One of our decade's most prolific authors on time and progress, Alan R Graham, tackles
Beyond The Speed of Light and Zero Velocity
Time's Paradigm: PART SIX - Travel
If the invariance of light speed is a requirement only of linear models for progression and does not apply to cyclical time, then during space-flight present moments may become detached. In other words, time dilation may not apply and astronauts might indeed experience time transference into the past.
Following directly on from the last chapter, which considered the implications of a Universal Contraction of matter (UC) due to cyclical time progression, the fundamental reason for a perceived flow of time is revealed. Time is the register of physical collapse. If a body increases in velocity its rate of contraction reduces making it appear to observers that it has increased in mass. Equally, by travelling slower through the cosmos bodies contract more quickly, this would amount to them being propelled more swiftly through time.
UC is not a great leap into the unknown, we are simply looking at Special Relativity (SR) from a different perspective; no grand, new formulas required. What it does is help us visualize the inconsistencies of supposed constants such as space and time, which are manipulated and warped by the necessity for a constant light speed (c). Now we can see why time slows, we can see how mass appears to increase, lengths contract, and so on...
Universal Contraction Summarised
Contraction of matter is uniform. It arises from pressure exerted by space between things in a contained and steady state Universe, and it is the collapse of our three physical dimensions. Time's Paradigm describes this as a 'cosmological cycle of time', a deceleration and constant contraction from the speed of light (c) to zero velocity (z).
The established, standard model for acceleration is linear, where (c) and (z) are limits at each end of this 'so called' speedometer. However, these end velocities are defined by their finality, and thus, the velocity of any body between them can be precisely extrapolated. This gives rise to a problem, as explained before in chapter 3. Infinity: Progress is not possible between established points or moments. Special Relativity, in its favour, had to conclude that (c) was invariant on a linear speedometer, thus avoiding relative establishment and allowing acceleration in time and space.
Alternatively, UC offers a cyclical speedometer, where (c) and (z) do not exist; these two ends are conjoined in a circuit, like a clock or compass whose illusory spokes are simply named for our convenience. These redundant velocities, (c) and (z), are then attributes of every possible position in space. At all times we move towards and away from both. In addition, (c) is both the beginning of time and the end of acceleration, while (z) is both the end of time and the beginning of acceleration -- in essence, time and velocity share the same cycle!
They both appear to be in transit, though this is simply a local manifestation.
At light speed contraction does not occur and clocks stand still. That is not to say that time stops flowing, it is simply that a clock cannot function. For a body of mass this moment would be fleeting, contraction would begin instantaneously. At the other end of the scale, we can assume such a thing as zero velocity. If we stopped moving through space, became stationary, as it were, then contraction to non-existence would be instantaneous; time would fly by as we careered towards the future.
But, to stop moving! All bodies in physical existence are made up of atomic particles, all of which are gyrating about in considerable motion. Then there is the macro world we perceive: We are in constant motion; our planet is revolving at great speed.., our solar system even faster... Indeed, our galaxy is whizzing around at thousands of miles an hour, and also hurtling at tens of thousands of miles an hour across the universe towards the Virgo cluster.
In Search of ZERO VELOCITY:
To some this should be abandoned as a futile quest. Besides; as we know, motion is relative and nothing is therefore at rest in the Universe. However, confronting this issue reveals some surprising results. "Never up, never in," as they say on the golf course.
Just how close are we to zero velocity? It is normally stated by physicists that we on Earth are a very long way from relativistic speeds (with a cheeky grin). The fact is, no matter how close we are, it will always appear as if we have an insurmountable hill to climb.
Likewise, a stellar system moving through the Universe at near light speed from our point of view, also has the amazing ability to make its inhabitants believe that they are nowhere close to the speed of light, due to time dilation and Lorentz contraction. We are all "somewhere in the middle", as explained by The Kalahari Effect.
We tend to think that a theoretical rocket in relativistic thought experiments setting off from Earth, leaves at (z) and accelerates all the way up toward (c). That is how we see it from our Earth perspective, however, from other inertial frames of reference this may not be what is observed. Others may see that our Earth is already travelling at great speed in the opposite direction to the rocket, so the rocket is hardly accelerating at all.
This means that true velocity relative to the Universe is incalculable with today's understanding and formulas, because there is a lot out there that we still have not observed. We just don't know how fast we are really going and can only calculate relative to other bodies who also don't know how faster they are going. In total, the whole concept of motion is a nonsense.
However, we are not done with Zero Velocity just yet.
At present, real vehicles launched from Earth are only investigating our Solar System and, relative to the Sun which is considered at rest, we make our calculations. And it works! We have not yet, developed a craft capable of relativistic speeds, so know nothing of the potential. Any thought experiment concerning distant stellar systems cannot simply assume that such random and local concepts for motion apply elsewhere and at such supreme velocities -- the Universe is a big place.
Understanding the illusion of Light Speed
The cyclical progression of time described earlier says we are in constant deceleration flowing through time from (c) to (z), in one direction only. Therefore, we can only arrest this deceleration, not reverse it. We began our journey through the Universe at light speed, but we have since left (c) behind. Arresting our deceleration gives the impression that we have returned to (c). That would have been the case had we stopped deceleration the moment it began, but since then, this fictitious horizon has been drifting further and further below (c), unbeknownst to us.
Moreover, to stop our positive deceleration would constitute the identification of a defined point, which could then only be described as the speed of light. The energy required to halt the contraction of matter would be infinite, amounting to a force equal and opposite to the gravitational influence of the entire Universe. Thus, our notion of light speed is that it is always just out of reach, whereas, in fact, we misconceive its true speed and wrongly fixate on a horizon that is slowing down.
Setting out into the cosmos, we might think we will eventually reach relativistic speeds, but the reality will be that we have merely reduced our rate of deceleration. We might see our rocket approaching distant solar systems at speeds approaching (c), but this is merely a relative misunderstanding.
The speed of light will always elude us. It is always going to be faster than us even though we may consider we have caught up with it, because it is receding. Likewise, (z) will always be seen to be just out of reach.
Take the linear model for velocity and wrap it around like a band, so that (c) and (z) join and become the same spot, like midnight on a clock. Each so called 'point' around it will be a velocity, which we could crudely imagine as perpendicular to the cyclical deceleration of the circumference. In the same way we can look at time and say that, any point around its circumference is our perceived clock speed perpendicular to the flow.
In fact, as both these cyclical models are one and the same, velocity on one side, opposes clock speed on the other; as one increases the other decreases. Assuming clock speed to be a synonymous function for atomic/molecular energy, we then have equilibrium.
Every nominated point on this giant wheel we are describing above remains at the same distance from every other point, regardless of local variations in speed. Relative motion does not apply to this fourth dimensional flow of contraction/deceleration, it only applies in the three dimensions of space we perceive. This inter-connected and unalterable wheel is our Universe, the sum of all material existence. It is constant, contained and perpetual.
Light travels invariantly as it has no mass and is not constrained by the cycle of time. A comatose photon therefore reaches its target at the same time it launched. It travels, as it were, in straight lines between points, and does not flow around the circumference of Cyclical Time.
An issue raised in an earlier chapter was the consensus that any light is emitted at a static point in the Universe. Photons are not influenced by the speed of the platform from which they are beamed, states SR, and they set off without accelerating -- already travelling at light speed. This idea further solidifies the notion that zero and light speed are one and the same.
How does light get emitted at the atomic level? A particle collides with an electron which then loses energy as it drops down a level, and that energy is expelled in the form of a photon. We can illustrate this by suggest that the static point from which a photon is emitted is the point at which a colliding electron has been stopped in its tracks -- instant deceleration.
The misconception, therefore, that our launch pad, the Earth, is at rest, is not as silly as it seems. Any and all points on the cyclical wheel of Time can be both stationary and the speed of light, and anything in between. So, any velocity can be anything you want, and decelerating to (z) is actually acceleration to (c).
Oddly, though this cosmological cycle for time says that we are all decelerating, it can be suggested in line with SR that there is no such thing as deceleration: Deceleration in one frame of reference can always be seen as acceleration, in another, even when returning to our original point of departure (the frame of reference where the journey initiated).
In any accelerating path there will be many points considered by other observers to be at rest with respect to their inertial frame of reference. So, an astronaut in a rocket, beleiving she is accelerating, may actually be seen by these outside observers to be decelerating towards one of their rest points. However, when our astronaut passes through one of these so called 'static points', she feels nothing. She does not experience any slowing down, then speeding up as she passes through, because that point does not exert any influence upon her, it does not really exist for her.
Achilles feels the same way on passing the tortoise -- no problem. Infinities towards and away from an identifiable point would deny progress. However, in the above examples, awful infinities have been abolished.
Deceleration is the same as acceleration. In fact, the word 'deceleration' is frowned upon by those who demand we call it 'negative acceleration', instead. When you fire rockets to decelerate you feel the g-forces. You are adding energy to the system. You go from feeling nothing as you float along at a fictitious, incalculable speed to suddenly experiencing the change. This suggests we are all always accelerating; always adding energy; always gaining in mass - if we follow the basic assumption of SR.
Every time you press the brake pedal you are actually pressing a gas pedal.
Apparently, every direction we wish to travel is towards (c). That defies logic, but who said the Universe is logical? It suggests that we and every body in the Universe is continually going faster, getting more massive. More and more energy! If so, at some stage the Universe will not be able to contain itself. So, is acceleration also an illusion?
UC is the equilibrium for this peculiar circumstance. Bodies are, in fact, all contracting in time, actually decelerating while their clock rates increase, we just haven't added that new information into our thought experiments, yet.
A linear scale of acceleration is what we use to describe our velocities in today's world. However, a cyclical model for time describes velocities as destinations.
Zero Velocity is in the direction of our origin. Not the beginning of any journey we take here and there on a daily bases, but only one, the most fundamental journey of all, where it all began: Time and our origin hidden somewhere in the Universe. We burst out into this Universe at (c), at that point we began our journey toward (z), and on reaching (z) we return to our origin, (c). Not by pointing towards it but, rather, by pointing in the opposite direction.
This still leaves us with the nagging question we began with: Where is zero velocity? Can we as physical entities ever hope to reach (z) in our relative, off-circuit meanderings, or do we just have to wait for the cosmological cycle of time to carry us there?
If we were to fire a particle in the opposite direction to its current trajectory through the universe and at its precise current speed, the particle -- in theory -- would cease general mobility. Cosmic Background Radiation would factor in discerning this negative acceleration.
UC says, the particle would, as it came to rest, begin to shrink dramatically. Without dimesional activity it would be carried to collapse in an instant. It would register a massive increase in its rate of time. At (z) we can therefore assume that it would simply not exist.
All dimensions exhausted, our particle would have returned to the moment before real existence: That 'singular dimensionless state', described in the last chapter. Now in contact with all things being without the constraints of distance, i.e. space, our particle might even have the potential to then burst out into the Universe, at any place or time!
A White Hole... A rebirth of our particle into existence -- and at the speed of light. Transference in Time and Space.
Could the Big Bang be a place and a time where matter is continually emerging? The Big Bang looks like a one-off; a cataclysmic, single explosion, from our linear perspective. Alternatively, from the point of view of cyclical time progression, it always exists -– a journey back to origin that is forever repeated.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) facility in Europe is unfortunately, from this experiment's perspective, in a fixed location and does not have directional capabilities.
The CERN community has concluded that deceleration is the key to discovering exotic quantum matter believed to have existed at the very moment of the birth of our Universe -- The Big Bang. By accelerating protons to near light speed and creating head on collisions, the protons are decelerated to stop, instantly. A splash of tiny sub-atomic particles is observed, shooting off in all directions. Had the protons reached zero velocity by less catastrophic means, we would observe the same particles in a concentrated implosion. What scientists are witnessing is the activity associated with an end of physical existence which, coincidentally, is a re-birth thereafter -- or could it be the other way around?
Positive acceleration, or negative acceleration, it's all the same thing if you ask any body of matter. Those protons could be said to have accelerated instantly, on impact.
At the Atomic Level.
Time is a circuit. Time does not stop anywhere; mechanisms may fail, functionality at the particle level may become stretched at great speed, and clocks will run slow; but time is continuous.
On the flip-side: You reach the speed of zero, you contract with incredible force; then, as you enter a state of dimensional non-existence, that energetic momentum of contraction must continue to exist and, so, theoretically you are thrust back out into existence at (c). A catastrophic implosion reciprocated by an equal and opposite explosion of matter. And the laws of Thermodynamics are upheld.
In theory, by eliminating motion we might achieve a so called 'worm hole'. Not from a black hole -- the singularity considered at present which assumes an infinite density of compressed matter with an extraordinary gravitational field -- quite the opposite: a massive collapse of matter while approaching zero density caused by immense universal pressure which registers as an extraordinary gravitational field.
We need to consider what might happen to atoms when an object reaches the point of becoming near stationary in the universe. With almost no inertial energy left, atoms will be immensely potent and be in near perfect symmetry, they might have unrealistic tendencies, might gain a super-existence not observable in everyday circumstances.
Such a bizarre phenomenon might, to a degree, have already been witnessed. Those experiments earlier mentioned, about reaching the temperature of absolute zero, have produced some extraordinary revelations about the effects on atoms that are hardly moving. They appear to lose all sense of reality and logic; they seem to lose their identities -- a very peculiar thing -- behaving stupefied and sluggish.
The researchers used light and magnetic fields to reduce the temperature of the soup (Bose Condensate) in to which these atoms were introduced. In effect, they chilled them, extracted their energy; thus slowing them down, until they were practically standing still. But the laboratory where these experiments were being conducted was, of course, moving. It was on this planet...
Physicists from various fields are in agreement that a Zero-point Energy must prevail and some energy remains, even if atomic particles reach the temperature of absolute zero -- their equations demand it! Of course, at present, there are no formulas concerned with existence beyond absolute zero, and no consideration that outside of relative motion there might be induced deceleration by a cosmological cycle of time.
What to Expect Travelling into the Past
What might our cyclical, four dimensional universe look like? Again, from that hypothetical Nth Dimension earlier proposed, visually speaking the centre might be a tiny speck of near stationary objects rushing towards non-existence, while the outer shell is brimming at the speed of light. Some type of hyper-doughnut could describe the connection between its centre and its shell, as has been proposed before, to some extent, by others.
The opposite might also hold true: that the centre of our Universe is a hot pot of objects near light speed, and the outer extremities of less dense material is where velocity and interactional influences are reduced to such an extent that contraction is almost instantaneous. This latter example is no doubt more aesthetically pleasing to those proponents of Big Bangs.
Quite possibly, a need for uniformity such as a doughnut shape is unnecessary, Chaos being more appropriate. Things could be popping in and out of existence all over the place in the Universe, with random disregard: A kind of Quantum foam affair ..?
Unfortunately, we, with our simple 3d perception, cannot fully visualise these incredible mechanisms at work.
It is no wonder then, when we ask why we cannot see or experience a moment in the past, like us getting up to go and make a cup of coffee, it is because this past existence of ourselves is both a moment millions of miles away and we were much more massive.
Distances between things were larger; everything was huge in comparison with now, because we are in constant contraction as we proceed through time. However, we are all together in this; at any moment in time everything around us appears to be proportionally the same as it was before, so nothing appears to change.
If we could go back a few minutes in time, but somehow stay magically the same size as we are now, what would we see? Our past self would be a giant, perhaps the size of the Empire State Building.., moving as if in incredible slow motion through a kitchen the size of Manhattan Island.
Look up, take a deep breath, and marvel! Because you will never actually be able to experience this in reality; not even, I suspect, if one were to truly travel back in time.
What of light? Remember a chapter ago, you were reading about a light bulb hanging from the ceiling? Go back to that moment and say it was an hour or so ago. Relative to our frame of reference in the present, now, it might have taken a couple of seconds for photons from that bulb to reach your eyes, because the distance they needed to travel was a few million miles, in your current perspective.
Atoms in a giant, past body from yesterday might be the size of the London Eye and, if visible from our present frame of reference, have electrons lazily rotating about a nucleus like those hanging pods. A peculiar but compelling scenario! Such motion of atomic particles and photons through the Universe, then, would now be quite impossible for us to perceive. Would we really see this giant of ourselves as a human at all? Being able to see all those individual atoms making up human form, to be able even to see between them; are we sure we could actually see this giant at all?
By accepting that a past giant's clock was ticking much more slowly than ours at this present time, then the speed of light remains constant for all moments. But we can only see what is ours to see. It is easy to fool the eye and thus cognitive perception, even in our present macro state: a sheet of red and white stripes seen from a distance appears to be pink. The smaller or closer you get in relation to an object you are looking at, the less its overall form makes earlier sense; like looking at a bed sheet with a microscope.
Thus, UC suggests we cannot appreciate events either before or after now, because they are not of a relevant size; giving new meaning to those Minkowski layers. No universal clock, no laser beams to keep us all in line. We can only receive information that resonates in space at a given moment proportional to our state of awareness. Now is dictated by proportionality.
This revelation is very important to the next topic: Time Travel.
Within our Solar System this is of no great concern, as our Sun is the 'mother ship' to whose supreme velocity we are all tied. But this does pose a problem beyond: If a spaceship rushes off from here at great speed into outer space, it will soon become detached from our neighbourhood, and at some stage it will have a velocity and size very distinct from ours. So it should begin to disappear, loose form.
At what stage? Where is the cut off point at which we can no longer perceive the craft as it has slipped out of our reception and proportionality? Would it be a slow dissemblance of reality? Could it be abrupt and obvious? Or might it be a cascade of irregularities?
Limits always seem to produce nonsense, as does Zero Kelvin. But, until such time as we send a craft out at relativistic speeds, or bcome aware of an alien craft of such great velocity entering our space, we cannot know. The study of sub atomic particles will probably not answer this question, although quantum physics is already grappling with such bizarre anomalies.
EMR frequencies are shifted noticeably emanating from bodies receding at high speeds as mentioned above, to a point, one must assume near light-speed, where they would flat-line and become undetectable to our instruments. That might be the point at which our spacecraft fades away... into the past, so to speak.
It is not the scope of this study to propose as much, only to highlight possibilities in terms of particle physics. As discussed earlier, space is contracting around us, electromagnetic radiation is the resonance of space and not an entity unto itself, as are photons of light we see today which left galaxies millions of years ago when they were the same proportional size as our present moment. Oddly, those galaxies would not appear to be old, they would be the same relative age as our neighbourhood -- which leaves 'now' sort of blowing in the wind.
And lastly, as has recently been proposed by an international consortium of scientists, light is slowing down. If matter and associated space is in contraction, then the speed of light cannot be constant, it must reduce in velocity over time. The fact that we are actually experiencing an increase in our rate of passage through time might have some bearing on this startling discovery.
We are contracting through time from the past to the future. And objects that inhabit our stretch of the Universe, here, today, that are actually of the past -- of some far away galaxy that was here -- are still here, all around us, but they simply do not excite our senses in such a way as is detectable from our present perspective. They would be travelling at immeasurable speeds, be of immeasurable size and we would, in theory, pass right through their ancient aura without noticing a thing.
Our eyes have evolved to pick up on what is useful, and being aware of this present moment is just that. If we had somehow evolved to see things in the past or future, then we would be oblivious to our present existence -- a strange circumstance indeed.
Future Astronauts Might Experience Time Travel
Following on from this idea of 'Proportionality', we should now return to that earlier debate concerning an astronaut on her four year voyage at relativistic speed to Alpha Centauri. Would she encounter that stellar system where she was expecting it to be?
Due to Universal Contraction, Alpha Centauri and our planet Earth will be converging as they travel, getting closer to one another to some degree as they themselves contract in size through time. Rather than two cosmic bodies running parallel to one another, their drawn trajectories will appear as if a funnel... in geometry a trapezium, just as depicted in the last chapter by an illustration describing Einstein's Light Clock.
In fact, both that thought experiment and this one are chasing pretty much the same query, is time dilation an unnecessary necessity?
Here is the scenario: Alpha Centauri, travelling slower than our speedy astronaut, will contract at a much greater rate than her during those four years and end up being much smaller than she would have expected -- invisible in fact, perhaps just the size of a basketball. Having a hunch, she reprograms her spaceship's flightpath to intercept Alpha Centauri at an earlier moment in its travels by calculating the clock time lag she is experiencing, and so reaching the mark where both are of proportional size for the moment, and visible to each other. That moment being just nine months into her voyage.
Equally, on her return journey to Earth, she needs to do the same calculations, otherwise she will arrive at the pre-programmed location to find Earth nowhere to be seen – she will be lost forever, searching at the wrong time and in the wrong place, in a far away corner of our Universe, at the point of that funnel mentioned earlier.
What we would all find amazing is that she managed to travel eight light years and get home in less than two. We didn't see it happen, so was it an illusion? Whose illusion?
See Diagram below.
Basically, the astronaut pointed her ship directly at Alpha C. and the star remained in her sight from then on, because at her speed time was almost frozen and the universe at a standstill. Just as shown in the Light Clock diagram, the distances and veloities travelled within the UC trapezium are the same -- but her collegues on Earth are still using relative time.
They welcome the astronaut home after just eighteen months, having to accept she travelled many times faster than the speed of light, intersecting the path of a distant star long before she was predicted to do so, and then returning just as fast. She has the photos to prove it. However, Mission Control has a big problem: radio communication broke up several weeks after her departure and tracking beams known to have a speed of (c) traversed right through the sector into which she was heading and never encountered Alpha Centauri in that vicinity.
Or did she travel back in time? It's all about awareness and... that Universal Clock Again.
Why Time May Not Be Universally Synchronised
The first argument is: Whose present moment of awareness takes precedent? The folks' back home on Earth or the astronaut's? There is no universal laser clock demanding we all conform to a single 'now' regardless of where we are or what we are doing. That is how Special Relativity binds us all together, by saying time is relative: Your clock is running slower than mine while 'now' is the same for everyone.
In preparing to explain time dilation, the initial assumption is that two people side by side each experience now at the same time and that their awareness of such is locked in. Then, when these individuals are separated and set off on journeys at different speeds, their clocks change rate independently – one faster than the other – but there awareness of the same present moment remains steadfast. That demands a universal standard for 'now'; a fixed point in time. A universal clock, so to speak.
By this reckoning, if an astronaut's clock is ticking slower than those on Earth but her presence is forced to be stretched forwards in time to keep up, then so too would the manifestation of all events attributed to her spacecraft: The boosters might only be firing at half power; speedometers reading off with instrument delays; it might never reach the desired velocity.
(A kettle normally takes two minutes to boil, but on her ship it takes ten.)
Whereas, if our two individuals start off together and have their own independent awareness of the present moment which, at that time happen to coincide with each other, then on departure at different velocities their clocks change rate accordingly – taking their 'now' moments with them. And everything on board our astronaut's ship would run at its true capacity.
Time is a solid expression through a fourth dimension, says UC; we can be aware in progression anywhere along its design.
The second argument is about proportionality. Can we be aware of a physical presence whose atomic structure is disproportionate to our own? If we are all contracting through a fourth dimension of time, things in our past were much bigger than today and tomorrow they will be much smaller.
And one final point: On another planet in a different galaxy 30 million light years away 'now' might be thousands of years apart from our own. The present moment is a creation of the conscious mind – nothing more. The sub-conscious mind, as psychologist Carl Jung would assert, is devoid of the constraints of time and can prospect at will within the past and future.
She did not travel back in time. She dissociated from consciousness... chronosthetically.
If there was a universal clock, then from the perspective of other frames of reference, the astronaut could not travel faster than light. However, the reality has yet to be seen. If Achilles can catch up with that blasted tortoise (see Part 3. Infinity) then we, too, should be able to surpass the speed of light.
We can measure electrons, protons and muons travelling at near the speed of light, but we are only measuring their energy levels at impact to determine velocity, not their true speed. If our space traveller was smashed into a wall, she would also read energy levels approaching (c), even though she was actually travelling way beyond it! Time will tell.
In the future, those travelling at relativistic speeds will see slower moving objects appear to be decelerating, according to the 'proportional theory'. Only things around them proportional to them can be perceived, the future appearance of things dashing off through time will eventually dissipate.
If one were able to accelerate to the speed of light, one would see everything in the Universe grind to a halt. Ironically, nothing actually would, as nothing was actually moving in the first place.
However: If a conscious body travels at light speed and observes, as prescribed by the Lorentz Factor, that distances have all reduced to nothing, then theoretically one need only point the spaceship at a distant galaxy and instantly it would be there. Warp Speed! A journey of uni-dimensional characteristics, just like our comatose photon of light. The body would instantly disappear, as observed from Earth, because we inhabitants would be in temporal contraction.
This suggests once again that (c) and (z) are one, that both exist devoid of distances and space and motion. Our 'point of origin' and our 'singular state' are the same thing.
The conscious body explained above, would not be instantly transferred to a distant galaxy, but from her immobile perspective, she would be. She could then, if she had precisely plotted the exact location in space and time of her original departure point, return and interact with those who just saw her leave. Her practically instantaneous journey out and back -- to some, a thousand light years -- being only possible because she and her colleagues in Mission Control understand that the Universe is in contraction through a cyclical procession of time.
Our understanding of reality as seen here on Earth, is an uncertain perspective; we see the illusion of motion and enjoy awareness and so we seem to progress, while light speed and no speed are unrealistic limits. Yet, we need only bend our linear concept of velocity so that the two ends (c) and (z) meet, producing a circuit, and in so doing they will create a system that is perpetual. Deceleration and acceleration will be the same, and everywhere along its length can be both zero velocity and the speed of light. And the balance of energy in the system is exactly zero.
A simplified analogy of our Travel through Time:
We are all free rolling down the hill of time. But, say, a bus driver wishes to slow his roll by trying to reverse back up hill: so he lets out the clutch slowly and it and the wheels begin to dig in; his bus slows until its descent is practically halted; but at that moment the wheels spin and he is held at rest; neither descending nor ascending; the weight of his bus and its design will not allow him to reverse back up. Meanwhile, we all carry on rolling, and others from behind pass him by on our way downhill, and perceive that he has returned to the top of the hill.
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