Time travel, hyperspace and Cheshire Cats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

H. G. Wells’ Time Traveller inhabits uniform Newtonian time. Where relativistic / quantum travelers into the past follow spacetime curvatures, past-bound Wellsians must reverse their direction of travel relative to absolute time. William Grey and Robin Le Poidevin claim reversing Wellsians must overlap with themselves or fade away piecemeal like the Cheshire Cat. Self-overlap is physically impossible but ‘Cheshire Cat’ fades destroy Wellsians’ causal continuity and breed bizarre fusions of traveler-stages with opposed time-directions. However, Wellsians who rotate in higher-dimensional space can reverse temporal direction without self-overlap, Cheshire Cats or mereological monstrosities. Alas, hyper-rotation in Newtonian space poses dynamic and biological problems, (e.g. gravitational/electrostatic singularities and catastrophic blood-loss). Controllable and survivable Wellsian travel needs topologically-variable spaces. Newtonian space, not Newtonian time, is Wellsians’ real enemy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5037–5058
JournalSynthese
Volume195
Issue number11
Early online date1 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • time travel
  • dimensionality
  • incongruence

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