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Step Into My Time Machine

Time travel refers to the movement between certain points in time, analogous to the movement between certain points in space. This concept has ancient roots in literature. H. G. Well’s was certainly not the first, but he popularized the concept. His vision of a time traveler in his 1895 novel The Time Machine is of an intrepid operator who after fastening the seat belt, dials a target date into the counter, throws a lever, and waits to reach the destination. A second kind of time machine proposed by Kip Thorne (1988) considers time travel by manipulating concentrations of matter-energy.

Thorne’s mechanism for time travel may be unrealistic in a relativistic spacetime framework, but that’s not to say it’s impossible. For example, physicists have been able to make one body advance or delay a few milliseconds as compared to another. And backward time travel could theoretically be possible in a rotating black hole. But traveling to an arbitrary point in spacetime still has only limited support among theoretical physicists.

I have found, however, that you don’t need a degree in the relativity of time and space or in quantum mechanics to travel into the distant past. In fact, historical novelists do it all the time. When I wrote “The Brother”, a story in my latest book The Deadliest Deceptions, I found out how the Romans made glue; how, without DNA, dental records, and fingerprints, they identified a dead body; and how their military surgeons performed amputations. In short, I put myself in a time machine that took me back 2000 years.

And you can too. To step into my time machine, just click here.


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