Time Travel and Modern Physics
Arntzenius (Frank) & Maudlin (Tim)
Source: Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

    Time travel1 has been a staple of science fiction. With the advent of general relativity it has been entertained by serious physicists. But, especially in the philosophy literature, there have been arguments that time travel2 is inherently paradoxical. The most famous paradox is the grandfather paradox: you travel back in time and kill your grandfather, thereby preventing your own existence. To avoid inconsistency some circumstance will have to occur which makes you fail in this attempt to kill your grandfather. Doesn't this require some implausible constraint on otherwise unrelated circumstances? We examine such worries in the context of modern physics.

  1. A Botched Suicide
  2. Why Do Time Travel3 Suicides Get Botched?
  3. Topology and Constraints
  4. The General Possibility of Time Travel4 in General Relativity
  5. Two Toy Models
  6. Remarks and Limitations on the Toy Models
  7. Slightly More Realistic Models of Time Travel5
  8. Even If There are Constraints, So What?
  9. Quantum Mechanics6 to the Rescue?
  10. Conclusions
  11. Bibliography
    Other Internet Resources
    Related Entries


Recommended by "Richmond (Alasdair) - Time Travel and Philosophy". First published Thu Nov 25, 2004; substantive revision Thu Oct 7, 2010. For the full text, see Stanford Archive: Time Travel and Modern Physics.

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