The astrophysicist claims to have finally figured it out

Time travel has been one of the biggest tropes in science fiction for years. But what if you could go back in time and visit a loved one before they died? Obviously there's a lot we don't know about what kind of consequences time travel might bring, but that hasn't stopped physicist Ron Mallett from a lifelong obsession with trying to figure out the equation for time travel.

But what's most impressive about this lifelong endeavor is that Mallett now claims to have solved the equation and figured out how to build an actual time machine. Mallett's inspiration and obsession with time travel began when he was much younger, Notes. After the death of his beloved father, Mallet lost himself in novels, including… Time Machine By H.G. Wells.

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It was this book and others that helped fuel the obsession that led Mallett into a career in physics, trying to figure out how the time travel equation worked and build a machine capable of traveling back through space and time. Like many characters in popular fictional media, Mallet's obsession with time travel boils down to the hope that he will be able to see his father again.

It's certainly a respectable goal, especially for anyone who has lost someone they loved dearly. Mallett says his idea for a time machine revolves around an “intense, continuous rotating beam of light” that can control gravity. The device he created, according to his equation, uses a ring of lasers to mimic the effects of a black hole, which appears to distort space and time around them.

Of course, learning the formula for time travel and building a time machine are two completely different things. Sure, scientists have simulated black holes in the lab once or twice, but nothing has been simulated with the kind of force or pull on reality that Mallett seems to believe would make time travel possible. This doesn't mean he got things wrong.

His formula for time travel may be exactly what we need to break through this perpetual obsession and go back in time. But building something capable of testing it would be a completely separate endeavor in itself.

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