Episode 3: Time Travel with Christopher Hastings

In episode 3 we will decide  to try and explain to dr. McNinja creator Christopher Hastings how Time travel worked. Ben, Jocelyn and Dave will get back to the roots of general relativity, and will  explain how the passage of  time depended on gravity and motion. Then they will be talking about how (backwards) time travel was possible, thanks to general relativity; and also how it is probably not possible. You need a long tube, or some weird baseballs. Ben Sticks his fingers in bad places.

*note* this episode has a bit of conversation cut from the episode (which isn’t concrete physics, but it’s lots of fun) spliced in after the end music! tune in!

Guest:  Christopher Hastings 


Physicists: Jocelyn Read, Dave Tsang


Intro Music: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists 

Exit Music: John Vanderslice 

Transcript: Ep_3_Time_Travel

15 thoughts on “Episode 3: Time Travel with Christopher Hastings

  1. Okay, about the twin paradox.

    I was waiting for a reasonably easy to understand explanation for the part, where both of the twins should see the other as the one younger than supposed. I mean, wikipedia gives different explanations, like that it’s because only one of them went through acceleration and deceleration, but that seems a little too easy. I mean, now it’s suddenly about acceleration instead of just going nearly the speed of light?

    And does the fact that the earth is speeding at a horrible speed around the sun which is speeding at horrible speed around something play any part in this? Other than that would make time travel kind of hard I think, since you would need to suddenly calculate where everything went or something. Or when entering a worm hole, you have some speed in relation to everything else, what happens to that speed (since it could as well be seen as you being stationary and everything else moving), if you keep that speed, at what direction would that be?

    Am I making any sense?

    • Hi Matt – The point of acceleration in the wikipedia article is that the turnaround (or acceleration) breaks the symmetry between the two twin’s experiences, so that it’s no longer true that both twins expect to see the other one as younger. The time spent travelling at high speed can stil be used to calculate the difference in their ages.

      A wormhole’s mouth would have some relative velocity to other astronomical bodies, but humans have already done that sort tricky calculation of where everything is going to send astronauts to the moon and satellite probes to other planets. If somehow you construct a stable traversable wormhole, the relative velocity of it’s ends and how you would get spit out depend on how it’s constructed, but would in principle be calculable.

  2. Wicked awesome! I am a Dr. McNinja fan and Chris mentioned this pod cast. I will be checking you guys out more regularly!

    And I will try to keep science closer to my heart! :)

  3. I love these podcasts but please get new microphones arggggggggh!

    also, do you have a mailing list for when new pod casts are available?

    • sorry derek. I know that it’s a big problem. the problem isn’t the microphone, but the way i’m using the recording software. I’m still trying to figure it out but i can’t seem to make my audio track come through clearly. but I’m optimistic. the crew at science sort of is full of good advice and we’ll get better.

  4. Great show! What’s the very first song that you play (during Ben’s opening speech)? I swear it’s from a movie I’ve seen.

    Keep up the great work! Awesome science and humor mix.

  5. As an aspiring physicist and fan of humor, I am compelled to follow this series.

    As in, the laws of nature are literally conspiring against me not doing so. It would create a time paradox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *