I’m watching the television show “Time After Time” (hereafter referred to as TAT) which is a very well made presentation featuring some pretty engaging characters.
But unfortunately, on episode 3, it gets a little silly almost immediately.
In my real world, scientists have claimed to have found evidence of these things called ‘time crystals’.
So in TAT, HG Wells discusses something called an “Alexandrite Gemstone”
I suspect it’s a parallel to the ‘discovery’ of time crystals discovered in my reality.
According to HG in TAT, the Alexandrite Gemstone
“Focuses the light into a specific wavelength which allows the time machine to breach the fourth dimension”
The implication being that these beings are photonically based beings, and that a shift in visible light is the only barrier between their dimension and other dimensions.
Here’s the concept in a nutshell:
Quartz Crystals respond to a wave form as a mechanical stress which produces both an electrical charge and a vibration at the frequency of the wave form. This is what’s known as a reverse piezoelectric effect, where the opposite effect is what makes radios possible.
Similarly. Time Crystals. And HG Well’s Alexandrite Gemstones respond to higher wavelengths to create the same effect on light.
Expanding on the concept it goes something like this:
Every point in space and time from the beginning of the universe to the end contains visible ‘spectra’ which is correlated to the mechanical vibration of matter. A ‘time crystal’ naturally magnifies the mechanical motion, as in a natural state it resonates at a predictable wavelength and frequency. Leveraging this knowledge, the theory goes that if you apply a sufficiently powered mechanical force in the form of an analog wave, the natural state of this crystal will magnify that force and create a localized fold in space and time.
The more energy you apply to the wave. The greater the size in the dimensional fold.
And once you’re at the ‘right’ date and time.
You simply turn it off and the power creating the wave form supplied to the crystal, in theory, which should maintain vibration at that wavelength and frequency, thus maintaining the time machine in the destination location for as long as you’re there.
The ‘passage’ of time itself being nothing more than turning a channel on a television station.
Here’s the idea in a graphic:
The colors in the rainbow detail the ‘visible spectra’ relative to that point in space and time. Each date and time separated out, discretely, by this notion of converting mechanical motion to energy and vice versa.
Now it’s important to note that televisions and radios, function in the same exact manner, so the concept’s not new nor original, the only difference is – the time crystal itself vibrates in four dimensional space – that is the x+y+z axis and time comprising the 4th dimension.
But there’s a fundamental issue with this method of time travel, which is:
Once you’ve gone back to a certain point in space and time and make a change, the ripple effect ‘moving forward’ makes it quite possible that where you come from – at least if regarded from a linear perspective – may altogether disappear.
Which makes it HIGHLY important to understand what, in fact, time actually is and how nature herself doesn’t just permit you to time travel, but she encourages you to, teases you, entices and inspires you to, because nature, like me, enjoys this thing called variety.
Which presents the fatal flaw, logically speaking at least, of HG Wells’ version of time travel at least as depicted in the television show
“Time After Time”
Rene Descartes famously said “Cogito ergo sum”
Which I’ve heard translated in two ways to English: “I think, therefore I am”, and “I doubt, therefore I am”
I’d add “Therefore I’m safe and invariably always get what I want”
There’s a moment in the show where the antagonist, Jack the Ripper, has stolen HG Wells time machine and traveled in time from the late 1890s to the modern day (2017 by my calendar). Pursuing him and feeling responsible, HG Wells receives a phone call (we’re in episode 3 and in modern day), where Jack the Ripper gives HG Wells an ultimatum.
“Deliver the girl to me in five minutes”
Now here’s what I think is ironically funny.
HG Wells has a time machine.
He can just as easily let the next few hours go by, setting up a ruse for the ripper just to see what he does.
Then he simply dials in the time machine to moments before he does it.
And ‘viola’ he apprehends his prey.
This presents a problem with multiple timelines over the same period, right?
Here’s where it gets important to understand relativity.
Time, relative to HG Wells is moving forward at a predictable rate of speed. While he and his physical body may jump from 1897 to 2017, this doesn’t mean he’s now magically 100 years older than he was before because of this shift in Earth based time. Physically. Intellectually. He’s still 30. Same age as when he left. Only time is now moving relative to him.
So let’s say he spends ten years in the modern day, then he grows tired of all the crazy activity, and decides one day to return to the precise moment he left.
He’s now 40. He’s aged 10 years over this period of time, regardless of where he aged, and even though his birth year may be something like 1867 and it’s once again 1897, he’s still technically 40 years old.
Put specifically: Time, relative to HG Wells, has marched forward at a predictable rate, and while externally, he may observe a world that regards him as being only 30. This doesn’t make him only 30, does it?
No. He experienced 10 more years IN THE FUTURE that most people in the past may have a difficult time comprehending, accepting or even believing.
Which is where the show gets wonky.
HG Wells has 5 minutes to meet the Ripper’s demands.
Now intellectually. This guy knows that the future is ALREADY being influenced because of his and the Ripper’s presence.
So what’s his primary goal?
It should be, at least if the show’s depicting it right, stopping the Ripper as fast as possible.
From my vantage point.
I’d tell the ripper precisely what he wanted to hear.
Arrange a meeting point.
Do everything to ensure my safety and ability to retreat to the time machine once it doesn’t play out as the Ripper predicts.
Then go back in time. Banking on the predictable actions of the Ripper from before.
Everyone can sleep at night.
Now I’ll be honest. I know it’s not as easy as that.
The moment you deviate your actions in the ever so slightest ways from prior actions once revisiting that same point in time, it will absolutely influence the actions of Ripper who – even though HG may do everything EXACTLY the same it still may not be as predictable as you might expect it to be.
You understand that your thought creates reality.
Your expectations and desires influence the outcome.
And it’s my belief that anyone can time travel.
But not everyone can understand infinite possibilities let alone how to choose just one.