I hear complaints from people constantly about how they wish they could go back to a point in their lives so things would be different now. "I wish I could go back to (insert moment in lifetime here) and do this one thing differently. My life would be so different now." Every time I hear this phrase or anything similar to it, I ask this question, "where do you think the people you've affected will be at this point if you decided to do what you did differently? Furthermore, would your other plan have been a guarantee to become what you are wishing you would be now?" I admit, I get these thoughts in my head on occasion, but I remember my beliefs in time and space. Today, I'm going to invite you into my thought process for a few minutes. You'll discover things that you may not have even fathomed had I not said anything. You might even think that I'm a loony and I have way too much time on my hands. On a lighter side, you'll also peek into my artistic talent (or lack there of) with two hastily drawn graphs on paint. The law of conservation of matter and the law of conservation of energy respectively will be mentioned within this post, as well as a very vague description of my interpretation of the space/time continuum.
I'm going to start with that question, then dig deeper within the subject afterward. So, what would you think your life be like now if you changed your decision at that specific point in time? Assuming you had a knowledge of what would happen after if you repeated the choice you made the first time, you would obviously take the other path in hopes that something good would come out of it. Mine for example, would have been my first tenth grade year, where I would have put forth more effort in my work and passed it the first time around. However, when I think about what could have been, I also remember that because I failed that grade, I inherited a more competent, friendlier, and knowledgeable teacher in the subject that held me back from advancement (ironically, I failed English). I could have gone to my counselor, and transferred to his class the first year, but at the time, I had no knowledge of his teaching methods compared to the one I was already learning from. So let's say that I want to go back in time, transfer to his class, graduate a year earlier, attend college (which I have yet to do in this time span), and be in a new position than I am now. Here is what I envision would happen.
This poorly drawn chart shows the multiple choices (granted, much simpler than a normal human's complex life) one can make throughout the point of time where they wish they could change time and the line they have already lived up to now. The top represents the immediate point where the choice in question was made. The bottom parts represents present day, and the decisions you've made to lead you to where you are now or what you could have made had you done something different. Let's say the black line represents the exact path you've chose to this point, and the red lines are the ones you've chosen against, or never knew existed because they never were brought up in front of you in the first place. Now, I want you to start at the top, and work your way down and at some point (it can be the very beginning), step into a red line, and continue through it until you reach a dead end. Once you find the end, look back at all the possibilities that were left in front of you that you won't experience because of the path you chose. Then, think about where you broke from the path that you have already lived. Do you think you'll miss the impact you've had from that point to where you are now in this present day? These are the types of things I wish people would think of when they make that wish.
If a person was able to go back to that point, and change his decision, a hole would be created. Something would have to fill that spot. Whatever was in that hole needs to be filled by something else, causing ripples throughout space/time that can not be empty. Every nanosecond and smaller needs to replace what you ripped out with something else, causing major shifts in history and altering the future. People normally call this the "Butterfly Effect," but since the movie of the same name was released, I chose to rename it. Now, I coin it the "Space/Time Pyramid Scheme." Kidding! But in a nutshell, yes, it is the "Butterfly Effect."
Now I would like to get more in depth with time travel itself. Everyone in quantum physics and studies in space/time always fascinate about having the ability to travel through time. People always dream of traveling back in time, and changing history into something more utopian. Here is my theory, illustrated to help explain what I mean.
Enlarge the picture by clicking on it if you have to.
I will explain this in the 2nd person perspective.
We will start this from your life span. You are born, raised, and you reach a point in your age where you discover time travel, and find a way to travel back. You DO travel back in time to a specific point and witness the events that actually happened at that moment in history. For the period you are there, you shape the course of history with your presence. After some time, you return to your time period and continue on your life, and nothing has changed, regardless of whether or not you made the effort to change it. Want to know why? You were supposed to be there! In fact, you've already been there! You did everything exactly how you've done it before!
I believe that time is a straight line. Time, as logic dictates, is purely one-dimensional and can not be shaped, molded, bent or broken. I've also had thoughts of time being abstract and imaginative. The main fact that keeps me sticking on the side of logic, is age and aging. Things are given life, then die off. Objects are molded into shape, then crumble into dust. I don't think that this would happen naturally without an intangible element such as time. I'm getting too far off topic.
What I'm trying to say is that the time line that you live on has occured, is occuring, and will occur again from multiple perspectives, and by you. You may have found a way to travel back in time, but because time exists in a straight line, that moment of history has already welcomed your presence by occuring with you in it, even for such a short time. That time will eventually lead to your birth, aging, and eventual travel to the point where you've existed before. Though to you it will feel like you've traveled through time and into the past or future, all time sees is a point in which you've moved from one spot to another. It's rather anti-climactic considering the achievement of man being able to accomplish such a feat, but that's how I envision it. The technical part of it is where my brain really took it out to left field.
I believe in fundamental laws. One of the most basic of these laws is the law of conservation of matter. This is a simple law stating that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. The law of conservation of energy is just about the same in its basic form. In order for time travel to be possible, instead of just "popping up" in an arbitrary point in time, one would have to replace the matter and energy leaving one point, and expel of the excess in the destination point. This would require a chamber that would literally swap the matter and energy needed from two points in time.
I'm not going to lie, it's past 1a.m., and I am growing increasingly tired. I apologize for the sudden stop in this post, but I'm fairly certain I've covered a bulk of my theory, and don't want to bore you, the audience. I will post more later in this very topic tomorrow, possibly. If not, a new post will emerge and I promise it will be more light-hearted and easier on the brain, if for some reason I may have caused any stress on yours today.
I would also like to reiterate that I am severly uneducated in this field, and that the ideas I come up with are purely from the information that I have obtained and retained about time and space. It is by no means scientific or factual. I am merely stating a possibility, and it is highly opinionated. If you enjoyed what I have had to say, I would love to hear about it. If you have any theories of your own, please, I'd love to hear them too. I am an open book and would relish in the opportunity to pick the minds of others.