WATCH: 3 Simple Ways to Time Travel (Plus 3 Complicated Ones)

You'd better be standing up for this.

17 JUN 2016

Alright, who's ready to travel in time with me? Oops we already did. Let's try that again. Who's... Okay, this is never going to work if we both keep time travelling at the exact same pace as everyone else. But is there a way to travel in time relative to someone else? Turns out, there is, and all you have to do is stand up.


As the MinutePhysics video above explains, there are three easy ways to time travel. The first is by doing nothing, because we're all travelling in time, from the past to the future. The funny thing is, no one's actually sure why that is - the physical laws of the Universe give zero fucks about whether time moves forwards or time moves backwards.

But anyway, that's boring time travel, because it's not special if everyone's doing it. So how about our second simple way of travelling in time: walking. By simply walking, you are travelling through time relative to someone standing still, and this will actually make you age slower than them.

How? Space and time are pretty simple concepts - they're just two components of a single spacetime. According to how they interact, the faster you move through space, the slower time will pass for you.

And we're not just talking about your perception of time, we're talking about actual time. As Henry explains in the video, if you take a walk around the block, time will move slower for you than for your friend sitting at home, so you will end up 3 femtoseconds younger than him. High fives! (A femtosecond is one-quadrillionth of a second btw, so you can stop celebrating now.)

This brings us to our third easy way to time travel: standing up. When you make the transition from sitting to standing, you're further from Earth, which means gravity's force is a tiny bit weaker for you, and you're travelling through time relative to your friend who's sitting down. 

Yep, more gravity means slower time travel, which is why Earth's core is technically younger than its crust, even though it formed first. According to the video, if you stand up for 1 minute, your feet, which are closer to Earth, will age 10 femtoseconds less than your head.

So there you have it: three simple ways to time travel. Wait, you were hoping to travel more than a few femtoseconds? Okay, we're going to need some more complicated physics for that, plus fun things like time loops, worm holes, and negative energy. Watch MinuteEarth above to find out how, and watch below for more mind-bending action:


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