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What background would a time machine inventor need?

  1. May 10, 2016 #1
    I'm writing a story that involves a two-person team inventing and building a time machine. Essentially, Character #1 is the "big idea" type (comes up with the theory) and Character #2 does the more practical, detail work (creating and fine tuning the machine itself). If this were to happen in real life... what sort of backgrounds would these two people need to have? I've been thinking probably #1 would have a background in theoretical physics and #2 would have studied applied physics or possibly some type of engineering... but I'd love some insight from people who know the disciplines better than I do.

    Thanks for any insight!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2016 #2


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  4. May 10, 2016 #3


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    Magic. :smile:
  5. May 10, 2016 #4
    Yes, yes... we all know time travel isn't real. Which is why this is in the science fiction writing forum. :smile:

    However, for the purposes of a science fiction story about time travel, I was hoping for some insight into the sort of background the fictional characters described above would probably need to have in order to invent and build a fictional time machine. Fictionally.
  6. May 11, 2016 #5


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    Well, from a marketing aspect, the closer in education and background to your audience, the wider the appeal ie High School education with a backyard garage. Can be an eccentric, with crazy ideas in time travel and truthfully, the crazier, the better. With today's audience, magic might be as good of time travel medium as any (Just look at how popular Harry Potter was/is). Use plenty of technobabble and develop a good plot or paradox story and viola!!! Time Travel Story/Book!!!
  7. May 13, 2016 #6
    Good idea, Doc Brown in back to the future was just same crazy scientist with for some reason a teenage best friend.

    I've learned when asking questions about science fiction to scientists, it's not a good idea to ask for ideas of how to make something impossible possible, but instead to phrase it in such a way like "What's the least I'd need to modify reality to allow this?"

    I'd say to invent something like that, he'd have to have some deep understanding of mathematics and physics, and also a gift for creative thinking. An engineer maybe or a teacher.
  8. May 13, 2016 #7
    Why do you do this? This is the science fiction forum. Do you not know what that means???
  9. May 13, 2016 #8


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    Hey, I put a smiley after it. It was intended to be humorous.
  10. May 13, 2016 #9
    Humorous maybe. But it's incorrect too, since time travel is an accepted part of science. The twin paradox is an actual paradox about time travel. It's just not how it's portrayed in the movies. Compact spacetimes would actually allow even more stranger kinds of time travel!
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