From an article entitled Neutrinos still faster than light in latest version of experiment, the Guardian optimistically posits the possibility of time travel. A tad too optimistically, in my view.
There’s a real problem with time travel, in that it can, quite reasonably, be argued that the past no longer exists and the future hasn’t happened yet – so neither are in any meaningful way “there”.
But assuming, for the sake of argument, that both do exist in some tangible form, locating them in space-time is a hell of a challenge. Even Mars probes have to be aimed not for Mars, but for the point in space where Mars is going to be in the future, when the probe arrives.
A time probe will not only have to take into account time, but the rotation of the earth, its orbit around the sun, and the solar system’s movement as the galaxy rotates, along with the galaxy’s own movement as the universe expands. Even last Wednesday (November 9), is a hell of long way away in terms of miles. Well’s Time Traveller, setting his machine to go back 9 days would emerge into the vacuum of space – assuming no other body was occupying that spot at the time – in which case there’s be a hell of an explosion.
Visiting the Battle of Hastings, say, would be an even greater challenge. Not only is it 945 years away in time – it’s also millions (billions?), of miles away in space, on a complex, winding, route as the earth, solar system. and galaxy trundle their intertwined way through the universe.
The same principle applies to voyages into the future. Calculating exactly where we’ll be in time and space on, say, Shrove Tuesday, 3529 is an insurmountable challenge as there is no knowing what currently unknown variables might affect such calculations.
Good luck with that. It’ll take more than neutrinos on steroids. Wells’ Victorian Time Traveller would simply have vanished forever.