shoots grandfather, hits self instead
July 23, 2007 2:39 AM   Subscribe

Time Travel, or, the art of causing events after they've already happened. [requires java, more inside]
posted by Avenger (34 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

An explanation for the "wormhole simulation": When the ball enters the right wormhole, it exits out the left wormhole approximately 1 second later.

Thats easy enough to understand, right? But when the ball enters the left wormhole, it travels back in time and emerges about -1 second in the past.

The result? The ball (there is only one ball in this simulation!) can interact with itself and cause events which, technically, haven't taken place yet.
posted by Avenger at 2:40 AM on July 23, 2007

My brain hurts.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:20 AM on July 23, 2007

Double Post!

... from April 2009
posted by RavinDave at 4:48 AM on July 23, 2007 [10 favorites]

very, very interesting.
posted by malaprohibita at 4:57 AM on July 23, 2007

Really fascinating, but hard to understand. I'll just wait for the Adam Sandler movie.
posted by tepidmonkey at 5:18 AM on July 23, 2007

chunk of flying skull causes HEAD ASPLODE releasing chunks of skull at significant fractions of c
posted by Tzarius at 5:18 AM on July 23, 2007

The first link is really awesome.
posted by Arturus at 6:08 AM on July 23, 2007

You know whats interesting? I'm sitting here, looking over the first link again, and suddenly I realize how similar this simulation is to the concept of virtual particles^.

The ball sends itself back in time to interact with itself, causing itself to be sent back in time. It creates a perfect loop, but does the ball ever exist in the first place? Where does it come from? Think about Kirk's glasses in Star Trek VI.
posted by Avenger at 6:21 AM on July 23, 2007

Is this something I'd need a degree in reverse temporal engineering to understand?
posted by Eideteker at 6:38 AM on July 23, 2007

Bill: Ted, good thinking dude. After the report we'll time travel back to two days ago, steal your dad's keys, and leave them here.
Ted: Where?
Bill: I don't know. How about behind that sign? That way when we get here now, they'll be waiting for us. (bends down and picks up the keys) See?
Ted: Whoa! Yeah! So after the report we can't forget to do this, or else it won't happen. But it did happen! Hey, it was me who stole my dad's keys!
posted by MtDewd at 6:45 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

By His Bootstraps.
posted by languagehat at 8:50 AM on July 23, 2007

It can't be a coincidence that this is showing up right around the same time as this experiment.

Clearly the experiment was successful and the experimenter went back and time to create the game....
posted by gurple at 9:18 AM on July 23, 2007

I wonder if an admin could render our comment datestamps one day older than the post.
posted by christopherious at 10:43 AM on July 23, 2007

I'm writing from the future to tell you that they wont.
posted by Avenger at 10:54 AM on July 23, 2007

"Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mister I'm My Own Grandpa! Let's get the hell out of here already! Screw history!"
posted by zztzed at 11:14 AM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

That Bill and Ted quote actually induced an acid flashback. Thanx!
posted by tritisan at 11:58 AM on July 23, 2007

I did do the nasty in the pasty.
posted by hellphish at 12:07 PM on July 23, 2007

Whoops, sorry, I meant "Time travel is awesome".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:14 PM on July 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

Time travel is aweso
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:15 PM on July 23, 2007

Well, that’s all true, but the fact of the matter is any incursion into the past would inevitably lead to confusion within that present’s frame of reference to observers outside the causal loop. So you would have what appears to be a non-sequitur.
(Nice Robby Todino reference by the way)
posted by Smedleyman at 1:19 PM on July 23, 2007

/sorry, replying to a future comment.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:20 PM on July 23, 2007

In Valis, Philip K. Dick wrote about a god reaching out (into?) to people in a false universe using oft-forgotten items, like trash & debris. Ken Grimwood's Replay used classified ads as a plot element like that. Spam is kind of invisible & likely unmonitored in the same way.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:20 PM on July 23, 2007

Seems like a Dick-ian spam-based approach would work to a limited extent, as long as you could spoof the dates. And hey, even if the communication fails, you can get a pretty penny for an AMD Dimensional Warp Generator these days.

Anyone with a firmer grasp of applied time-travel want to chime in? Smedleyman?
posted by ormondsacker at 3:05 PM on July 23, 2007

Whoops, sorry for the double post.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:24 PM on July 23, 2007

I'd like to mention xkcd's time travelling canoe.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:24 PM on July 23, 2007

I'd like to mention xkcd's time travelling canoe.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:24 PM on July 23, 2007

this little movie recently put the zap on my head regarding time travel. I've seen it five times and still can not puzzle out exactly what happens.
posted by vrakatar at 4:08 PM on July 23, 2007
posted by vrakatar at 4:09 PM on July 23, 2007

Has anyone watched Memento in chronological order?
posted by Pronoiac at 4:41 PM on July 23, 2007

vrakatar, as a theoretical mathematician I can tell you you're in good company. Remember that in fiction there's a lot of poetic license since nobody quite understands it. Watch that film to marvel at the production for such a low budget. There's no scientific learnin' to be had there, however. It's inconsistent at best.
posted by monkeymadness at 5:31 PM on July 23, 2007 many doubles are there? why the hell and from whence did Granger's double come from, and did they kill him?

also, i hated memento. carrie moss has a scene in that movie that is just awful.
posted by vrakatar at 8:05 PM on July 23, 2007

This meme is fun. I just extended some of the tricks people have used here in this thread on the message machine of a friend who rarely uses the internet and has a particular interest in time travel.
posted by christopherious at 9:48 PM on July 23, 2007

ormondsacker, no time today, I'll get to it yesterday.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:31 AM on July 24, 2007

How the hell did I miss this great thread first time around?

Note to self: find that Robby Todino article in Wired.
posted by ormondsacker at 10:11 AM on August 8, 2007

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