How did we go from the idea of time travel to the actual concept we have today? How long has humanity been working to determine how to do it, and how much further away are we now than we were in the past? Read on to find out more about the history of time travel as well as see what researchers are doing today and what they hope to accomplish in the future.
The Future and the Past One common problem that plagues the history of time travel is one’s inability to travel back or forth in time without becoming aware of one’s own actions. A major point in the argument against being able to manipulate, alter, or otherwise change past events is also known as the grandfather paradox. The grandfather paradox states that because of your ability to go back in time you would essentially be able to prevent yourself from ever existing in a previous life. You see it goes like this, your grandpa created his sperm out of thin air, put it into your grandma and you came into existence.
History of the Time Travel
The history of time travel dates back thousands of years ago. It’s a story about forgotten civilizations, lost knowledge, and hidden truths. If you think about it, even humans have tried to discover time travel over centuries in some form or another. But before we jump into ancient or modern concepts and examples of how it could be possible today, we must first figure out what is time travel? It is going forward in time? Backward in time? Or can it be done both ways? With that said, what exactly are we talking about here?
From Ancient Greece to Jules Verne
The history of time travel—what can we say? It hasn’t been a long one. Until very recently, traveling through time wasn’t something anyone really thought was possible. The concept didn’t start making headlines until just before H.G. (Herbert George Wells)
From H.G. Wells to Albert Einstein
The History of Time Travel Wells is credited with popularizing time travel in science fiction, but he actually wasn’t much a fan of his own invention. Wells—whose real name was Herbert George Wells—was a sci-fi writer who authored works such as War of The Worlds and The Invisible Man, but it was his 1895 novel, The Time Machine, that most fascinated readers with its depiction of time travel. In it, a man named Joseph built a time machine capable of taking him back and forth in time. In one chapter titled A Pleasant Evening Chat About Time Travelling, Wells wrote about how relatively painless he thought it would be to write about future events.
From Albert Einstein to Stephen Hawking
It’s hard to imagine two more influential minds in physics. Each shaped our understanding of space and time—for better or worse. So when Stephen Hawking, who passed away at age 76, talks about the history of time travel, you probably listen. In fact, some believe that Hawking created a Grand Unified Theory—or GUT for short—that brings Einstein’s theory together with other work on relativity, including Gödel’s Theorem (which is kind of like a computer algorithm written in stone). And that put him on the path to realizing that information can get trapped in closed timelike curves. What does that mean?
From Star Trek to Doctor Who
The history of time travel is a long one, dating back to storytellers like H.G. Wells and Jules Verne. Verne’s classic work, From The Earth To The Moon, tells a tale that was nothing short of amazing when it first appeared in 1998. even if its incredible predictions about space flight never came true. Still, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry wasn’t a big fan—he famously described Star Trek as Wagon Train to the stars. In any case, once you’ve read some (or all) of these books below, you’ll be as ready as anyone else on Earth for upcoming trips into deep space — and maybe even further.
Further, You can read these books:
- The Direction of Time (Dover Books on Physics)
- The Order of Time
- Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe