It’s in the movies, on the television, in books and all sorts of sci-fi fiction. But really, what are the consequences of travelling in time? This is something I’ve thought about several times before, so here are my summarised thoughts on the topic.
Let’s first think about the pausing of time. If time is paused in a way that only you are still moving forwards in time, what constitutes as “you”? Is it just your body, or do clothes count as well? But clothes are inanimate objects, I hear you say. True, but they still move and react to other movement, such as yourself, through time. With time paused, would they move if you moved? I would assume not. (I wonder what that would feel like. Probably pretty weird.) Or maybe the ‘technology’ that bubbles you in time also extends the bubble to clothing. We’ll have to see what they can come up with.
What about objects you’re holding or touching? Are they able to act and react to the environment? If you picked up a tray, then let go, would it float, or drop to the floor? I would say it would float. Similarly, if you throw a ball, does it freeze once you let go? Probably. But then does it retain its momentum, as in, when you ‘unpause’ time, does it suddenly shoot off as if thrown instantaneously? That’s a difficult one.
Here’s another issue. As soon as you pause time, does your body continue to act as if time is not frozen? Do you continue to become hungry, thirsty, tired over time, even though time is not passing? Can you eat and drink whilst time is frozen? Would your stomach be able to process the food you give it, or would it just sit there indefinitely?
But wait. Do we age whilst time is frozen? If so, then that would mean that as soon as we freeze time, we become immediately out of sync with the rest of the world, the rest of the universe… the rest of time itself. Can we ever get ourselves back in sync? Well, we’d need to be able to travel forwards in time, and to be able to travel a precise amount into the future. Theoretically possible, assuming time travel does exist, but probably very difficult.
So… would you like to travel in time?