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Science

Stephen Hawking Service: Possibility of Time Travellers 'Can't Be Excluded' (bbc.com) 199

Organisers of Prof Stephen Hawking's memorial service have seemingly left the door open for time travellers to attend. From a report: Those wishing to honour the theoretical physicist, who died in March aged 76, can apply via a public ballot. Applicants need to give their birth date - which can be any day up to 31 December 2038. Prof Hawking's foundation said the possibility of time travel had not been disproven and could not be excluded. It was London travel blogger IanVisits who noticed that those born from 2019 to 2038 were theoretically permitted to attend the service at Westminster Abbey. He said: "Professor Hawking once threw a party for time travellers, to see if any would turn up if he posted the invite after the party. None did, but it seems perfect that the memorial website allows people born in the future to attend the service. Look out for time travellers at the Abbey."

Stephen Hawking Service: Possibility of Time Travellers 'Can't Be Excluded'

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  • by OpenSourced ( 323149 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @06:33AM (#56607308) Journal

    At the breakneck speed of 60 minutes per hour.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, so we are interstellar space travelers also, at the breakneck speed of the universe expansion.

      So silly.

    • I can assure you it's always 'now'. You just think you're travelling in time.

    • I have this time machine I lie down on. When I close my eyes, time jumps forward 6-8 hours.
  • by JustOK ( 667959 )
    Once it happens, it will have happened.
    • We have to live through the timeline without time travel until it is invented.

      Then it is invented, they go to the party and the memorial and shit gets weird. But it hasn't been invented in the future so it doesn't exist as a possibility now.

  • by MrKevvy ( 85565 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @07:01AM (#56607380)

    He had quite a sense of humor, and use it to cope with his condition. In 2009 when the threw a Time Traveller's Party [youtube.com] and no one attended, he indicated that this was confirmation that time travel was not possible.

    And as far as we can tell, it isn't, to the point of ridiculousness, and our physics is validated and complete enough on this to be almost certain. Time travel introduces unresolvable paradoxes (ie sending a single particle backwards far enough in time would completely change future atmospheric patterns, weather events and thus affect who was born, including those doing the sending) and and would require unfathomable physics to carry out (on the order of constraining the energy of a hydrogen bomb in the volume occupied by a human such that no damage or radiation occurred.)

    Not going to happen. If it ever did, being time travel, it already would have.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by 91degrees ( 207121 )
      Well I would have gone, but I heard it was a bit of a bust. Nobody turned up.
    • by TheDarkMaster ( 1292526 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @07:40AM (#56607464)
      well if I were a time traveler I would never show up at a "party for time travelers". Just think about the problems I would have as soon as I proved to be a time traveler, at minimum I would end up locked in some secret government facility or worse.
      • well if I were a time traveler I would never show up at a "party for time travelers". Just think about the problems I would have as soon as I proved to be a time traveler, at minimum I would end up locked in some secret government facility or worse.

        Except the guy hosting the party was in no shape whatsoever to try to lock anyone up.

      • well if I were a time traveler I would never show up at a "party for time travelers". Just think about the problems I would have as soon as I proved to be a time traveler, at minimum I would end up locked in some secret government facility or worse.

        Pretty moot as you can go back in time and set the clock one hour back.
        This is what I usually do anyhow for continuing use of the limited timelines I visit.
        Now, if only my interstellar cloud calendar (tm) syncs correctly. .

        P.S. time travellers are really easy to spot, they only use present tense.

    • he indicated that this was confirmation that time travel was not possible.

      All that would prove is that time travelers didn't come to the party.

      • by CSMoran ( 1577071 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @08:18AM (#56607596) Journal

        he indicated that this was confirmation that time travel was not possible.

        All that would prove is that observable time travelers didn't come to the party.

        FTFY

        • he indicated that this was confirmation that time travel was not possible.

          All that would prove is that observable time travelers didn't come to the party.

          Heisenberg showed up but it wasn't certain if he was observed there.

        • he indicated that this was confirmation that time travel was not possible.

          All that would prove is that observable time travelers didn't come to the party.

          FTFY

          It's really bad taste to make jokes about Hawking's blind spot.

        • So you're saying that on top of navigating the currents of time these fuckers are fucking ninjas as well?

      • he indicated that this was confirmation that time travel was not possible.

        All that would prove is that time travelers didn't come to the party.

        everyone knows that Time Travelers only attend the good parties...

    • The reason why no time traveller attended dr. Hawking's party is because all of them were busy at the simultaneous (in the Einstein-Minkowsly [wikipedia.org] sense) party organized by dr. Fermi [wikipedia.org].
    • ...and would require unfathomable physics to carry out (on the order of constraining the energy of a hydrogen bomb in the volume occupied by a human such that no damage or radiation occurred.)

      ...which means that it is not "unfathomable physics" since you claim to have just "fathomed" what is needed. Indeed there is a theoretical time machine consisting of two, linked Black Holes. If you can create that then you accelerate one of the holes up to very close to the speed of light and then passage through them would take you back in time. However, apart from constructing the two, linked Black Holes you also need something with negative mass to open the singularity to allow objects to pass through.

    • "In 2009 when the threw a Time Traveller's Party and no one attended, he indicated that this was confirmation that time travel was not possible."

      Or he partied hard, tripped to the future and the past with the time traveler that showed up and then couldn't possibly report any of that for fears of messing up the timeline. This is a smart guy we are talking about here.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      You're making the presumption that the quantum state collapses, but if it doesn't, then time travel doesn't cause any paradox. We are just living within a portion of the state space where it hasn't been significantly noticed. We may have diverged recently from a portion where it was noticed. No paradox, both exist.

      This is one of the consistent solutions. The thing is, the ways predicted for inducing time-travel are sufficiently extreme that it's not really surprising that we haven't seen any, so absence

    • by samkass ( 174571 )

      The easiest data set I can think of to mine for evidence of time travelers is 23andme. In theory, with enough data points you should be able to detect a discontinuity in the gene patterns such that you could detect someone going back in time and having children. It wouldn't even be that hard of a query... I have to believe someone there has tried it...

  • It can't be excluded that a T-rex will walk in, morph into a creature with the head of a crocodile, body of a lion, and limbs of a crab with big, big, titties that lays out in perfect english (with subtitles) everywhere that hawking went wrong and fill out some details. Doesn't mean it's going to happen though.
    • Exactly. To say that Time Travelers might exist opens the door to a lot of stupidity. Then people will say that Jesus might have existed, or the Earth might be flat, or any other lunatic thing. Hawkings opinions on time travel and AI really left a lot to be desired.
      • Jesus exists. He's the Mexican fellow that mows my lawn.
        • by thomst ( 1640045 )

          dcollins117 confided:

          Jesus exists. He's the Mexican fellow that mows my lawn.

          Man. I wish I had mod points ...

      • To say that Time Travelers might exist opens the door to a lot of stupidity.

        Only to those already likely to be stupid. No lack of those no matter what anyone actually says.

        Then people will say that Jesus might have existed

        It's almost certain Jesus existed or at least someone who filled the role. What is in doubt is that Jesus was anything more than an unusually successful cult leader who convinced people he was a deity. Happens all the time even today. See Joseph Smith [wikipedia.org] or L Ron Hubbard [wikipedia.org] for modern day examples of cult leaders founding churches. Christianity and Islam are just examples of the same thing several centuries earlie

    • A physicist walks into a bar and he orders a beer and turns to the stool next to him and offers it a beer. He finishes his drink and then leaves.

      The next day he returns to the bar, orders a beer, and offers a beer to the stool next to him before finishing his drink and leaving.

      This continues on for a week before the bartender finally asks, " Why in the world do you keep offering that stool a beer?"

      The physicist replies " The laws of physics dictate that there is a slight possibility that at some point the matter above this stool could reform into a beautiful woman, who would then accept the drink."

      The bartender is puzzled for a second before replying " The bar is full of beautiful women. Why not see if they will accept your drink?"

      The physicist quickly laughs before saying " Yeah, but what are the odds of that happening?"

    • It can't be excluded that monkeys will fly out of my butt.
  • There is a reasson I can not do what they ask : GDPR [eugdpr.org]. And they are lucky. I just saved them 20.000.000 EUR in fines. And if you say that by then Brexit will have been completed and/or the GDPR will not apply, just you wait and see what happens. You are clearly not one of us.
    Also do not ask to change the past. We did that once. Now Trump is POSTUS. Well, could have been worse. No, not Clinton. We change history, not politics.

  • Didn't Hawking send a message to himself on his deathbed back to the point in time he created time travel?

    "Dear Steve, they'll have a memorial service for us in a couple of months. Love Steve"

  • by toonces33 ( 841696 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @07:26AM (#56607432)

    2038 is when a 32-bit time_t overflows.

    Or maybe the software they wrote for the application process is just buggy. Wouldn't be the first time that ever happened.

  • Hmm? Can that be ruled out? Or remote viewers watching their time travelling nanobot cameras broadcasting through the subetha....
  • by DeplorableCodeMonkey ( 4828467 ) on Monday May 14, 2018 @08:15AM (#56607578)

    If someone went back in time and changed history, you wouldn't even know it. It's pretty much an impossible to falsify argument. So yeah, it could be true, but then Big Foot could be real along with werewolves, vampires, the Loch Ness Monster, etc. Or how about those sightings of pterodactyls in Papua New Guinea? I mean FFS, if you're going to seriously entertain the time traveler hypothesis, knowing it probably can't be falsified, you can't dismiss things like cryptids either.

    • by shess ( 31691 )

      If someone went back in time and changed history, you wouldn't even know it. It's pretty much an impossible to falsify argument. So yeah, it could be true, but then Big Foot could be real along with werewolves, vampires, the Loch Ness Monster, etc. Or how about those sightings of pterodactyls in Papua New Guinea? I mean FFS, if you're going to seriously entertain the time traveler hypothesis, knowing it probably can't be falsified, you can't dismiss things like cryptids either.

      So you're saying that Nessie was a time traveler? OMG! It explains so much!

  • My assistance dino, was excluded from the venue.

  • Drinking at a small bar on Long Island.
    • by thomst ( 1640045 )

      sabbede explained:

      Drinking at a small bar on Long Island.

      Where it's policy that they don't get to run a tab ...

  • “time travel had not been disproven” – um, Professor, that’s not how science works and you knew it.. Those who make a claim (ie: time travel exists), bear the burden of proof to demonstrate that possibility.
    • No they don't. If they did then the person making the claim that time travels did not exist would bear the burden of proof to show that is a possibility. As it is right now the reason we don't take time travel as real is because all those that have said they are have been ignored or classified as having mental problems; that is not a scientific proof.
      Until either side can formulate a series of observations or tests they can perform, they have not really progressed more then asking a simple question. Nei
      • sorry, remember Hitchen's razor: "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".
        • That has no basis in the scientific process but thanks for backing up what I wrote, from that quote you cannot dismiss time travel because you don't have any evidence it does not exist.
  • It's a bit selfish to think a time traveler would even be interested in visiting this exact period in history. What if time travel is discovered 250,000 years from now? Our little blip in that amount of accumulated history might simply be too boring and insignificant to be bothered with.
  • I'll take a pass on traveling back in time, since I believe I'll simply become anti-particles during the transit. That might be an unpleasant experience.
  • It's pretty clear that time is a vector that can only go one way...

    You can "slow" time, maybe even "stop" time for a specific observation of events, but it doesn't go backwards, always forward, always advancing. So you cannot go BACK in time, only forward at varying speeds.

    I look at time as being the same concept as entropy which is always increasing, always going one direction...

    The only fly in this ointment is from Hawking himself. Black Holes emit Hawking radiation... Which is not easily explained w

  • We have a few born in 2019, unfortunately they’re too young to realize they’re time travellers.
  • We are all just forward traveling time travelers. Now fixing oneself to a single point of time or traveling back is the hard part.

    Thou I do question if "time" really exists and this artificial frequency we call time is a just a crutch to help us make mathematical models to derive physics from so that it's easier for us to understand based on observation. What if time was a complete fabrication constructed from our lack of understanding and a false sense of observation?

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser

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