Science Café - What Physicists REALLY think about Time Travel

News item published on: 2014-01-23 07:51:02

Long a staple of science fiction stories, time travel continues to capture the public's interest. But is it plausible, or even possible? There are two types of time travel: travel forward in time and travel backward in time.

Join Dr. Lawrence Mead for the first Science Café of the spring semester on Monday, January 27, 2014, in Cook Library Room 123 at 6 p.m.

Dr. Mead, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will present the modern physicists’ view of time and try to provide a qualitative understanding of what time travel of both types really entails. Such an understanding requires the laws of relativity (both special and general) and of quantum mechanics. Using those principles, various "proposals" for time travel will be examined, and for each it will be shown how experiments either confirm or eliminate each one as a possibility. Topics include the Twin Travelers Effect, the CPT-theorem and its consequences, rotating black holes, Einstein-Rosen bridge (worm holes in space), the Grandfather paradox and Stephen Hawking's Chronology Protection Principle.

A Science Café's casual meeting place, plain language, and inclusive conversation create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for people whose primary background may not be science. Each meeting is organized around an interesting scientific topic, with a presenter (usually a scientist) giving a brief background overview, usually with visuals, before the discussion kicks off.

Science Cafés are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Tracy Englert at 601.266.6396 or . Find out more about Science Cafés.