the example the force was applied to an object moving in the opposite direction, so I gave it a negative sign. Of course, this gave me a negative product, but since work done cannot be negative I applied the modulus and gave the final work done as a positive number.

Mr Cretin took a mark away because he didn’t even want to see the negative number in a work done calculation. I still disagree with him. But the point remains – having a closed mind and removing a negative sign completely, or being a budding scientist to be and applying the modulus are just 2 ways in which direction is made a non factor.

So why not with time? Maybe wearing these glasses “opens our eyes”!

(As an aside, you might like to read my guest post on the perception of time and its relevance in time travel on the Theory of Space Time blog.)

Time running backwards

The question of time either being personal and acting under its own rules within personal space, or being perceived to be so, brings me onto my final point – time actually running backwards.

Time travel seems to be obsessed with moving from one point in time to another, but for the large part, time flows in one (forwards) direction. It’s often referred to as the “Arrow of Time” – a term developed by astronomer Arthur Eddington which basically says that there’s an obvious direction or flow of time reference: Wikipedia.

(Sometimes we experience time appearing to move backwards from the viewpoint of a time machine making a backward trip, but I’d suggest that this is little more than illusion – parked cars don’t really move backwards when we walk forwards alongside them, for example.)

So how does physics work when time runs backwards? For example, we saw in the movie a plane flying backwards because time flows backwards. But for the plane to remain in the air, complete with its aerodynamic design, surely physics must have changed to keep it airborne?

Plane flying backwards

To the left is a snapshot of the plane in the sky. It’s not falling, yet it’s not defying gravity. The force of gravity is an acceleration so has a time term, but here in this snapshot time has simply been removed from the equation. Is the gravitational force now working in the opposite direction so keep the plane airborne?

Physical processes at the microscopic level are believed to be either entirely or mostly time-symmetric: if the direction of time were to reverse, the theoretical statements that describe them would remain true. Yet at the macroscopic level it often appears that this is not the case: there is an obvious direction (or flow) of time. Reference: Wikipedia

In practice, I don’t know what this actually means and how that relates to the (macroscopic) plane, but I wondered further about the sign of time in vector physical equations. For example, velocity. Where speed (a scalar) is concerned only with how fast something goes, velocity is more specific; direction is also important.

Usain Bolt is the fastest human on the planet and ran 100 m in 9.58 seconds (reference: Guinness World Records). (That’s a speed of 10.43 m/s – he can run further in 1 second than he can fall if he fell off a cliff in the same time!) But Usain wouldn’t have won the Olympics unless he ran in the right direction – i.e. from the start line to the finish line. He needed to have the fastest velocity.

Where speed can’t be negative, velocity can (e.g. if Usain ran in the opposite direction). We’re back to my work done calculation here…where we can switch the sign for distance and come up with a negative velocity, can we not equally change the sign of time instead? We’d end up with negative velocity – and it would explain why everyone would be walking backwards…

Personal, perception or actual?

So how is time flowing in Clock Anti-Clock? Is there personal time, is it a matter of perception of time, or does time actually flow backwards?

The more I think about this movie, the more intricacies I find. And getting someone to think can only be a good thing!


You can see more of Deepak’s productions on his website (paragravityfilms) and follow him on Facebook and on Twitter (@deepaktrivadi).

Paul

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How Time Travel Works in Science Fiction

Infographic showing how time travel works in science fiction, with reference to movies and books. Superman may have got it wrong though…

This incredible infographic was produced by Karl Tate and first published on space.com. Full credit belongs there! (Embed code provided on-site).

Read, learn and enjoy!

How time travel works in science fiction:

Chart of various methods of time travel.

Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration.

I left this comment on the original website. But what do you think?

Paul


I’m not sure if Superman went back in time because he flew faster than the speed of light; I understood that it was because by flying quickly around the world, he got the direction of the Earth’s rotation to reverse, and thereby time went backwards. (Admittedly, if time was going backwards, then it would also look like the Earth was spinning backwards). Indeed, he restores the normal flow of time by flying around the world again but in the normal direction. So it seems that it’s his flight direction and not flight speed which brings about time travel.

Also, doesn’t high velocity result in time dilation, effectively meaning that Superman has aged less than those on the Earth? That means that he’s effectively travelling into the future.

Anyway. Who am I to question the laws of physics when it comes to Superman!


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April becomes shorter

I don’t know what to say. Time dilation from the speed of my train? Some sort of marketing gimmick? A Dutch national conspiracy, or more proof of the connection between Holland and time travel?

Sign seen from my train window (Translation: “April gets shorter by a minute”)

April gets shorter by a minute
April gets shorter by a minute

I don’t know what to say. Time dilation from the speed of my train? Some sort of marketing gimmick? A Dutch national conspiracy, or more proof of the connection between Holland and time travel?

Paul

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Time travel warning

Cartoon with a warning for time travellers – take note!

A warning for time travellers!

time travel warning
Image kindly supplied by Keith Hall (https://www.facebook.com/keith.hall.39545)

Paul

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Temporal (re)assignment

Cartoon strip highlighting the problem of temporal paradoxes.

temporal (re)assignment
Image reproduced with permission from http://tequalstime.blogspot.nl/

Seems like there’ll be a temporal (re)assignment in any case…

Paul

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Time creation from angular momentum

Can the laws of conservation of angular momentum be manipulated such that we can create time? Here’s a graphic from www.xkcd.com which suggests so!

Not quite the creation of time…but one way of apparently getting more of it!

angular momentum and time creation
Image credit: www.XKCD.com

Paul

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Time travel in nature

Sceptics of time travel might argue that it’s an abomination of the natural laws that are already in place. But time travel does appear in nature…

Sceptics of time travel might argue that it’s an abomination of the natural laws that are already in place. As Einstein said “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once”.

That might be true…but this cartoon strip of “The Snippers” I found in the Dutch newspaper “The Metro” last week may have hidden truths…

Nature's fast forward
Nature’s fast forward. From “Snippers” cartoon.

Rough translation: Why does it seem with sparrows as if someone pressed fast forward?

So that’s birds. Not quite time travel, but victims of time’s accelerated passage.

A few weeks ago I saw a phenomenon which had me puzzling over time’s role in nature. We’re often lead to believe that everything has it’s time – it’s just that I thought that everything had it’s time at the right time.

Spring. The time for daffodils and crocuses to sprout and inject a blast of colour after the blandness of a cold and white winter. All well and fine, except these Dutch daffodils found themselves a little temporally displaced.

Daffodils in January
Daffodils in January

…poppies for drugs, and Dutch daffodils for time travel?

Flowers in the snow
Flowers in the snow

Well anyway. So much for the high speed sparrows – in nature everything is in balance. Let’s finish off with the slo-mo sloth!

The sloth: natural slow motion
The sloth: natural slow motion

Paul

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Tea with a dinosaur

Perhaps we don’t understand or know about history as much as we think we do!

Perhaps we don’t understand or know about history – or at least dinosaurs – as much as we think we do! 🙂

More tea (with a dinosaur)?

Paul

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Not enough time

Whatever I do, I always seem to have too little time to do it in. Even if it’s simply getting out of the house in the morning. I think I have an excuse, but this guy…?

Whatever I do, I always seem to have too little time to do it in. There’s just never enough time, even for simply getting out of the house in the morning.

All we have to do, is wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, brush our teeth, and leave the house. 2 hours should be enough, right?

The alarm is set to early. My daughters’ clothes are pre-chosen last night and are lying at the bottom of the bed ready for them or for me to help them put on. Breakfast things are laid out on the table from the night before in preparation. School bags are already loaded in the car.

But it’s still all rushed and frantic. My two and a half and my 5 year old are getting distracted by…anything and everything. Hair clips, toys, walls…and before I know it the 2 hours I’ve planned in just isn’t enough. The time that was earmarked for a few simple basic activities has been lost to untangling and brushing hair, finding and fixing hair clips, deciding what things to do next and in what order…and doing these same activities for my girls instead of their dolls.

Aargh!

If I don’t get them sorted and dropped off to the nursery and school in time I’m going to have misunderstanding child-carers and teachers having a go at me (or worse…my girls) and I’ll also miss my train.

I barely make it in time, but I do. I’m on the train and reading the free newspaper. I can’t read Dutch, so I look at the pictures.

Never enough time!
“Snippers” cartoon from Dutch newspaper Metro (Thursday 8 January 2015)

I think I have an excuse, but this guy?!!

Paul

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Time traveling dinosaurs

I don’t know how, who, what or why, but somehow these time traveling dinosaurs turned up at home…

I don’t know how, who, what or why, but somehow these time traveling dinosaurs turned up at home…

time traveling dinosaurs
Hey guys, got the time on you?

Paul

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The Temporal Jester

One of the Goodreads time travel group moderators commissioned an artist to draw The Temporal Jester. Here it is!

One of the Goodreads time travel group moderators commissioned an artist to draw The Temporal Jester for his avatar. I’m not usually much of an art lover but I think this is fantastic – so it has a place here!

The Temporal Jester
“The Temporal Jester” used with kind permission from Lincoln

Click here to see an enlarged view.

(If you have an interest in time travel fiction, be sure to check out the Goodreads time travel group for friendly “…people who enjoy books that transport them to a different time and place through time travel”. Hope to see you there!)

Paul

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Dating for Geeks

Dating for Geeks cartoon strip asks: What would you like most if you were like Marty McFly in Back to the Future?

I found this cartoon in a Dutch newspaper (“Spits”) on the train this morning (click to enlarge). Dating for Geeks…with an ounce of time travel! 🙂

Dating for Geeks
Courtesy: www.spitsnieuwes.nl

And the loose translation into English is:


– What would you like most if you were like Marty McFly in Back to the Future?


– A time machine? A hover board? Shoes that tie their own laces?
– Hmm, no…


– I would like to choose something that in real life I would never get…
– What’s that then?


– A girlfriend.



Actually, it’s not that funny is it? I’m feeling sorry for him…

Then again, it seems as though the hover board and the self tying shoes might soon become a reality…so there’s hope yet for our geeky friend! 🙂

Hoverboard
Hoverboard as in Back to the Future II set to become a reality!
Courtesy: aliencyborgs.com/back-to-the-future-hoverboards-finally

self tying shoes
Courtesy: refinedgeekery.com/2014/03/04/is-this-hoverboard-video-real/

Paul

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3 theories of time travel

I found this excellent infographic over at techeblog.com which explains 3 theories of time travel; fixed timeline, dynamic timeline and multiverse.

As I commented on the original site, I have a problem with multiverses! They’re too much of an easy ‘get-out-of-jail-free’ card and I can’t find any sound scientific basis for the creation of all the additional energy and mass required to go round creating new universes willy nilly…let alone specify a defined moment for divergence.

So many problems, so little time…I think I have an idea for another blog post!

Image courtesy: www.techeblog.com
Image courtesy: www.techeblog.com

Paul

Time travel aneurysm

Friends at the goodreads.com time travel group directed me towards this strip from SMBC comics.

Despite the humour, who’d have thought that event the thought of time travel could give you an aneurysm!

Enjoy!

Paul

Time travel aneurysm
Image credit: smbc-comics.com

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Time Travel in Movies Flow Chart

This flow chart contains a diagrammatic representation of time travel in movies.It’s informative but not exhaustive. Be warned that it may contain spoilers

Movies containing elements of time travel are depicted in this flow chart created by mr-dalliard. Be warned that although the chart is informative it contains spoilers!

Click to enlarge, and enjoy!

Time Travel in Movies Flow Chart
Time Travel in Movies Flow Chart from mr-dalliard.tumblr.com

Happy travelling! Paul