How a rotating universe makes time travel possible


It turns out that going back in time is actually quite simple. Making the cosmos rotate is all that is required.

Albert Einstein lived next door to renowned mathematician Kurt Gödel at Princeton. He had a strong interest in Einstein's general theory of relativity, which has served as our understanding of gravity in current times. This theory links the bending and warping of space and time to the presence of matter and energy, and then links the behaviour of matter and energy to the bending and warping.

When it came to the possibility of time travel into the past, Gödel was interested. Since time travel into the past is prohibited, Einstein's theory was intended to provide the final foundation for the nature of space and time. Therefore, according to Gödel, general relativity ought to make it impossible.

And Gödel found that, in fact, time travel into the past is entirely compatible with general relativity. Setting the universe in motion is the trick.

To make his thesis, Gödel created a fairly straightforward and artificial model universe. There is just one element in this whirling universe. This component, a negative cosmological constant, prevents the universe from rotating by resisting its centrifugal force.

In this revolving universe, Gödel discovered that if you choose a certain path, you could find yourself in your own past. Although you would have to go a great distance—billions of light years—to do it, it is possible. You would become entangled in the universe's spin as you travelled. That involves the revolution of time and space, not just the objects in the cosmos. In essence, your potential future pathways would be so significantly altered by the rotation of the cosmos that they would circle back around to where you started.

When you started your voyage, you would never be able to move faster than the speed of light, and you would eventually end up back where you began—in your own past.

Backward time travel raises paradoxes and goes against our conception of causality. Thankfully, all evidence points to the universe not rotating, which shields us from the solution to Gödel's paradox of time travel. But the reason general relativity allows for this improbable-seeming event is still a riddle. Gödel asserted that general relativity is insufficient using the example of the revolving cosmos, and he may still be correct.

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