Michio Kaku, Stephen Hawking, And Others On Time Travel: Is It Possible? [Opinion]

Michio Kaku, Stephen Hawking, and Richard Bower are talking seriously about the eventual possibility of time travel. While the possibility of time travel has not been established, it’s impossibility has not been successfully proven either.

Michio Kaku said in the video below that Stephen Hawking had attempted to mathematically and scientifically disprove the potential for time travel. Michio Kaku said that Stephen Hawking had failed to find proof. The potential for time travel cannot be ruled out at this time with the knowledge currently available.

Time travel has captured the imagination of science fiction fans for generations. It is the stuff of literature, movies, and television, but could time travel really happen? Apparently, the jury is still out on that, but it is a priority of modern physics like Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku to answer that question.

Richard Bower is quoted on Space.com as follows.

“One of the key challenges for modern physics is to determine whether it is possible to influence the past.”

Stephen Hawking On Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity

Michio Kaku believes it is possible, and Stephen Hawking, on his website Hawking.org, points out that Einstein’s Theory of Relativity supports this idea.

“In 1915, Einstein put forward his revolutionary General Theory of Relativity. In this, space and time were no longer separate and independent entities. Instead, they were just different directions in a single object called spacetime. This spacetime was not flat, but was warped and curved by the matter and energy in it.”

Michio Kaku and Stephen Hawking are still working with Einstein’s theory of general and special relativity. Special relativity states that time is not constant, but rather relative. Time speeds up or slows down according to the speed of someone travels in relation to another object. General relativity states that gravity can bend time. Both of these theories have been proven true with GPS satellite technology, according to Space.com.

Stephen Hawking conveys the gravitational aspects of spacetime bending are best noted around black holes, which could be the key to time travel. Black holes have tremendous gravity, says Stephen Hawking, so powerful that they pull in everything in their surrounding proximity. Not even light is fast enough to escape a black hole. According to Stephen Hawking, the edge of a black hole’s gravitational pull — the point of no return so to speak — is called the event horizon.

Michio Kaku On Warping Space And Time

Michio Kaku and Stephen Hawking both believe that black holes could be the key to time travel, but how could anyone harness or control such a powerful force? Even if one could reach the largest known black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, no one really knows what’s inside.

Michio Kaku theorizes that perhaps a time travel machine could be fueled by a collider similar to the one in Switzerland. Sadly, Dr. Michio Kaku believes such a collider would have to be at least a quadrillion times bigger than the Hadron collider in Switzerland to be able to time travel. It’s about having enough gravitational energy.

With enough energy, Michio Kaku believes one could bend spacetime like a sheet of paper.

“That’s right these are called multiply connected spaces If you get a scissors and paper and scotch tape and start to cut and then reform in different ways you can get worm holes and multiply connected spaces which wrap around themselves. We, physicists, have cataloged these things and so if you have enough energy perhaps you can warp time and space into a pretzel.”

Stephen Hawking On Black Holes

Stephen Hawking points out that a large black hole like the one in the center of the galaxy would be the safer to use for time travel than a smaller black hole.

“If you fall towards a black hole feet first, gravity will pull harder on your feet than your head, because they are nearer the black hole. The result is, you will be stretched out longwise, and squashed in sideways. If the black hole has a mass of a few times our sun, you would be torn apart, and made into spaghetti, before you reached the horizon.”

Stephen Hawking further explains why the bigger the black hole the better. Would the same be true of Michio Kaku’s collider idea? Stephen Hawking maintains the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy would be the best bet for exploration and potential time travel experiments.

“However, if you fell into a much larger black hole, with a mass of a million times the sun, you would reach the horizon without difficulty. So, if you want to explore the inside of a black hole, choose a big one. There is a black hole of about a million solar masses, at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.”

Michio Kaku and Nonlinear Time

According to Michio Kaku’s work on the String Field Theory, time need not be linear. Nonlinear time defies common sense, and yet some of the world’s brightest minds have always questioned the linear nature of time and the potential for time travel.

Michio Kaku states in the video above that his belief in the potential for time travel was shared by Albert Einstein.

“Common sense says that time is like an arrow. You fire it. It never comes back. One second on the earth is like one second on the moon. Einstein says no time is like a river. A river that meanders and speeds up and slows down.”

Michio Kaku has been working on a new wrinkle in the concept of Einstein’s river of time analogy. Michio Kaku believes that if time is nonlinear, then there could be alternative time lines created by time travel that would evolve in different ways for different people, creating a multiverse. Michio Kaku put it this way.

“The new wrinkle on this that I work on is the fact that the river of time can have whirlpools and fork into two rivers and that, of course, is Back To The Future. Whirlpools in the river of time.”

Michio Kaku And Stephen Hawking Agree Black Holes Might Be Passage To Another Universe

Black Hole devouring a star
Black Hole devouring a star [Image by NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory M.Weiss/AP Images]

Michio Kaku and Stephen Hawking both think that black holes are the most likely portals to whatever is outside our own world. Stephen Hawking, however, points out the difficulty that might be involved in time travel or the exploration of a black hole.

Michio Kaku says in the video above that black holes can rip spacetime.

“We’ve discovered numerous black holes in the universe… These black holes collide giving us ripples in the fabric of space and time. These black holes rip the fabric of space and time. And according to the theory, if a black hole is rotating very rapidly it doesn’t collapse to a dot it collapses to a ring if you fall through you are not crushed to death you wind up in another universe.”

Stephen Hawking is willing to concede that it might be possible to go to another time or place using a black hole, but he also says it is unlikely one could ever return.

“What does this tell us about whether it is possible to fall in a black hole, and come out in another universe. The existence of alternative histories with black holes, suggests this might be possible. The hole would need to be large, and if it was rotating, it might have a passage to another universe. But you couldn’t come back to our universe. So, although I’m keen on space flight, I’m not going to try that.”

Michio Kaku And Stephen Hawking On Possibilities

European Space Agency Observing A Black Hole
European Space Agency Observing A Black Hole [Image by ESA Getty Images]

Michio Kaku considers that there would be possible consequences to changing history with time travel. The paradoxical time line changes have been long explored in science fiction. Michio Kaku believes those kinds of side effects are very real.

“A parallel universe emerges when you go backward in time.”

Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku are both theoretical physicists. The discussions are about whether time travel is theoretically possible. As Michio Kaku states, that is dependent on nonlinear time, as well as Stephen Hawking’s consideration of black holes.

Michio Kaku has written a book called The Physics of the Impossible. In the book, Dr. Michio Kaku classified impossibility into three levels.

Michio Kaku’s definition of a Class 1 impossibility includes things that are possible, but most people think they are not. These are generally science fiction that is already becoming science fact. Teleportation, jet packs, and flying cars are either already in existence, for example.

Michio Kaku explains that Class 2 Impossibility includes worm holes, higher dimensional travel, and time travel. These are things that might be possible. Class 3 impossibility is the actual impossibility, for example creating something out of nothing.

Stephen Hawking offers a solid ray of hope for black holes. Hawking says that black holes release various particles, so they are not the inescapable voids they were once thought to be. Stephen Hawking does think that it is possible to escape a black hole, going from inside to outside, though no one has a clue how it works.

“The message of this lecture, is, that black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole, both to the outside, and possibly, to another universe. So, if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There’s a way out.”


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Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku, as well as many others, are considering time travel as a possibility.

[Featured Image by Evan Agostini and Matt Dunham/AP Images]