The Time Travel Paradoxes

Time travel is a very self contradicting idea.

Time travel - Fake or Real?

Time travel may seem like a fake futuristic idea, but it is ,in fact, possible. Scientists have already developed many ways to do it. Yet, with it, there are many different possible explanations of what could happen when someone time travels, and many of those possibilities contradict themselves.
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The Theories:

Novikov Self-Consistency Principle

This Novikov self-consistency principle says that whenever a time traveler tries to change a major event of history, time itself will make sure that he/she fails in their attempt. For example, if the time traveler tries to kill an ancestor of his, he is guaranteed to fail for some reason or another (Ex: The gun jams/time traveler changes his mind).

Bootstrap Paradox

This paradox describes a time loop, where the same event repeatedly occurs because an event from the future causes itself to happen. It happens in two types:


  1. Involving People: Suppose a man decides to go back in time. While he is there, he marries a woman. Later, his wife gives birth to child, and he finds out that the child is him! He is now his own father, and his own son.
  2. Involving Objects: Suppose a person needed his keys to his car. Suddenly, his future self appears through time travel and gives him his keys, and then leaves. Then, when the present man drives his car to his house, he finds a time machine. He then decides to go back to the past and give himself the keys again.

Multiple Universes Hypothesis

This hypothesis is very simple. Basically, when a time traveler goes to a different time, he is also traveling to a different parallel universe where everything is still the exact same. That way, when he comes back to his present time, nothing would have changed; only the other universe would be affected. To be clear, the other universe does not undergo any paradoxes because it is being affected by an object that is not of its own origin.
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Self-Healing Hypothesis

In this theory, the paradoxical damage created by the time traveler would heal itself. the events that were changed by the time traveler would still happen, but just in a different way.


Example: A time traveler goes to the past to make it so that his invention never breaks. He succeeds in protecting it, but when he goes back to the present, he finds out that it has been broken in a different way than before. The event in which the invention is broken again by Time occurs later after the time traveler's visit.

Branching Universe Hypothesis

In this hypothesis, if a time traveler were to change an event in the past, 2 worlds would be created: (Also, a copy of the time traveler is made, one being sent to each one)


  1. The world is normal and nothing is changed (One of the time travelers would come back to this one)
  2. The world is affected by the change. It continues as if that change was there to begin with. (The other time traveler copy would come back to this one)
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Well, that's all for now!

There are still countless numbers of other time travel paradox theories. You can always look them up. Although many of these theories are safe, others can cause devastating results. Time travel is not something to be taken lightly. Scientists across the world are already on their way to build a time travel machine, and if they succeed, they should use it wisely. To learn more about fascinating mind - boggling theories, you can search them up online or grab a book. One good book about these theories is

Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel Through Time, By J. Richard Gott.

Works Cited


Clock Forwarding. Digital image. California Building a Presence for Science. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://www.cabap.org/finance/is-it-possible-for-time-travelers-to-gain-huge-financial-profit>.


String Theory. Digital image. Particle Physics. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://www.particle-physics.co.uk/string.html>.


"Temporal Paradox." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Mar. 2013. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporal_paradox>.


Wormhole. Digital image. Mail Online. N.p., 27 Apr. 2010. Web. 26 Mar. 2013. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1269288/STEPHEN-HAWKING-How-build-time-machine.html>.