A Day in the Life of Time Travel

Imagine if you will for a moment that not only has time travel been developed, but that an individual has actually taken that famed trip into the past to relive a moment in the year 1983.  What challenges would such an individual face?  And where does our current understanding of quantum physics stand on the concept of time travel?

It has been proposed that time travel is impossible because of the paradoxes it creates.  Inevitably this theory seems true, and has yet to be fully countered in our history.  But there are loopholes in our understanding of time travel that allow us to formulate a hypothesis on at least one possibility on the subject.  Transdimensional migration may be one label for the movement of energy from one dimension into another using a time machine or other device designed to allow for the movement of a whole person into an alternate reality.  And just as with so called “slider theory” each possibility creates two previously equal alternate realities with all events sequenced prior to the split essentially being indecipherable from one to the other.  But in time traveling, an individual in this scenario would hop from his point of origin to an alternate reality that was in all ways similar, yet would have gotten started moments or years after his current dimension.  In this way he would be able to move from his own dimension to a parallel one.  Doing so would essentially create a choice for the dimensions, and one could assume several parallel realities would result from it.

But what would the day to day activities be for such an individual?  At first, the time traveler would be able to rely on remembered or recorded history to guide him with knowledge of events around him.  Our time traveler may even decide prior to his travel into the past that he should learn the lottery numbers that came up on the night of his return.  So shortly after stepping out from the portal or capsule or whatever means he used to traverse into the past, he may decide ultimately to buy a lottery ticket and sit in front of the television awaiting his numbers to be selected.

He would, however, ultimately be horrified to learn that his numbers bore a very strong likelihood of not being picked even if he personally remembered them being picked before.  Why?

His very presence in the world around him will have been creating very minor changes in his environment.  Even buying a lottery ticket would have required interaction with another human being.  This trickling effect would not be limited by the speed of a beating butterfly’s wings alone, but the very speed of communication in the modern era.  Simply mention something to anyone now and you inevitably change history, although not necessarily for the better or worse.  In essence, the time traveler would soon as time unfolded find himself in quite a different world than the one he expected even if he minimized his own interactions with others.  Soon global events could make sweeping changes to the world around him.  Leaders may fall ill or remain healthy depending on whether he goes to the corner shop to buy a newspaper.  His every action, and even the space he occupies would inevitably be enough to shift the world in vastly different directions inadvertently.  Such is the speed and power of both action and inaction through the butterfly effect in the digital age.