As strange as it might sound, scientists from Ohio State University believe that time travel may one day be possible. Not only that, but they believe we might be much closer than many think.
Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity states that time changes based on how fast someone moves through it. That idea is at the core of the new theory.
“The faster you move through space, the slower you move through time,” said Paul Sutter, an astrophysicist at Ohio State University, according to Tech Times.
Scientists previously found that astronauts living on the International Space Station move faster through time than people on Earth. As a result, they age slower than normal humans. In fact, cosmonaut Gennady Padalka — who spent 879 days in space — found that when he returned to Earth it was 1/44 of a second into the future.
In that way, he was a tiny bit in the past.
Using that principle, researchers believe the Large Hadron Collider is an example of a time machine. The giant device shoots protons at the speed of light, which makes their relative speed through time roughly 6,900 times slower compared to human observers.
That discrepancy is interesting because it is the closest science has ever come to time travel. It may only be a fraction of a second difference, but it is a start. The goal is one day to send humans through time, but that is still an extremely long way off.
The above examples show that it could one day be possible. However, scientists are not sure quite how it could be possible. There are many gaps between where science is and Einstein’s theories, but researchers hope more research will slowly close such voids in knowledge.
“When it comes to the past the mathematics of general relativity does allow a few strange scenarios where you can end up in your own past,” added Sutter, according to Space.com. “But all of these scenarios end up violating other known physics, like requiring negative mass or infinitely long rotating cylinders. Why does general relativity allow past time travel, but other physics always jump in to spoil the fun? We honestly don’t know.”