The physics and philosophy of time travel

How quantum mechanics, thermodynamics and relativity challenge our understanding of time and space, and the philosophical dimensions of time travel will be explored in a free talk in Inverness on Tuesday (May 20).

The discussion, part of the University of Aberdeen’s Cafe Scientifique 2014 series, will be led by Dr Francisco Perez-Reche, Lecturer in Physics and Life Sciences at the institution, who will discuss what physics is able to tell us about the notions of the Universe, the possibility of time travel and its logical implications.

Dr Perez-reche said: "Some ideas from relativity, thermodynamics and quantum mechanics will be discussed in connection to time travel. It will be argued that, according to modern physics, travels into the future are not only possible but commonplace. In contrast, travels into the past are much more challenging and efforts continue to understand if they are allowed by nature and, in case they are, how to build a time machine."

He will be joined by Dr Stephan Torre from the University’s School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, whose research interests are in philosophy of time.

Dr Torre said: "Philosophers are interested in time travel not only because it's fun to think about but also because it raises a number of interesting questions about the nature of time, persons and causation."

The event, entitled The Physics and Philosophy of Time Travel, will be an informal evening offering plenty of time for questions and discussion. The event begins at 7pm and is free to attend. Full details of this and other programmes in our series can be found at Cafe Scientifique is supported by a science engagement grant from the Scottish Government.