Past, present, future; Advancing time travel concepts

Victoria Hanna, Reporter

Time travel was written about for the first time in 1887 by Spanish writer Gaspar. Yet still today, the theory lives on.

The concept of time travel by mechanical means started in H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine” released in 1895. The stories in Wells’ book focus on changing history in the past and future, and the consequences of doing so.

When time travel is written about in movies and books recently, it’s achieved by space and time warps, a theory branching off of the scientific theory of general relativity written about in a book by Stephen Hawking called “Space and Time Warps”.

However, according to “Origins of Futuristic Fiction” by Paul Alkon, stories often showed time travel being achieved by traveling, sleeping, or being brought to the future by angles and spirits.

Paul Nahin, an author who has written about the topic of time travel in fiction, says “even though the consensus today is that the past cannot be changed, science fiction writers have used the idea of changing the past for good story effect.”

According to Brian Stableford, author of Science Fact and Fiction, this also prompts the idea of “time police”, which are people controlling time travel and preventing changes from occurring.

Junior Kaylyn Shew says she’s seen “many examples and references to time travel” in TV shows now, and believes that because of the “butterfly effect, time travel should not be invented, if it becomes possible with technology.”

The butterfly effect is also a part of time travel fiction writing. The butterfly effect is the notion that small events can have large, widespread consequences. The term was invented by mathematician Edward Lorenz, according to Robert Hilborn’s book “Sea gulls, butterflies, and grasshoppers: A brief history of the butterfly effect in nonlinear dynamics.”

More recently, tons of movies have been released on the theory of time travel including a few classics such as “Back to the future”, released in 1985, “The Terminator”, released in 1991, “X-Men: Days Of Future Past”, released in 2014 and “The Flash” which is both a comic and a TV show. The first comic to The Flash was released January 1940 and the tv show was released on October 7th, 2014.

The Flash is an example of old theories, such as the butterfly effect, still being shown in television to this day. The show, which is based on the comics, features Barry Allen who learns he can run fast enough to travel back in time and change the past. However, while exploring his new superpower, he discovers that any changes he makes in the past cause huge changes in the future.