How to Build a Time Machine; September 2002; Scientific American Magazine; by Paul Davies; 6 Page(s)
Time travel has been a popular science-fiction theme since H. G. Wells wrote his celebrated novel The Time Machine in 1895. But can it really be done? Is it possible to build a machine that would transport a human being into the past or future?
For decades, time travel lay beyond the fringe of respectable science. In recent years, however, the topic has become something of a cottage industry among theoretical physicists. The motivation has been partly recreational-time travel is fun to think about. But this research has a serious side, too. Understanding the relation between cause and effect is a key part of attempts to construct a unified theory of physics. If unrestricted time travel were possible, even in principle, the nature of such a unified theory could be drastically affected.