quotations about time travel

Time Travel quote

The truth is, time travel is hard, and people are lazy.



Once confined to fantasy and science fiction, time travel is now simply an engineering problem.

MICHIO KAKU, Wired Magazine, August 2003


Tags: Michio Kaku

Time travel ... will never be impossible forever.

TOBA BETA, Betelgeuse Incident


If time travel is possible, where are the tourists from the future?

STEPHEN HAWKING, A Brief History of Time


Tags: Stephen Hawking

What use was time to those who'd soon achieve Digital Immortality?

CLYDE DESOUZA, Memories with Maya


Identified with our bodies, which are limited in space and time, we sentient beings have lost the experience (if it can be called that) of residing in timeless, spaceless eternity (now being investigated by physicists studying superstring theory and quantum physics, although they may not think of it in this manner). Time travel frees us from such limitations. This freedom typically occurs when we practice any spiritual discipline that alters the relation between body and mind ... It allows us to move through time and to improve our quality of life by revisiting past errors and learning to forgive ourselves and others.

FRED ALAN WOLF, The Yoga of Time Travel: How the Mind Can Defeat Time


What if tomorrow vanished in the storm? What if time stood still? And yesterday--if once we lost our way, blundered in the storm--would we find yesterday again ahead of us, where we had thought tomorrow's sun would rise?

ROBERT NATHAN, Portrait of Jennie


I'll just tell you what I remember because memory is as close as I've gotten to building my own time machine.

SAMANTHA HUNT, The Invention of Everything Else


Shh! Listen! Someone's coming! I think -- I think it might be us!

J. K. ROWLING, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


Tags: J. K. Rowling

The milestones passing left and right,
They mark your flight through time...
So just relax, enjoy the flight.
Time travel's not a crime.

ROBERT H. OLANDER, "Time Travel", The Traveler and Other Poems


If we could travel into the past, it's mind-boggling what would be possible. For one thing, history would become an experimental science, which it certainly isn't today. The possible insights into our own past and nature and origins would be dazzling. For another, we would be facing the deep paradoxes of interfering with the scheme of causality that has led to our own time and ourselves. I have no idea whether it's possible, but it's certainly worth exploring.

CARL SAGAN, interview, NOVA, October 12, 1999


Tags: Carl Sagan

It would take a civilization far more advanced than ours, unbelievably advanced, to begin to manipulate negative energy to create gateways to the past. But if you could obtain large quantities of negative energy -- and that's a big "if" -- then you could create a time machine that apparently obeys Einstein's equation and perhaps the laws of quantum theory.

MICHIO KAKU, Scientific American, November 24, 2003


When I am out there, in time, I am inverted, changed into a desperate version of myself. I become a thief, a vagrant, an animal who runs and hides. I startle old women and amaze children. I am a trick, an illusion of the highest order, so incredible that I am actually true.

AUDREY NIFFENEGGER, The Time Traveler's Wife


How do you decide whether tomorrow's technology includes time travel? Where do you look for evidence that our descendants have discovered the means of temporal voyaging? If time travel is a one-way process forward, there is no way we can know. If, as the new physics suggest, it is possible to move back in time, then the evidence we are searching for will present itself as anachronisms. Human beings are careless. They drop things they shouldn't, like the metal tubes found in Saint-Jean de Livet in France. They are also vulnerable. Whatever safeguards are in place, sooner or later someone will be trapped in a time period other than their own and die there. If the time period is historical, their death will leave no anachronistic trace, but if we examine the depths of prehistory, it becomes possible to trace the series of temporal disasters which left a trail of corpses where they decidedly should not be.

J. H. BRENNAN, Time Travel: A New Perspective


Without unscrambled eggs, there was no time travel, no more depredation of the Now.

JASPER FFORDE, First Among Sequels


Come here, cat. You wouldn't want to destroy the space-time continuum, would you? Meow. Meow.

CONNIE WILLIS, To Say Nothing of the Dog


What would happen if history could be rewritten as casually as erasing a blackboard? Our past would be like the shifting sands at the seashore, constantly blown this way or that by the slightest breeze. History would be constantly changing every time someone spun the dial of a time machine and blundered his or her way into the past. History, as we know it, would be impossible. It would cease to exist.

MICHIO KAKU, Hyperspace


A much-voiced objection to travel backwards in time is that we don't encounter anybody from the future. If it were possible to visit the past, we might expect that our descendants, perhaps thousands of years from now, would build a time machine and come back to observe us, or even to tell us about themselves. Key historical events such as the Crucifixion would have been crowded by throngs of eager witnesses. Discounting reports of ghosts, UFOs, and the like, the apparent absense of time tourists is something of a problem for time travel enthusiasts. Fortunately this objection is easily met in the case of wormhole time machines. Although wormholes could be used to go back and forth in time, it is not possible to use one to visit a time before the wormhole was constructed. If we built one now, and established, say, a one-hundred-year time difference between the two ends, then in one hundred years someone could revisit 2001. But you couldn't use the wormhole to go back and see the dinosaurs. Only if wormhole time machines already exist in nature--or were made long ago by an alien civilization--could we visit epochs before the present. So if the first wormhole time machine were built in the year 3000, there could not be any time tourists in the year 2000.

PAUL DAVIES, How to Build a Time Machine


Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. If you can bend space you can bend time also, and if you knew enough and could move faster than light you could travel backward in time and exist in two places at once.



Tags: Margaret Atwood

Time travel over short distances is one thing, expeditions deep into the millennia quite another. The difference is more or less like that between going for a stroll downtown and journeying to the stars.

LEM STANISLAW, "The Twentieth Voyage of Ijon Tichy", The Star Diaries