Could a device like the TARDIS actually become a reality one day? Yes, says one professor -- but there is, of course, a catch.
According to Yahoo News UK, Brian Cox, a professor of physics at the University of Manchester and a team member working at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, said during a speech at the British Science Festival, "Can you build a time machine? The answer is yes.”
The TARDIS of Doctor Who fame is designed to travel through all of space and time, from the distant past to the far future. But any real-life counterpart, says Cox, would not be quite as flexible: A machine capable of time travel could only voyage into the future, with no chance of coming back.
The professor said that time travel has already happened on a very tiny scale -- but that the capability to send something as big as a police box, or a TARDIS disguised as one, does not yet exist. Once we have that technology, however, he insisted, "You can go into the future; you've got almost total freedom of movement in the future.”
Travel to the past would require the construction of wormholes, which Cox said "are not stable," making the idea of heading back in time much more unlikely.
Cox also suggested that the possibility of discovering other dimensions -- something that the LHC is being used to research -- might be one way to explain why the Doctor's craft is bigger on the inside than the outside. "We look for extra dimensions at the LHC," he said. "You can imagine extra dimensions in space, and that we are living on a sheet of higher-dimensional space.”
Cox, an affirmed Doctor Who fan, will give a 60-minute talk on all this, extraterrestrial life and more on Nov. 23 as part of the programming by the BBC surrounding the premiere of the Doctor Who 50th-anniversary special. If time travel and transdimensional engineering are your thing, you might just want to tune in early!