Lately my mind has been drifting to the thoughts of time travel. In this week alone, I went and saw Back to the Future in the cinema and I got the majority of my new tattoo finished.
So, thinking about time travel, in my opinion, it goes something along the lines of having billions and billions of parallel universes. Time travel is not so much the travel along a linear time path, but a jump into a timeline of a different universe. For example, in Back to the Future when Marty goes into 1955 and ploughs down one of the "Twin Pines" with his Delorean, he changes the future of the shopping mall to "Lone Pine". However, he has entered a new universe. The universe where Marty left continues on, with two pines and a wimp of a father, but without Marty. The parallel universe that the Marty we are following enters, has previously been occupied with a different Marty who disappeared to a new universe when he took off in the Delorean the same way our Marty did. Okay, this gets a bit confusing. Let's try a new one.
So, take Star Trek. Now aside from the brilliant, innovative science behind "red matter" (ha ha) the time travel is quite interesting. We have all happily followed along the adventures of Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Scotty and the other members of The Enterprise with (occasionally) silent devotion. As the timeline continued, with the stories we knew, at one point the Romulan planet gets annihilated in a supernova. Spock and the Romulans travel through a black hole "back in time" (i.e. to another universe) and pop out at the location of the USS Kelvin, starting off the plot of the new Star Trek world. We are now in a new universe where new adventures with the usual gang can take place. The original stories that we all know are still in tact, but in a different universe.
One last example, in The Big Bang Theory Sheldon postulates that if he invents a time machine, he will go back to himself and inform him of the invention, thus relieving Sheldon of ever having to invent it. However, the Sheldon in that universe would have to still invent the time machine; it is the Sheldon in the new universe that will be spared the invention.
These are the things I ponder when trying to fall asleep. It isn't perfect, but it is sure fun to think about. What are your thoughts? How do you think of time travel? Bring it on!
On a side note, Back to the Future was AWESOME in the theatre!