SMonday Science

I’m currently reading the Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon. My mom suggested that I read the books 10 years ago, but I have only just gotten around to it. And boy, are they addictive!!! I HIGHLY recommend them. Although be warned, they are quite sexy.

So the books deal with time travel and I thought that might be a cool topic, albeit a very hard one to talk about since there is so much we don’t know still.
It's the TARDIS!

With our current knowledge of physics, the most plausible way to time travel would be to slow down time. That would let us travel into the future only though.

Let’s say you’re on a space ship with a clock. If you travel on that space ship at a constant really fast speed, someone staying still out in space would think that the clock was going slower than theirs.The opposite is true too. You, on the moving ship, would think that their clock staying still was moving slower than yours. Strange, I know.

The video below shows 2 space ships sending a signal back and forth as the "clock". Think if the signal as a second if it helps. It leaves one ship, hits the mirror, and when the reflected signal gets back to the first ship, one second has passed.

What I think is even crazier is that time moves more slowly on different parts of the Earth! The closer you are to the center of gravity, the slower time goes. Scientists have proven this with really precise atomic clocks. If you put one clock at sea level and an identical one on Mount Everest, over time the clock at sea level will run slower. Mind you it’s a teeny tiny bit slower, but slower none the less.

These ideas about time moving slowly are part of the theory of Time Dilation.

Do you wish you could travel in time? If so, would you want to go forward or back? I want to go back to the 1990s. Strange, I know. And maybe into the future to when they have the technology to explore space more easily.


  1. ok, I know a great article you have to read, but I need my hubby to get home to help me remember the details so I can Google it and send it to you. Don't let me forget!

  2. Found it!!!!

  3. I'd go back 2 years - to when my little boy was born - his first year is such a blur to me because I was soooooo sleep deprived! Can hardly remember anything!

  4. awesome post! gives me something to think about today!! the first thing that popped into my head was, do people living closer to the center of gravity have longer lifespans? Probably too minuscule to count. oh wait, it would just seem that way based on the time of the clock, not the reality--the reality is that it is the same, it just looks different from the perspective.
    i think.
    no, that's right.
    well, I'd go forward in time to see if we ever reach a state of spiritual enlightenment, but I'd settle for finding peace.

  5. Haven't you seen all the movies - you can't go messing around with the past, man, 'cos it changes the future ;) Although I have so many snappy comeback lines that I never got to use because I thought of them the day after someone gave me grief, it would be nice to go back and have the satisfaction of delivering them.

  6. You've read the Time Traveler's Wife? It took me a while to get the concept of time travel in that book but I ended up liking it a lot. Hmmm. For purely selfish reasons (because my bones tend to ache more than they used to), I would go back in time to my mid 40s. However, I love being in the here and now with my two adorable grandchildren. So I guess ultimately I would just stay in the current time.

  7. The "Outlander" books are probably my favourite series ever - I started reading them when I was pregnant with my twin boys 13 years ago.


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