Here’s why faster-than-light travel leads to maddening time paradoxes
Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity says no object can travel faster than the universal speed limit, which we commonly call the speed of light. So far, faster-than-light (FTL) travel exists only in science fiction, as this universal speed limit is fundamental to the way our universe works.
Forever intrigued by attempting the impossible, we've made traveling faster than the speed of light a staple of our works of science fiction. Most science fiction stories feature some way of getting from point A to point B faster than light, whether it's via activating the warp drive or jumping into hyperspace.
However, in reality, thinking about the why's and how's faster-than-light travel can be akin to opening Pandora's box. In this video, YouTube channel Cool Worlds explains with extreme clarity why going faster-than-light leads to time paradoxes, by taking a zoomed-out approach that addresses all FTL propulsion and FTL messaging. You can watch the video embedded above to learn more about the profound consequences that ensue. As always, enjoy and be ready to have your mind blown.
A young engineer called Robert Sansone won the first prize, and winnings of $75,000, at this year's Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world's largest international high school STEM competition.