Time Trip

2003 ,    »  -   39 Comments
Ratings: 6.58/10 from 12 users.

Time TripHorizon's Time Trip is a thrilling journey deep into the strangeness of cutting-edge physics - a place where beautiful, baffling ideas are sometimes indistinguishable from the utterly crazy. On this journey, we meet a time-travelling pizza, a brilliant mathematician in a ski mask and even God. The journey ends with a strange and dark conclusion - one which calls into question our very existence.

Ever since Einstein showed it was theoretically possible, the quest to travel through time has drawn eccentric amateurs and brilliant scientists in almost equal numbers. The amateurs include Aage Nost, who demonstrates his time machine in front of the cameras. The professionals include the likes of Professor Frank Tipler of Tulane University. His time machine sounds good - but it would weigh half the mass of the galaxy.

There is, however, one way that time travel to the past could be possible. And it would be much more convenient. Future civilizations could use computers to create exact replicas of the past. Unfortunately that idea has physics trembling in its socks. Because if you can generate a perfect virtual reality version of the past, who's to say we are not one of the replicas?

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39 Comments / User Reviews

  1. AMS

    A truly remarkable documentary which show us how beautiful and mind bending time really is. It also provides mathematical and purely logical ideas presented by physicists, mathematicians, and just plain ordinary people who want to have a future with time travel as a possibility.

  2. Tyler
  3. Tyler

    Pretty out there. Loved it.

  4. tomasspipass
  5. tomasspipass

    So in conclusion, if we are living in a vitual reality created by a super being from the future is it not possible that heaven and hell, miracles, angels & demons and life after death can exist? Unfortunately I am reminded of the matrix films but it is a good point.

    Science seems to come full circle. All the religous beliefs that science shows are extremely unlikley could actually be added into the vitual reality by the super being from the future. This super being would be our god, and anything it allows will be possible.

    We use science to understand the world we live in but in the end the conclusion seems to be it's incomprehensible, but very interesting!

  6. Mark
  7. Mark

    Wow...the electronic box has a chip in it.

  8. German-boy
  9. German-boy

    I really enjoyed the movie although, I did understand just 50%. But I suppose someone, who declaims to know nearly everything about that topic, knows nothing in truth.

    The theorie about the virtual realities offers the possibility that we live in a big jail, cant escape and are limited in certain ways.
    But if this reality certainly is a orginal copy of the "real univers" then it must be possible for us to have exactly the same opportunities than the first universe. Especialy, creating our own original copies of realities.

  10. Phil
  11. Phil

    is it gonna work? huh...no I've talked too much... lol what a dumbass!!

  12. Take me to the top of page
  13. Take me to the top of page

    bah. At the very least Horizon saved me from wasting three hours of my night watching the Elegant Universe while scratching the same meaningless surface as every other doc on the subject. Include this in my bundle pack of Little Einstein.

    I'm also tired of the same scientists repeating the same script. BBC/PBS's "go-to" guys don't jostle my marbles anymore.

  14. Nikki
  15. Nikki

    Before I watch this...I am thinking of the game Sims. I have often wondered if the sims think...

  16. Kolo
  17. Kolo

    Quite mind-blowing that the latest developments in recent theoretical physics have led to such a dark conclusion. Although it seems pertinent to underline the 'theoretical' part, the rational and mathematics behind it seem well-founded except for certain issues that came to mind:

    1) The primary problem with predicting the future or past (much less simulating it) is the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. It states that certain pairs of physical properties, such as position and momentum, cannot be simultaneously known to arbitrarily high precision. That is, the more precisely one property is measured, the less precisely the other can be measured. So for example, to construct an accurate simulation of a single particle's history and future, one would require both it's absolute position and absolute momentum. However, only one of these factors can be determined to a high degree of accuracy. Even with perfect instruments and technique, the uncertainty is inherent in the nature of things.

    2) The notion of "infinite computing power" is weakly founded. Firstly, infinity can never truly be conceptualized by any finite being. Secondly, infinite computing power dictates an infinite energy source simply by definition since the opposite cannot hold. A finite object (a computer) with a finite amount of energy cannot create infinity (even in 'virtualization'). Furthermore, computing power will always be quantifiable because of this paradox: if you had a computer with infinite computing power, and asked it how much computing power it had, then it must give you something other than infinity.

  18. Blahh
  19. Blahh

    hahha the guy with the "time machine" and his predictions

  20. Billy Bingbong
  21. Billy Bingbong

    Humans invented time (seconds, hours etc), but we try and understand it in a mystical way? I don't know, this isn't my cup of tea.

  22. Allan Michael
  23. Allan Michael

    All this speculation about being able to travel through time with ease...nuts.
    It cost me $2,700.00 to get here from 2166 and that was economy class! Plus, because of security restrictions I couldn't bring my fission razor on-board with my carry on bag.

  24. saksham sahgal
  25. saksham sahgal

    @ KOLO:

    You have quite understood what that "virtual reality" means....for your point 1
    :I would say....rather hawking says...that the exact momentum and position of the particle will have to be known only for the time travel to the past...He clearly says:" TIME TRAVEL TO THE PAST IS NOT POSSIBLE"....but yes for the future its possible.beacuse then you wouldn't hav to calculate...you just have to approach the speed of light . rest everything will take care of itself

    for your point 2:
    Yes, Infinite computing power means that..the computer itself will never know what power it holds..example: you ask the computer how much computing power it holds...it will reply "processing...." after "still processing"....when you're dead"....."still processing"...but if you submit any amount of work...U have the result...hardly after its submission

  26. UniversalCypher
  27. UniversalCypher

    thats too bad..

  28. Nap
  29. Nap

    Pedantic carp.
    If a logical possibility is possible, then its outcome must share an equal 1:1 likelyhood for EACH ITERATION ... ??? WTF! Even if you only considered the chance that any form of virtual reality is our actual reality, then it is still BEYOND academic to state with ANY certainty that reality is anymore or less than reality.
    This simply is superstitious analogy in the guise of scientific theory. Unless of course by "is" they meant "isn't".

  30. Jack1952
  31. Jack1952

    Humans didn't invent time. They devised a system to keep track of it. The time for the earth to make one revolution around the earth is called a year. We didn't invent the revolution. We just gave it a name.

  32. 0zyxcba1
  33. 0zyxcba1

    @ Nap

    You are right.

    But don't be too harsh.
    It's the best we can do, right now.
    This has happened so many times before:

    Michelson and Morley trying desperately to establish, once and for all, the reality of The Ether, only to come away, after years of mind-boggling work, having proved the precise opposite of that which they had set out to prove. That certainly didn't make their day!

    The race to establish an etherless, workable, model of the universe was already well underway, and many forget that Einstein's theory was not the only one out there. Lorentz had also developed a mathematical model that seemed as if it might go all the way in extending the Newtonian Paradigm so that it would envelope all the unexplained anomalies. The Lorenz theory predicted that light would bend near massive gravitational objects, but to a slightly different degree than did Einstein's theory. Also, Einstein's theory had already predicted exactly what had been observed regarding the anomalous orbit of Mercury.

    Not until Sir Arthur Eddington actually measured the bending of light by a star during the total solar eclipse of 29 May 1919, on the island of Príncipe off the coast of West Africa did the world of physics know that Einstein's theory was right. Overnight, Einstein reincarnated into the most blindingly brilliant supernova in human history. The New York Times could not find typeface big enough to headline his name. Space and time were out, Space-Time was IN.

    Space-Time was THE reality!
    (poor Lorentz)

    And don't forget the 'particle zoo' of which no one, not even Fermi, not even Oppenheimer, not even Feynman, not even nobody! could make even the slightest sense. Then, suddenly, as if by magic, everything fell into place with the confirmation of Gell-Mann's standard model of leptons and his quark-gluon hadrons.

    Same story for the 19th Century. All these new elements popping into existence! How could one even discern an element from a compound? Then, step by step, the Periodic Table of the Elements began to emerge, so compellingly, so obviously, and so


    that everyone thought, Oh, how could it ever have been otherwise!

    So, don't be too harsh.
    It's the best we can do, right now.
    We're back there, again, stuck in the mud.
    But into our pit of mud, you can be certain, reality is staring us straight in the face, and when, finally, light breaks, and the mud dries, it will be so jaw-droppingly beautiful, you won't be able to breath.

    So, don't be too harsh.
    It's the best we can do, right now.
    And our best has usually panned out to be pretty damned good!

    And, guess what!
    There are three anomalous observations that, for now, remain mysteries:

    1. A small 'dead spot', or 'hole', smack dab in the middle of the cosmic microwave background radiation map.

    2. A pair of galaxies that are interacting with one another, but with a twist: they can't both be where they are. The Hubble Doppler readings say the two galaxies are separated in time and space by about a billion light, but they're interacting! The readings must be wrong. They must. But they can't be. But they must be. But they just can't!

    3. And I forget the third anomaly.

    (see 'What Happened Before the Big Bang?' #236 under Science)
    [the part about the three anomalies, etc., is in the last segment]

    A physicist worked out yet another theoretically comprehensive M-Theory model only to find, much to her amazement, that HER model accommodates ALL THREE ANOMALIES. Her M-Theory model actually PREDICTS them, each and every one.

    This is the first time EVER that there has been observable, repeatedly verifiable, hard-core evidence that M-Theory and she are on the right track!

    Not only that, but everyone thought that, on the off chance M-theory might pull through for us, a confirmation would be due to highly unlikely detection at CERN's LHC of one or more of M-theories weird predictions about particles like sleptons and gravitons and ant-gravitons and magnetic and ant-magnetic monopoles or of asymmetric anti-gluons or reverse-time, FTL traveling tachyons. No one ever believed that this could be realized, and they were right. The energies required to suss out such particles were predicted, by M-Theory itself, to be so high that it would require a cyclotron lager than the earth, and so it seemed M-Theory would forever more be relegated to the philosophy department.

    And now this wholly unexpected(as if by magic!) 'happening', not in an accelerator, but in the deepest reaches of the macroscopic universe. And THIS 'happening' explains ALL THREE ANOMALIES.

    So we may be closer to a complex of multi-faceted-multidimensional universes than you could ever have possibly imagined. Imagine cell-phones on gravity waves so that you can, like, talk to yourself in a parallel universe. And, even more astoundingly, yawning at it all, as though it's always been that way.
    (see 'What Happened Before the Big Bang?' #236 under Science)
    [the part about the three anomalies, etc., is in the last segment]

  34. Susan Donovan
  35. Susan Donovan

    This doc, is fun, but It's worth noting that out of 5 "experts" who are quoted through the piece all 5 are male, not even one female scientist-- even though there are plenty of women in these fields, enough that 2/5 would have been more representative.

    This is a comment I can make about many doc, but it was very striking to me how women tend to be more absent from conversations about important ideas. It need not be this way, lets inspire our daughters and recognize the women who are already working hard to change the face of science.

    Well, at least the narrator is a woman. :)

  36. madala
  37. madala

    Hi Susan, I wonder if it's not to do with discombobulated 20/40 semi-"singinal" men like myself rather than the changing of guards! Reality is relative to it's self so here you and being right; figure that!

  38. damon rolnick
  39. damon rolnick

    isnt it interesting that all these quantum physics documentaries seem to confirm truths that i discovered on psychedelic sacraments???

  40. Santiago Jarrín
  41. Santiago Jarrín

    I dont think we are living in a simulation, and if we are im possibly a simulated person because i didnt know i was part of the simulation. And also why a simulation with imperfections why to simulate a person with hunger, or sick, or simulate yourslef as poor or sick? i think the point of a simulation would be to see how beautyful or different the world was, like a tourist going to visit a place, any tourist or at least not so many visit the poor neighborhoods or the hospitals. It would be insane to simulate that, because if im a simulation why to simulate the pain, or the loneliness... Well actually the simulators maybe need a realistic scenario for the real future visitors. So then if we are simulated beings but with actual feelings like pain and fear of death just lets make an strike or a complete revolution against those future motherf--kers...! :-)

  42. Guest
  43. Guest

    I was completely prepared to brush off all of these ideas about time-travel into the past as fancy mathematics with no bearing in the real world, until near the end, when it's pointed out that the mathematics also show no time-travel into the past is possible beyond the point at which the time-machine is made. Now, suddenly, it makes a little more sense.

  44. dr moroe
  45. dr moroe

    i know this is way off subject but can anyone tell me what the piece of music that is played when kurt gordle appears in the documentary is. just when he swirls the stick in the pool. i'm enthralled by it

  46. Patrick Arrington
  47. Patrick Arrington

    God is a pimp in New Orleans?

  48. Kimberly Langille
  49. Kimberly Langille

    And we have our Author ! :)

  50. Kimberly Langille
  51. Kimberly Langille

    Give it time ,after all woman are outnumbering the men 5/1,But if you want to see woman working on things that aren't taking thousands of years and are here and now ,well OK it's a little back in time ,LOL, to the year 1994 and watch the Documentary ,Destiny In Space !! Great Documentary .Now I need to search for a Doc. a little closer too 2011 :) I can only imagine what we have accomplished in 18yrs since then!Also check out the site ,Before it's News

  52. Kimberly Langille
  53. Kimberly Langille

    Give it time ,after all woman are outnumbering the men 5/1,But if you want to see woman working on things that aren't taking thousands of years and are here and now ,well OK it's a little back in time ,LOL, to the year 1994 and watch the Documentary ,Destiny in Space,it is also spectacular.Now I need to find a Doc farther in the future to 2011 ,so I can see what we have accomplished in 18yrs.Also a good site to find cool stuff is, Before It's News

  54. Kimberly Langille
  55. Kimberly Langille

    This is to much reading Buddy ,make a Documentary LOL

  56. Kimberly Langille
  57. Kimberly Langille

    Well he got it part right, but he lost me as soon as he put the telephone wire on his head ,and I think I saw that in a movie !! Poor guy he's trying :)

  58. spijkerpoes
  59. spijkerpoes

    it must be philip glass
    kronos quartet mabe
    i can't find out exactly what.. but it's a hint..

  60. azav
  61. azav

    Uhhh, 5 to 1? Your numbers are off.

  62. belizean
  63. belizean

    The laws of physics could be cosmic computer code.

  64. Xercès Des Stèles
  65. Xercès Des Stèles

    who the bleep is Hoggy?

  66. the555hit
  67. the555hit

    you're definitely a simulation

  68. the555hit
  69. the555hit

    not very

  70. Jo McKay
  71. Jo McKay

    Awesome . an excellent explanation of the possibilities of time
    travel ...virtual reality gets another boost... Take my head phones
    off...i want to wake up now ...that is as long as i am an 'original'...

  72. Egmedio Marcelo
  73. Egmedio Marcelo

    the guy with the telephone wire in the head is nuts

  74. dmxi
  75. dmxi

    when academics pull out a pizza for explaination...then it's kinder-garten time for physics.

  76. vaguegirl
  77. vaguegirl

    wouldn't you just be using some sort of interface to interact with the simulation? and why would the avatars in the simulations be created to act differently than they did in the past? the fact that no mention was made of what could happen if we DO actually manage to travel to and interact with the past, i assumed this was more of a remote cam on the past; dial up a place and time and you could be in the past, interacting. timeflix!

    a simulation begins with a "default" state and then allows the simulation loose to evolve and CHANGE. it seems to me that if we ARE all simulations, each of us would be just as different as could be from each other after a short period of time (npi)! so who CARES if you or me are only simulations? we are still individuals lol!

    the phone cord time travel guy was wrong on his predictions.

    horizons strikes me as being someplace between nova and the current batch of the history channel.

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