Time travel 時空穿梭

更新時間 2013年 10月 14日, 星期一 - 格林尼治標準時間14:19
Time machine

What a time machine might look like?

Vocabulary: history and physics 詞匯: 歷史和物理

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Perhaps you would watch an original performance of a Shakespeare play in Elizabethan England? What about hanging out with Laozi in the Spring and Autumn period? Or maybe you'd voyage far ahead of the present day to see what the future holds.

The possibility of time travel is indeed tantalising. Stories exploring the subject have been around for hundreds of years. Perhaps the best known example is science fiction novella The Time Machine, written by HG Wells in 1895, about a contraption that transports people into the far future.

But could time travel actually be possible?

Some scientists say yes, in theory.

They propose using cracks in time and space called 'wormholes', which could be used as shortcuts to other periods. Einstein's theory of relativity allows time travel in extreme circumstances. And British physicist Stephen Hawking says you could travel into the future with a really fast spaceship – going at nearly the speed of light. Though building such a spaceship would of course be no simple task.

Even if you could travel into the past, there is something called the 'grandfather paradox'. It asks what would happen if a time traveller were to go back in time and kill their own grandfather; and therefore prevent themselves from being born.

If the time traveller wasn't born, how would he travel back in time?

And would you really like to visit the future? In HG Wells's book, the main character travels into distant time where he arrives at a beach and is attacked by giant crabs. He then voyages 30 million years into the future where the only living thing is a black blob with tentacles.

If that's what's in store, maybe we are better just living in the present day after all.

Quiz 測驗

1. What was the name of the Queen on the throne in the time of William Shakespeare?

Queen Elizabeth.

2. Is this statement true or false? A time machine appears in a short novel by HG Wells.

True. It appears in a novella, or short novel, by HG Wells called The Time Machine.

3. Is this statement true or false? The 'grandfather paradox' says time travel is impossible because your grandfather could kill you.

False. The grandfather paradox asks what would happen if you went back in time and killed your own grandfather.

4. What is the name given to the shortcuts through space and time that might possibly be used for time travel?


5. What attacks HG Wells's time traveller?

Giant crabs.

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