Time Travel and Consistency Constraints
Kutach (Douglas N.)
Source: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 70, No. 5, (December 2003), pp. 1098-1113
Paper - Abstract

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Author’s Abstract

  1. The possibility of time travel1, as permitted in General Relativity, is responsible for constraining physical fields beyond what laws of nature would otherwise require.
  2. In the special case where time travel2 is limited to a single object returning to the past and interacting with itself, consistency constraints can be avoided if the dynamics is continuous and the object’s state space satisfies a certain topological requirement: that all null-homotopic mappings from the state-space to itself have some fixed point.
  3. Where consistency constraints do exist, no new physics is needed to enforce them. One needs only to accept certain global topological constraints as laws, something that is reasonable in any case.

Sections
  1. Introduction
  2. Preliminary Distinctions
  3. What’s the Problem with Time Travel3?
  4. Topological Constraints on Time Travel4
  5. Are Consistency Constraints Laws of Nature?

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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