Whovian Physicists Claim TARDIS Time Travel Is Possible

Dustin Wicksell

A scientific paper recently published by a pair of physicist Doctor Who fans suggests that time travel via a TADRIS-like timeship may be scientifically possible.

According to the paper, the geometry of spacetime in which the Doctor's fictional TARDIS travels may actually exist in our own universe. The authors, Ben Tippett and David Tsang, say that this geometry allows for the possibility of travel in all directions of space and time. Despite the seriousness of the topic, From Quarks To Quasars points out that the pair decided to have a bit of fun with their Doctor Who-related paper.

— Quarks to Quasars (@QuarksQuasars) August 8, 2014

Claiming to work at the Gallifrey Polytechnic Institute and the Gallifrey Institute of Technology, the two are actually employed as theoretical physicists at Earth-bound institutions. Tsang earned his degree at Cornell and currently works at McGill University, while Tippett teaches at the University of British Columbia. Together, they named their time-travel paper "Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime," which, despite the intentional nod, refers to their concept of spacetime curves.

— mark multifandom guy (@markoanghel) August 2, 2014

Tsang and Tippett posit that in order for TARDIS-like time travel to be achieved, the fabric of spacetime, which although massively complex is essentially constructed out of three dimensions of space and one of time, must include closed timelike curves. As The Inquisitr has previously reported, closed timelike curves are a highly controversial feature in modern physics, which potentially allow for time travel in concert with the laws of relativity. The TARDIS proposed in Tippett and Tsang's paper would create one of these timelike curves, which would provide a conduit of sorts to move through space and time, much like the time vortex that is depicted in Doctor Who.

— Martin Belam (@MartinBelam) August 7, 2014

While time travel may be theoretically possible, there are unfortunately several drawbacks to the researchers' TARDIS concept. In order to function, it requires the use of exotic matter, which has yet to be shown to exist in our universe. Time travel would also have to violate classical mechanics, and in order to move in anything other than a circular direction in both time and space, more than one TARDIS curve would need to be constructed, raising the possibility of exiting the time vortex into a universe of anti-matter.

For those who are interested in the concept of time travel but don't have the academic background to deal with the daunting mathematics, Tsang and Tippett have authored The Blue Box White Paper, a document aimed at explaining their TARDIS concept to scientific laypeople.

[Image via Bitbillions]