A public lecture explores one of humanity’s most explored questions: “Is time-travel possible?”
As part of the Royal Astronomical Society’s 200th anniversary, honorary lecturer Dr Edward Gomez delivers a lecture about time-travel and its infinite possibilities.
Scientists have always been interested in the complex mathematical formulae behind blackholes and paradoxes, but for Gomez the fascination in time-travel goes way beyond its potential significance for a scientific revolution.
“People would like to go back and change something that they did wrong. Everybody has a thing or things that they feel like they could have done better at some point in the past. Or just reliving an experience. Going back in time and having one more afternoon with your grandparents. “
“Those type of things are what make fiction interesting. They are just another device to explore what the human condition is.”
Popular cultural fiction exploring the notion of time-travel include Doctor Who, Groundhog Day, the writings of HG Wells and, naturally, Back to the Future.
The city of Cardiff is indeed no stranger to the hit BBC TV show Doctor Who.
“When I meet scientists, they always say Cardiff! That’s where they film Doctor Who! Which is phenomenal for the city.”
It is successful shows such as Doctor Who which offer the spectator a chance to ponder what life would be like if we could ever travel back or forward in time.
“I think that’s why people are fascinated by time-travel, it’s the tantalising possibility that science offers which could help people in some terms live a better life.”
Dr Gomez’s current research includes machine learning and investigating properties of galaxies, although he argues that Brexit will do the field of astrophysics more harm than good.
“Oh my god Brexit is going to be disastrous for science. “
“Everyone who can do science would be like: why would I stay in Britain and not be on an international playing field? We have such special links. “
Images: Wikipedia Commons
The possibility of time-travel, although tantalising, is still a way off.
And even though steps are being taken to increase scientific research in the matter, it will not happen anytime soon, perhaps not even in our lifetimes.
“Actually you have to deal with the situation you have right now or otherwise you will never be fulfilled. “