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What to do

  1. Dec 31, 2009 #1
    I KNOW that this has been asked many times before so I will put it in a way that is not as similar as the rest. My true goal is a bit far fetched so I will just say that I would like to build a time machine. What my question is, which should I study the most, and mainly in college because I am a senior in high school and am debating between physics and aerospace engineering, (or perhaps some other engineering). With that goal in mind, to build a time machine that is, what is ideal to get a degree in, some kind of engineering or physics, including costs of building such a thing and acquiring the materials and so on. (This "time machine" could just be a spaceship for example) My question is, having stated my goal; Which should I get a degree in, physics or engineering.

    This stems from the fact that I actually would like to just study physics. The problem is that if I do that then when m a43se56dxcnbu7v8yibon98uboiuhijii

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2009 #2
    A degree in physics would probably be better since you would be on the fore front of research in order to even begin tackling this.

    Also I am reminded of Ronald Mallett:


    He was inspired to build a time Machine by H.G. Wells and the desire to stop his father's death.
    If it wasn't for the Phd I would call him crazy :)
  4. Dec 31, 2009 #3
    Definitely physics, since you'd have to some basic research.
  5. Dec 31, 2009 #4
    Physics or aerospace engineering would be good choices. Since the energy required to make a rip in space time is so astronomical the only plausible way to make a time machine right now would be using a space ship. If you went into aerospace engineering you could work on developing more advanced space ships that could someday be used for time travel. If you went into physics you could work on theories to figure out how to find negative matter or figure out how much negative matter it would take to hold open a black hole while a ship traveled through it.

    There is a very long way to go before the technology is there to make time travel a possibility. You should look into what technology is needed and see if one of those areas interest you and base your career decision on that.
  6. Dec 31, 2009 #5
    Every good physics theoreticians that I've met is "half-crazy." You have to be crazy enough think up new ideas, but be non-crazy enough so that you look at your ideas with cold skeptical, and look normal when you need to. When you go Congress and NSF for funding to build your time machine, it's probably a bad idea to say "I WANT TO BUILD A TIME MACHINE."

    The way to phrase things is to say that you are doing basic research in general relativity. Since there are parts of GR that suggest that time machines may be possible, what you want to do is to get money to investigate those areas so that you can prove that closed time-like loops are impossible. One key to being productively crazy is to know when and how to look sane.
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