• Question: has any scientist or any one ever sent anything forward or backward in time if so what?

    Asked by harriettmay to Alastair, Emma, Hywel, Keith, Vicki on 21 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Hywel Vaughan

      Hywel Vaughan answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      Hi Harriett,
      Not that I am aware of, but if they had it would be very difficult to tell. If you find an object, how do you know it hasn’t been sent back in time? Time travel I think is quite a long way off, as cool as it would be to have our own TARDIS.

    • Photo: Keith Brain

      Keith Brain answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      Yes, it is possible to see backwards in time – we do it all the time! Light travels quickly, but the universe is a very big place. So, when you look up at night and see the stars, you’re actually looking back in time, because what you’re seeing actually happened in the past. For example, on a very clear night it is possible to see the Andomeda galaxy, which is 2.5 million light years away. That means, that what you see happened 2.5 million years in the past. With good telescopes, scientist can see even further back in time, by looking at galaxies even further away – billions of years in the past.

      Working out what happened in the past on earth, though, is much harder; we really have to do some detective work and try to infer what happened in the past from what is buried in the ground (archaeology, paleontology, geology), or, for living things, look at their DNA and see how it differs between animals – surprisingly, this can be used to tell us something about the past!

      The future is much harder, but for things like planetary motion, we can quite reliably trust them to let us know what will happen in the future – like the timing of the next eclipse.

    • Photo: Emma Carter

      Emma Carter answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      I’m travelling forward in time right now πŸ˜‰

    • Photo: Vicki Stevenson

      Vicki Stevenson answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      I don’t think anyone has managed yet, but who knows what will happen in future?

    • Photo: Alastair Sloan

      Alastair Sloan answered on 21 Jun 2010:

      ahh time travel. To my knowledge nobody has managed to send anything forward or backward in time. That’s not to say it isn’t theoretically possible, but practically I think we are only talking about Dr Who episodes at the moment.