There’s always a lot of speculation about what will happen when the first time machine is switched on.
Most physicists, if they believe time travel is possible, suggest that its user will only be able to travel as far back in time as when the machine was first created and initialized.
Like wormholes, or Kerr black holes – you can’t travel back to before your means of time travel was invented.
This raises an interesting possibility.
The First Time Machine
When the Large Hadron Collider at CERN was about to begin its strange voyage into the realm of quantum research, many theorized it would become the world’s first time machine.
Its unprecedented power would cause something to happen — something during one of however many particle collisions — to create a closed time-like curve, or wormhole, from which the first visitors from the future would arrive.
Here’s an excerpt from an article published in February 2008:
“Prof Irina Aref’eva and Dr Igor Volovich, mathematical physicists at the Steklov Mathematical Institute in Moscow believe that the vast experiment at CERN, the European particle physics center near Geneva in Switzerland, may turn out to be the world’s first time machine…
…The debut in early summer could provide a landmark because travelling into the past is only possible – if it is possible at all – as far back as the point of creation of the first time machine.
That means 2008 could become “Year Zero” for temporal travel, they argue.”
It was a curious possibility, one that was mostly disregarded and obviously has yet to occur.
But what if it did?
Refugees From The Future
Just imagine: A single portal stretching from now until the end of time.
The moment such a machine was switched on, we’d likely be inundated with visitors from the future, wishing to see the time when the portal first opened.
But how many would there be?
Would the number of visitors be few, just passing by out of curiosity? Or would we be swarmed by a near-infinite number of time traveling tourists?
Or maybe they wouldn’t be tourists.
If time travel is possible, what better way to escape the ultimate demise of humanity — or, indeed, the universe — than simply traveling to the past?
This would potentially create a cycle, an infinite loop of people constantly traveling to the past to escape their doom, as far back as they could possibly go — to the moment the machine was turned on, the moment the wormhole opened.
Depending on the nature of the machine, the present would become overwhelmed, and eventually the amount of refugees from the future would become unsustainable.
They would never stop.
How would the present cope with such a scenario? If the machine was man-made, it could simply be turned off. But if it were something more exotic — an actual wormhole in space, something we couldn’t control — the present time would be powerless to prevent an ever-increasing number of refugees from the future filling the solar system, the galaxy, the universe.
That’s just a weird sci-fi scenario, obviously, with its own plot holes and complications. But it’s something to consider.