Worlds of David Darling > Children's
Encyclopedia of Science > Could You Ever Build a Time Machine? > Introduction
COULD YOU EVER BUILD A TIME MACHINE?
a book in the Could You Ever? series by David Darling
In the movie Back to the Future, hero Marty McFly travels bacl
to November 5, 1955. At that point in time, he meets his parents-to-be as
high school students. For a while it seems as if Marty's presence might
change the past so that his mm and dad will not fall in love. And if they
never go on to marry and have children, how could Marty ever be born to
travel in the past? Fortunately, this remaking of his family history is
avoided in the nick of time. Still, when Marty arrives back in he 1980s,
he find shis family to be somewhat different than he had remembered it!
|Imagine what it would be like to travel back
to the age of dinosaurs
The idea of traveling through time has been explored in many books and films
over the years. For instance, in The Time Machine, the English
author H. G. Wells tells of a remarkable journey into the year 802,701.
In this short story, human beings have been divided into two very different
races – the gentle, childlkie "eloi" and the terrible "morlocks."
The morlocks live underground. There they work with machinery and provide
for the daily needs of the eloi, who dwell on the surface. But the morlocks
also treat the eloi like fatted cattle, taking a few of them each night
Other writers have whisked theor eroes and heroines into a more hopeful
future. Still others have described trips into the past, to the year of
the French Revolution or the long-ago age of dinosaurs. But could time travel
ever become more than just an author's fantasy? Could it ever happen in
the real world?
In one sense, we travel through time every moment of our lives. A few seconds
into the future, you will be reading the words of the next sentence in this
book. Now it is happening, and you are actually reading them. But now, they
are no longer in the future, or the present, but th epast. You have just
done a little time-traveling of your own!
Yet this everyday kind of movement through time is not very exciting. What
we really mean by time travel is being able to jump back into the past or
forward into the future, as far or as quickly as we like. Will that ever
be possible? Could you, in fact, ever build a time machine?