How to build a time machine.

There are many possible ways to time travel. Steal a TARDIS, build a flux capacitor or take up too many classes at Hogwarts to receive a time turner. How about something more realistic? Well this video demonstrates how we can use Jupiter to build a time machine:

OK so we are playing fast and loose with the word “realistic” in this video but at least there’s some real science there. This isn’t the only way to time travel of course:


Yes an airplane is a time machine, just not a very good one. By going to a high altitude you are under a lesser gravitational field so time speeds up but by such a small amount it’s not even noticeable. Valeri Polyakov spend 438 days orbiting Earth and he has therefore aged, wait for it… a stunning 45 seconds more than he would have if he’d stayed on Earth. I expect some of you won’t believe it but they’ve done tests where one clock was put in an airplane and flown around the world, then compared to a clock that had remained where it was and sure enough the times were different. By fractions of a second but still!


It is general relativity that tells us how gravity affects time and special relativity tells us how speed affects time. As you travel faster time slows down, this is known as time dilation. The reason you’ve never noticed that whilst hurtling down the motorway is that this affect is only significant as you near the speed of light. To get time to pass just twice as slowly as normal you’d need to go 580,771,037 miles per hour, that’s nearly 600 million miles per hour. That being said, it may be a way to get around interstellar space flight because we’d be travelling fast enough for it to have an affect and the astronauts wouldn’t be really old (or dead) by the time they get there.


Science is pretty sure wormholes exist, no ones ever seen one but they might be really small. Wormholes are basically bridges to a different point in spacetime so if you go through one you could end up anywhere in space or time. Unfortunately that would be the only trip that wormhole can make and if it takes you to a desolate empty part of deep space, the fact you’ve travelled back to ancient times isn’t like to be much of a consultation.

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