Following up on Stephen Hawking's warning about hostile extraterrestrials, the nutty professor has produced an Instructable about building a time machine. Well, sort of anyway. The mind-spinningly brilliant physicist and cosmologist wrote a lengthy piece for the Daily Mail about the very real possibility of time travel, and how it might work. From the Daily Mail:
Time travel was once considered scientific heresy. I used to avoid talking about it for fear of being labelled a crank. But these days I'm not so cautious. In fact, I'm more like the people who built Stonehenge. I'm obsessed by time. If I had a time machine I'd visit Marilyn Monroe in her prime or drop in on Galileo as he turned his telescope to the heavens. Perhaps I'd even travel to the end of the universe to find out how our whole cosmic story ends.Stephen Hawking: How to build a time machine
To see how this might be possible, we need to look at time as physicists do - at the fourth dimension. It's not as hard as it sounds. Every attentive schoolchild knows that all physical objects, even me in my chair, exist in three dimensions. Everything has a width and a height and a length.
But there is another kind of length, a length in time. While a human may survive for 80 years, the stones at Stonehenge, for instance, have stood around for thousands of years. And the solar system will last for billions of years. Everything has a length in time as well as space. Travelling in time means travelling through this fourth dimension.
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.