Is time travel possible? Groundbreaking scientific discovery might prove it is
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla (WPEC) - It may sound completely ridiculous, but some scientists believe they could all play a role in one day allowing us to travel through time, and beyond.
To explain this scientific breakthrough, we must go back to 1916.
The Model T was on the streets, Woodrow Wilson was president, and Albert Einstein came up with his "theory of relativity." This theory claimed gravity influences the passage of time.
Some believe if we know the speed with which gravity moves, we can alter time.
Now, hop in your Dolorean and fast-forward 100 years later. That's how long it took for astrophysicists to prove Einstein was right.
"It shows you how slow the progress because you are dealing with relativity and concepts that are alien," said Marc Wiskoff.
Marc Wiskoff is the senior technical advisor and adjunct curator at the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium in West Palm Beach.
He helped explain what researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) discovered.
This video from LIGO shows what they found:
How did LIGO discover this?
The research team used lasers to measure gravitational waves. Gravitational waves were created after two black holes collide over a billion light years away, creating a single black hole.
Think of a single drop of water being one black hole and the water below is the other black hole. When the two meet, they create ripples which are like the gravitational waves.
This is what scientists were able to measure for the first time.
Wiskoff said gravitational waves are "important in the scheme of things that [when] we talk about time travel, they may help us travel through time."
That's right. Astrophysicists may have just proved the infancy of time travel. Meaning one day, a school science trip could be visiting a different century or a lesson in history could be going back in time.
WPEC asked a class of first graders who they would want to meet.
First grader Gabriella Maliska said former president Abraham Lincoln.
Oswaldo Icaza said, "I would like to see my dad, how he looked like when he was a little kid."
It all sounds great, in theory.
Sadly, we are far from living out "Back to the Future" just yet.
"We're not even close to approaching conquering time, so to speak," Wiskoff said. "There are so many obstacles. It may be easier to control the tides on this planet than to change gravitational force, control gravitational force, create worm holes, because gravity is basically a walking of the space time."
Whether we find a way to time travel or not, there is one fundamental human question that could be answered if scientists figure out how time and space work together.
"Once we understand them a little better, then we'll understand how we got here, and if there is another place for us to go," Wiskoff said.
Scientists say in the near future, this discovery will allow us to study and see objects in our universe, beyond our galaxy, and our solar system.
"To boldly go where no man has gone before." - Star Trek.
Download the Local 12 News App on iTunes or Google Play.