Time Travel | All the Stats, Facts, and Data You’ll Ever Need to Know

Time travel is the idea of moving between specific intervals of time either to the future, present, or past. It is achieved by using a hypothetical device known as Time Machine. 

Time travel is a widely recognized idea used in science fiction. This idea of the time machine was highly popularized in the novel ‘The Time Machine by H. G. Wells’ in 1895.

Time machine refers to a machine or gadget that can tell time like arm watches, clock, etc.,

What I am trying to tell here is about the Time-traveling Machine.

Time Travel
Time Travel (Image courtesy by Pixabay)

Now as the name indicates, it is a machine that helps us to travel to the past and future according to our commands.

It is very simple to say and talk about it but when it comes to practice it is one of the greatest mysteries of science to crack.

There are a lot of unproven theories, which make us think time machines are possible. They are just giving us hope that time machines are going to come into existence.

Before getting into details let’s learn some basic concepts.


What is Time?

The definition of time changed constantly throughout history. According to science now, time is the progression of events from past to present to future. But with respect to Newton

Time is an arrow moving in a single direction.

Time (Image courtesy by Pixabay)

It means that time is irreversible i.e., time once spent cannot be altered.

What are the factors affecting the time?

Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity

According to Einstein,

Time is like a river that flows faster at some positions, slower at the other positions depending on the observer.

Simply speaking when you travel at the speed of light, time slows for us compared to the outside world.

Here is an example of Einstein’s Special theory of relativity,

Let us consider two twins A and B. A is traveling in a spaceship with the speed of light to a planet that is 10 light-years away from earth. According to B, it would be like it took 11 years for A to reach the planet. But for A who is in motion, it took only 4.4 years to reach the destination. This is due to the time dilation when you travel with the speed of light in space.alert-info

In 1971, Einstein conducted an experiment based on his special theory of relativity with the help of atomic clocks. Atomic clocks are used to calculate time with micro-millisecond accuracy. He sent one of the atomic clocks through the jet and the other clock was kept on earth. After a lap, they noticed a very slight difference in both atomic clocks. The time in the atomic clock sent on jet aircraft was a few milliseconds slower than that on earth this is known as time dilation. This gave him a conclusion that speed-time is interrelated.

Einstein Theories
Einstein Theories (Image courtesy by pixabay)

Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

According to this theory, it is proposed that Gravity and Time are interrelated. As gravity increases the time moves slowly since they are inversely proportional. To understand this in-depth let us take this example of two twins A and B.

A is living in a location of high altitude and B is living in a location of low altitude. After 10 years if you check them you can see that B looks younger than A since low altitude places feel higher gravity.alert-info

An experiment was also conducted to prove this in 2010 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). They placed two atomic clocks one on the top shelf and the other on the lower shelf which is 33 cm apart. Readings have shown that the lower one ticks slowly compared to the one on top.


According to both Einstein’s special theory of relativity and the General theory of relativity, you can conclude that speed, time, gravity are interrelated.

The most suitable example to show their interrelation is the GPS satellite technology which has very accurate clocks fitted in them. With gravity acting on them and the speeds with which they move can show both the effects. So their clocks run 38 microseconds faster than the ones on earth every day. So they are calibrated manually to adjust the time dilation. Without this correction, the GPS won’t be able to pinpoint our location within a few kilometers. So from this, you can say that Speed-Time-Gravity is interrelated.

GPS Technology
GPS Technology (Image courtesy by Vecteezy)

So far, you came to know what is time? and what are the factors that are affecting time?. So let’s move to further details on how to time travel?

How can you travel through time?

There are only two ways of motion either we can travel in a forward direction or backward. Similarly, with time we can travel either to the future or to the past. Let us discuss their possibilities

How to travel forward in time?

Traveling at the speed of light

To travel into the future we can take a spaceship and travel at a speed near to the speed of light far away from the earth and after spending some time in space. When we return to earth, we can see that many years have passed on earth but we are still young. This is a possible method of future travel according to Einstein’s special theory of relativity.

Travelling at the speed of light
Traveling at the speed of light (Image Courtesy by IStockphotos)


Based on the technology available now we won’t be able to travel at the speed of light as we don’t have engines to power a spaceship with such high speed. Fuel is also a major problem because we won't be able to take the fuel required for the flight with us.

Traveling around a Black Hole.

To travel into the future we can use black holes. We can travel to our nearby black hole. A black hole is a place having the highest gravity in the universe such that even light cannot escape from it. We can go to that black hole making a few laps around the black hole on our way back to earth seeing centuries have passed on earth whereas only a few years for us. Since we know that this is also a possible method with respect to Einstein’s general theory of relativity.


Our nearest black hole is 3000 light-years away which is beyond our reach with the existing technology and we have to carefully select the trajectory around the black hole. If we lose our trajectory even for a millisecond the gravity around the black hole is so high that it would devour the spaceship. So better plan before going to the unvoyaged path.

Black Hole
Black Hole (Image courtesy by IStockphotos)

The best example depicting traveling around the black hole in the movie Interstellar.

In the Interstellar movie, a team of scientists from earth went through the wormhole behind Saturn to reach black hole Gargantua following the signals of previous voyagers Mann, Edmund, Miller who sent back promising signals of life in planets around the black hole. When they reached the planet miller the space ship which was sent 21 years before on earth due to time dilation landed just three hours before on the planet when these new teams went to see it. This time dilation is due to the gravity of the black hole Gargantua. Which made timepass 61,000 times slower than on earth. That means if you spend 1 hour on miller's planet (planet beside wormhole) it is like spending 7 years on earth. Thus when the voyagers returned to the planet it was like many years were long gone on earth. So you can clearly see what time dilation is in the movie interstellar. Very interesting science fiction movie, do check it.alert-success

Traveling through a wormhole.

Wormholes are tunnels through space-time as proposed by Einstein’s theory of the space-time relationship. Einstein also proposed that space, time are related. Let’s not get into details of the wormhole as I have explained in my article on Anywhere door with a wormhole. So as we know wormholes form a bridge between spaces that are billions of light-years away. We can use them to travel through space. If we have the technology, We can place both sides of the wormholes side by side to each other so that when we travel through the tunnel spanning over many light-years and return back to earth. We can see time has significantly changed on earth allowing us to travel from time to the future.

Wormholes side by side
Traveling through Wormhole which are kept side by side (Image courtesy by IStockphotos)


No known wormholes to us in the universe. So to travel through them we have to create our own wormholes large enough, stable enough to allow us to travel through them safely. According to Stephen Hawking, wormholes are occurring on a quantum scale on our planet. But we don’t have the technology to catch them and spread them large enough to fit a human. To do this we need exotic matter which has a negative mass such that it opposes the earth’s gravity and makes the wormhole stable. Exotic matter is yet to be invented.

How to travel back in time?

Past time travel is also possible but has many complications and paradoxes associated with it. Past time travel can only be achieved through wormholes.

Accelerating wormholes

Consider a case where one end of the wormhole is stationary and the other end is rapidly moving at the speed of light with respect to the stationary end. So when we travel from the accelerating end to the stationary end with watches in our hand we can see that time would travel backward through them. Allowing us to travel back in time.

Let us take an incident from history.

An American CIA agent Edward Snowden hacked the highly classified document that belongs to NASA and posted it on the internet. That document tells that in 1947 in the USA in the New Mexico region a spaceship landed. In that spaceship, there were 3 living creatures having similar traits to that of humans. The government has taken them into custody and named them EBE1, EBE2, and EBE3.  EBE refers to Extraterrestrial Biological Entities. They started questioning them. Then one of the EBE started answering their questions.

EBE (Extra Terrestrial Biological Entities)
Extra-Terrestrial Biological Entities (EBE) (Image courtesy by IStockphotos)

    Top Secret
    Q1: Where are you from?
    EBE: We are from earth.
    Q2: Then why are you looking different?
    EBE: We are the descendants of humans. We evolved in the same manner as you evolved from apes.
    Q3: How did you guys come to the past?
    EBE: We time-traveled to the past using OFFSET SPATIAL DIVERGENT TECHNOLOGY with the help of wormholes.alert-warning

From this top-secret message, we can have some belief in time travel but not completely since it might be fake. But let's learn the meaning of offset spatial divergent technology with the help of paper and pencil.

To know this Offset Spatial Divergent Technique clearly we can use the paper-pencil model of the wormhole.

  • Let us consider a paper that represents space and time.
  • Now make a mark on the one end of the paper which tells your exact time of year.
  • Make a mark on another end of the paper representing the time of year to where you want to go in the past.
  • Now fold the paper in such a way both marking should coincide.
  • Now punch the pencil at the coincident point of the paper. Because of that pencil present and past have been connected.
Paper Pencil Model of Wormhole

Here folding the paper implies folding time and space. The pencil acts as a wormhole. This method is called Offset Spatial Divergent Technique or wormhole time travel

Traversable wormholes

There are lots of unproven theories that tell about time travel to the past. Out of which Closed Time Curve is one of the proposed theories. This indicates that when we move in a closed-loop in space-time it theoretically allows traveling to the past. This can only be done by using two-way wormholes which are known as traversable wormholes as per the theory.

Paradoxes of time travel

A paradox is a statement that leads to a conclusion that is not logically acceptable or we can simply say them as self-contradictory statements. Paradoxes of time travel mean contradictory statements of time travel.

Grandfather Paradox :

It is the classic paradox of time travel. Let us consider you have a time machine and you travel to the past where your grandfather was a kid. Because of his bad behavior, you didn’t like your grandfather so you killed him in past.

Now see this contradiction, if you kill your grandfather when he was a kid. Then he cannot meet your grandmother, if so your father won’t be born at all, without your father you won’t even exist.

Grandfather Paradox
Grand Father Paradox (Image courtesy by IStockphotos)

But in real life (present) you are alive even after you killed your grandfather in the past. This leads to a contradiction or paradox it is called as Grandfather Paradox.

A solution to this grandfather paradox can be given with the theory of parallel universes. It tells that when you killed your grandfather the time divided into two parallel universes one from which you came and the other in which you killed your grandfather. These are just theories proposed by some scientists no proofs for them.

Bootstrap Paradox (ontological paradox) :

Another time travel paradox. To explain this let us take an example of you, who watched the movie Bahubali now.

Then you used the time machine and went back to the director Rajamouli in the past and told him the story which he will create in the future.

Bootstrap Paradox Infinite loop
Bootstrap Paradox Infinite Loop (Image courtesy by Gettyimages)

Ok! You can think what’s the big deal you just said the story which he will create in the future but let me give you a mind-bending question.

What is the origin of the story? This is simply called the Bootstrap paradox or predestination paradox. No solution was proposed to this paradox.

Fermi Paradox:

In 1950 a famous physicist Enrico Fermi asked a question in public 

If there are intelligent extraterrestrial lives in the universe - then where are they?

Later this question was further built for time travelers “ If there are time travelers then where are they” we should have seen them by now. But yet we did not see them. This can lead to a contradiction that time travelers are not possible. This is again a contradiction called the Fermi paradox.

Intelligent Extraterrestrial Lives
Intelligent Extraterrestrial Lives (Image Courtesy by IStockphotos)

A solution to this paradox is proposed by Stephen Hawking. He conducted an experiment on June 28, 2009.  He bought balloons, champagne, sweets and threw a party and gave invitations the next day. Later on a press conference at the Seattle music festival in 2012, he said “ I waited for a while nobody came” from this we can say there are no time-travelers.

We can also think of this case in this way. Since time travelers are more advanced than compared to the technology available now. They might be disguised among ourselves speaking in our accent dressed like us. Or they are simply not trying to disturb the past.

If it is true then be careful someone from the future is looking at you.

The energy required to operate a time machine?

A time machine is a simple spaceship that has high endurance and capable of traveling at the speed of light.

Time Machine
Time Machine (Image courtesy by IStockphotos

According to some theoretical calculations, scientists say that the time machine requires energy that is equal to the energy of a 5 atom bomb. Here atom bombs are not our problem, but to run a machine we need to control it. And we don’t have the technology to control the energy produced from a single atom bomb. Then how can we control the energy of 5 atom bombs?

So, as of the technology available now it is impossible to create a time machine. Let’s just hope maybe in the future they can build a time-traveling machine.

What is the formula of a time machine?

There are no such things as formulas for a time machine till now we only have theories that are proposed by some renowned scientists. If you want to know how to travel to the past or to the future learn the theories in detail which I discussed above.

If you personally ask me the formula for the time machine then I will tell HOPE and PATIENCE is the answer.

What will I do if I had a time machine?

If I had a time machine, I would check how my family evolved from past to future and I will note down my family tree. Then I would go back to a time where there were dinosaurs on earth and bring back a Veggy dino to make it my pet (Like in GOT). While on the way back I would learn magic from magicians to prank my friends.

Keep apart these normal ideas listen to my crazy ideas to be rich:

I will go back to the time of Krishnadevaraya’s era and would make a trade deal with him for the Kohinoor diamond. At the same time, I would buy as much gold as I can and I will sell it in the future for huge profits. This would make me rich enough to live.

Bill Gates Quote

So from the above theories, explanations, paradoxes, we can think time travel might be possible. But as of the technology available, we still have restrictions to time travel hope time travel which is a dream now may come into existence in the future.

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