Time travel might be possible using spinning lasers, according to a physicist

Physicist Ronald Mallett believes that a spinning laser loop can bend time, leading to time travel. He even has a prototype to test the idea.
Christopher McFadden
Time travel might be possible by using lasers to make blackholes.


Ronald Mallett is on a mission to develop a real-life working time machine that uses lasers. Fascinated by the concept since childhood, he is now 77 years old. He used to teach physics at the University of Connecticut and still believes that a spinning laser loop can always bend time.

But it will be hard because, according to what we know about physics now, time travel is impossible, even though it is often shown in science fiction.

As we understand them, the laws of physics do not allow for backward time travel in a way that would be consistent with causality, meaning that events cannot happen before their causes. But some theories, like the theory of general relativity and the idea of wormholes, make it possible to travel through time. But these models are based on a lot of guesswork and require conditions we can't reach with our current technology. So, even though time travel is still a common theme in science fiction, it is not thought to be possible based on what we know about science right now.

But Mallett may, he believes, have found a loophole. His idea is to create an artificial black hole, which could generate a gravitational field that could lead to time loops and the ability to travel to the past, according to a recent article in The Guardian. Since 2019, the prototype has produced a continuously rotating light beam.

According to Mallett, "light can create gravity, and if gravity can influence time, then light itself can influence time."

“Let’s say you have a cup of coffee in front of you right now,” he explains to The Guardian. “Start stirring the coffee with the spoon."

"It started swirling around, right? That’s what a rotating black hole does. In Einstein’s theory, space and time relate to each other. That’s why it’s called space-time. So as the black hole is rotating, it will cause a twisting of time,” he added.

And you must begin this complex concept somewhere. Several years ago, he stated, "The Wright Brothers didn't simply build an airplane."

"Initially, they constructed a wind tunnel to determine the optimal configurations for aircraft wings. "Regarding the construction of a time machine, the wind tunnel must be constructed before the plane," he said.

Therefore, Mallett created his prototype machine. He believes it may work. But it hasn't happened yet; if it does, it cannot go as far back as he desires. Instead, he asserts that the dip back in time is limited to when the loop was created.

He’s still hopeful, though. “Let’s suppose that we already had this device in place some years ago, and now we have medicines that can cure COVID,” he says. “Imagine if we could predict precisely when earthquakes are going to occur, or tsunamis. So, I’ve opened the door to that possibility,” he said.

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