Time Warps

The subject of time is vast and is worthy of many books. Too many books bogs most readers down so they may miss the basics. Time as we know it is a created entity, brought into being by God along with the rest of the created universe. God existed as a "timeless" or "timeful" entity before Genesis 1:1 but time was at first "undefined" in the scientific sense. Furthermore, the entrance of evil into the otherwise pristine universe altered the nature of time as we now perceive it.

These hypothetical connections in space-time are a big deal in secular science circles.

First we had the Möbius Strip and then the Klein Bottle back when I started college. Now very high powered mathematical physicists contemplate the possibilities of time travel. Faster-than-light travel (tachyons and such) is a possibility that is taken seriously in some circles.

Quite a few people experiencing NDEs (near death experiences) report tunnels from this life into the the presence of Jesus and the angels. Many of these reports—but not all—are hallucinations or products of an overactive imagination.

Staying within the minutes of a sound Biblical world view we can say the exercise of a "sanctified imagination" is allowed when logic stays within the bounds of what God has already revealed and the related consequences.

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

No matter! Anyone who has a connection with Jesus can inquiry freely about invisibilities and search the Scriptures for insights that go well beyond science fiction. In this arena, secular science is very limited.

“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” (John 3:13)

Suppose 10% of Americans now living possess a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? This fraction equals approximately 32 million individuals who will go home to live forever with Jesus when they die. Suppose the average American who is following Jesus lives 100 years, then ~15,000 American Christians will go "home" this year. The present total world population numbers about 7.8 billion. Assuming 10% are “saved” this equates to perhaps 780 million persons going to join Jesus every year. If the average lived 100 years, a total of perhaps 15,000 Christian individuals leave earth every day and time travel to the first phase of the Second Advent of Jesus--to the event called “the Rapture.” The number of people being born daily, and the death rate can be seen online in two clocks. A reputable source tells me that perhaps 70% of church attendees do not know Jesus!

We are so accustomed to thinking only in terms of linear (historical) time, we are stretched when we stop to contemplate eternity. A summary of the nature of Time and Eternity is a good place to gain an overview of time. The subjective quality of Time is important to us as well. History itself, while seeming to flow from past, to present, to future, is marked by kairos and chronos, times and seasons.

The familiar material world we live in now is embedded in a much greater multidimensional cosmos not easily studied by science. But God is able to teach inquiring minds much about the unseen realm which is consistent with the observable universe--because God is both rational and orderly. The prophet Isaiah records this.

“I am the Lord, and there is no other;
There is no God besides Me.
I will gird you, though you have not known Me,
That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting
That there is none besides Me.

I am the Lord, and there is no other;
I form the light and create darkness,
I make peace and create calamity;
I, the Lord, do all these things.’
“Rain down, you heavens, from above,
And let the skies pour down righteousness;
Let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation,
And let righteousness spring up together.

I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to him who strives with his Maker!
Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth!
Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’
Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?
Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting?’
Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?’ ”
Thus says the Lord,
The Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:
“Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons;
And concerning the work of My hands, you command Me.
I have made the earth,
And created man on it.
I—My hands—stretched out the heavens,
And all their host I have commanded...”

(Isaiah 45:5-13)

“Eternity” is not the absence of time, a kind of suspended animation of being “frozen” forever. Only God enjoys unending time where past, present, and future are all panoramic “now.”

“For thus says the High and Lofty One
Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
‘I dwell in the high and holy place,
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit,
To revive the spirit of the humble,
And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.’” (Isaiah 57:15)


Time Flow in Physics

When any person “dies” physically the person (soul and spirit) exits earth time and “instantly” time travels to the next scheduled event in the unseen realm. In thinking about this, forget for a moment our usual understanding of time. Events in the spiritual realm are not simultaneous with events in history for a time traveler. In linear time as understood by an observer trapped on earth, the Rapture and The Judgment Seat of Christ are understand as ~1007 years apart. A non believer, upon dying, does not enter limbo, a waiting room and stay there for the interval in history between his physical death and the Last Judgment. The physical body is what locks us into earth time. At death we (soul and spirit) shed the body and time travel to our next appointment. The destination we time travel to is different, of course, depending on whether we know Jesus or not. New bodies of one kind or another are already waiting us at our final destination. Concepts such as limbo, purgatory, an intermediate-state body, soul-sleep, waiting rooms, holding pens, or long delays in transit come about because we don't avail ourselves of revelation from God concerning the unseen realm.

Jesus said to the thief on the Cross “this day you will be with me in Paradise.” The forgiven thief was immediately there at the destination, along with Jesus, as soon as he died.

In the account of the rich man and Lazarus we see the two communicating back and forth across a great barrier between them. Both are conscious and aware of where they are.

“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

“Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

“Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ” (Luke 16:19-31)

The Ouroborus

Science is Limited!

The Limits of Science | What is Revelation from God | God and the Angels | Software not Hardware | Science in a Broken Universe

Science is a very limited way to understand the world we live in. Science is mostly limited to physical observable! In addition, we are mostly software and not hardware.

Most of what we know (and are becoming) is result of revelation from God or from other sources, such as fallen angels! The default mode is to remain “self-made” men and women who “worship their creator

The Apostle Paul visiting Athens noted “...for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.

And He has made from one (man) every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” (Acts 17:23-31)

Therefore we are all without excuse!

For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!” (Ezekiel 18:32)

Classical Physics reached its apex in Sir Isaac Newton's Day (1642-1727). The "Clockwork Universe" was so tightly linked together that the chains of cause and effect--which we called "determinism"-- were obvious to everyone. God was in His heaven and watchfully controlled everything down to the smallest detail. The same universal laws of physics prevailed within the miniature universe of the atom, and beyond the furthermost star.

An obscure clerk in a Swiss Patent office began to turn things upside down in 1905. The young Albert Einstein explained the photoelectric effect. Light shining on certain chemically coated services resulted in the emission of electrons, in numbers proportional to the light intensity but not at constant velocities. Einstein's paper came the same year that Max Planck (1858-1947) explained "blackbody" radiation--light emission from heated surfaces. Building on the work of Wein, Stefan, and Boltzmann, Planck's formula showed that the intensity of radiated light from a heated object involved quantum jumps within the atoms of the surface--and these were statistically distributed. His formula contained a new constant, Planck's constant, h. ( =6.6 x 10^24 joule-second).

The next surprise was that light photons, though massless, carried momentum and energy, and furthermore photon energy and momentum were quantized. When atoms emit photons, they do so only at discrete wavelengths. The energy of photons could be calculated from the simple formula, E = hf = hc/l. h is Planck's constant, c the velocity of light, f the frequency of the light or l the wavelength. Soon a mathematical model for atomic particles knows as "Quantum Mechanics" was developed. This theory has been spectacularly successful but it has disturbed some theologians who see the probability-based calculations of QM as undermining the principle of determinism. Though quantum mechanics dismissed the notion of so-called "hidden variables" this does not mean that God has lost control of things. "Chance" is not an entity that does things--it is philosophically meaningless, for example, to say that "time plus chance" has brought our universe into being, or brought order out of chaos. In spite of the complex probability-based models of QM, God still is in full control.

Very upsetting discoveries have been made about photons (and now other particles) from quantum mechanics: apparently one particle is able to communicate information with another particle after the particles have been separated by time and distance-as much as 10 km in a recent experiment (Quantum entanglement)! But this communication is "instantaneous"--or at least much faster than the speed of light. This leads to the hypothesis that two particles separated by time and space in our ordinary 4-dimensional world may be at the same point in hyperspace-they may be connected in a higher dimension. Similar weird and wonderful things seem to occur with gravitational forces: apparently all objects in the universe are "in touch" with each other instantly as far as gravity is concerned, yet ordinarily information signals can not travel from point A to point B faster than the speed of light. At latest count at least 11 higher dimensions have been invoked in the mathematical models that attempt to tie together the Laws of Physics.

Physicists like to keep things simple, to do as little work as possible, they follow "Occam's Razor" and have a sense of elegance and beauty about nature-therefore simple theories are to be preferred to complex theories--and if possible a Grand Unified Theory (GUT) would be wonderful to discover. GUTs attempt to link together the four forces of physics, and the fundamental constants, c, the velocity of light, e, the charge on the electron h, Planck's constant, and G, the gravitational constant. When one brings quantum mechanics into attempts to unify the laws of physics, Planck's constant is found to define the "fuzziness," or the "grain size" of the universe. Thus the smallest meaningful length is (Gh/c3)1/2 = 10^-35 meters. The smallest time increment of time is the Planck time, 10^-42 seconds (the time required for a photon traveling at c to traverse a distance equal to a Planck length), and the Planck mass, (hc/G2)^1/2 = 1019 Gev, the smallest meaningful mass, and so on.

Quantum mechanics furthermore has revealed that attempts to make measurements, for instance on an atom, would disturb the atom such that precision in one measuring one parameter automatically meant fuzziness in another parameter. If one wanted to locate an electron's location accurately by means of a measuring apparatus, the apparatus disturbed the environment-precision in position measurement meant the electron's momentum became proportionally uncertain. The same was true for particle momentum and time and for angular momentum and spin angle as pairs of variables. Planck's famous Uncertainty Principle can be expressed as DpDx > h/4ppi or DE Dt > h/4p. (read: "the uncertainty in momentum times the uncertainty in position must be greater than or equal to Planck's constant h," etc.). The phenomenon is not unlike the work of a pollster who sets out to measure public opinion. If he is hasty, works rapidly, but alerts the public so that they become opinionated, and if his sampling methods are not careful, he will get results quickly, but his results will not likely be very representative of the true state of public sentiment on the topic. A second pollster who takes a longer time to collect his data, works quietly, and takes care so as not to alert people ahead of time, will get better results.

Recently QM has been applied to cosmology by some in attempts to unravel the early history of our universe--assuming the basic Big Bang model is correct--and assuming the speed of light is a fixed constant in time!

Born into this world with two eyes, two ears, to arms, two legs and a wonderful data crunching computer system in both halves of our brains, we humans develop a perception of space as small infants. We do not have to be told that the world we live in has three dimensions: length, width, and height. It is almost intuitively obvious.

The Greek philosopher Euclid (330-275 BC) put this down in a mathematical format we now call plain geometry--which ruled the world for the next 2000 years--almost like a religion! In grade school we all learned that the angles of a triangle must add up to 180 degrees, and that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points. A line had one dimension, a square had two, and a cube three. Beyond that it was for centuries thought impossible for there to be more dimensions at all. Aristotle and Ptolemy added their weight to Euclid by "proving" that any more than three dimensions was "impossible."

But of course for those who believed in God, there must be a fourth dimension. God would surely live there, thus He could watch everything that was happening in our 3-D world. Medieval art even accommodated this orthodoxy--paintings were flattened and two dimensional so the viewer could (sort of) see the world as God sees it.

Until the middle of the last century there was not much talk of a possible Fourth Dimension. But a sickly, brilliant mathematician--the second of six children born to a poor Lutheran pastor--Bernhard Riemann (1826-1866) blew the world apart when he proved mathematically that more than three dimensions were not only possible but also highly likely. In a brilliant lecture on June 10, 1854 this shy, mentally unstable, young man toppled the Euclidean world order once and for all.

Riemann had discovered what we now call "field theory" which connects forces in the universe with the geometry of space. The Pythagorean Theorem from the Greeks had shown that in a two-dimensional world where a and b are the short sides of a triangle and c is the hypotenuse, then a^2 + b^2 = ^2. For a cube which had sides, a, b, and c, the diagonal, d, inside the cube, crossing from one corner to another was given by a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = d^2. Well, it did not stop there, because from purely mathematical considerations Riemann could imagine an N-dimensional cube whose diagonal, z, was simply given by a formula with N terms on the left side, a^2 + b^2 + c^2 + .... = z^2. The math was easy, the implications were world-shaking.

As originally conceived, the "fourth dimension" was an additional spatial dimension, and not the fourth dimension now called "time." It was Einstein who stumbled upon Riemann's pioneering work and in 1905 put 3 plus 1 together and realized that material objects not only have length, width, and height, but they also endure in time. The fourth dimension was obviously time! Newton's physics had imagined an absolute clock somewhere in the universe that kept the time for all bodies large and small, whether at rest or in motion. So strongly embedded were the old views that the average person on the street has not yet grasped the radical nature of Einstein's revolution. But now it is clear that space and time are part of an integrated whole--what we call the "space-time" continuum. Time as well as space can be bent, shrunk or expanded--as can the other three dimensions of the world we live. But if few ordinary people grasp what Einstein had to tell us, Riemann's revolution has had an even greater, lasting effect on physics.

However to talk about time as the fourth dimension is to jump over 50 years of fascinating history before 1905 when the obscure little man in the Swiss patent office changed the known world all over again.

Riemann's 1854 lecture was an instant success. The world was not flat and it was not necessarily even limited to three dimensions--there might be four--or even more! God was now crowded up into the higher levels of newly discovered "hyperspace." Riemann had been friends with Wilhelm Weber who was experimenting with electric sparks, magnets and flowing currents, so Faraday and then Maxwell were ready to apply Riemann's work to what became the very successful model we now called "electromagnetic theory."

James Clerk Maxwell, for instance, showed that moving electric charges constitute what we call current flow and flowing currents produce magnetic fields. Light waves, radio waves, x-rays all "obey" Maxwell's elegant equations,

The first equation says that electric lines of force begin and end on charges (such as electrons). The third equation tells us that there are (apparently) no magnetic monopoles--magnetic lines are closed loops. The second and fourth equations are vector equations actually representing three equations each, and they tell us how electric and magnetic fields are related to one another. Maxwell's four equations are actually eight. However if one adopts the mathematics of Riemann space all eight equations can be written in the following form called "tensor notation." The second equation says it all!

It is this ability of Riemann geometry to simplify physics that is so appealing to scientists who always prefer elegance, beauty, symmetry and simplicity when attempting to explain the physical world. Introducing more dimensions, even though they can not be seen or directly measured, improves our ability to understand how the world works.

Georg Bernhard Riemann took ordinary "flat" geometry and crumpled it up, making spherical space which was positively curved, or saddle-shaped space with negative curvature. All this could now be beautifully described in the new short hand of tensors. Whole systems of simultaneous differential equations involving many dimensions could be written down and manipulated with ease.

Riemann showed that spaces could be multiply connected, as shown below. A small bug living in the flat world of the top sheet of paper could hypothetically encounter a "Riemann slit" in the fabric of his known world and inadvertently cross over into a "parallel" universe.

A strange cast of characters seized upon Riemann's ideas soon after his famous lecture. American psychic Henry Slade achieved notoriety in 1877 when Leipzig physics professor Johann Zollner rushed to the former's defense of magic parlor tricks and ghosts by claiming that what was impossible in our ordinary three dimensional world was readily possible if a fourth dimension were added. Unfortunately the ensuing uproar led more to popular turn-of-the century science fiction, and an impetus for ESP and psychic research which continues to this day--more than to legitimate applications in physics. The greatest applications of Riemann's new geometry to physics had to wait half a century for Einstein and his successors.

In 1884 the Christian headmaster of the City of London School, Edwin Abbott, wrote a wonderful novel about creatures who lived in an imaginary world called "Flatland." It was now immediately easy for ordinary people like you and me to imagine what it would be like living in a two dimensional world--on a flat sheet of paper--with occasional intrusions of "beings" from a higher three-dimensional "hyperspace." Even more fantastic science fiction now unfolded into being overnight and by the turn of the century the common man's perception of his world would never be the same.

If four dimensions are not only possible, but now certain, why not 5 or 10 or 26 dimensions? Indeed, if we jump from Einstein to the present time, that is precisely what has happened in modern physics. All this has taken place because introducing (mathematically) additional dimensions to the physical world "unifies" the laws, forces and fields of physics, and leads (usually) to simpler and more "elegant" ways of looking at the universe we live in.

Discussion of hyperspace rapidly became very complex after Einstein--we must save that for another article. But let us note several things: It is indeed quite likely that the physical, material world we live in has many more than four dimensions. Ten is a reasonable number to make our physics simple. Discussion of hyperspace still leaves the issue of where God now lives, since he was long ago excluded from the "fourth" dimension. Unfortunately some modern Christian apologists have implied that God is merely a higher-dimensional being, a cosmic giant who pokes his fingers into our world from time to time alarming us with visions or miracles which we can not fully understand. Is God a super-being from another dimension?

I don't mean to imply that miracles, visions and UFO intrusions from higher dimensions do not occur! They most certainly occur and I believe they are all real extra-dimensional happenings. The point is: God is not made of matter, He is Spirit and spirit is something fundamentally different from matter.

There is an all-important point to keep in mind in our discussions of modern physics and that is that "God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24). Spirit is not the same thing as matter! We can talk endlessly about matter/energy, space and time in the created material world, but that still leaves a higher realm of God and his angels. Who are they and where do they live? What are the unseen worlds they inhabit? Beyond our amazing physical world is yet another realm where different laws apply and where time flows at a different pace.

To talk first of matter and now of spirit is also to go beyond the scope of this short introductory article. Suffice it to say, that our knowledge and understanding of the physical world comes through the scientific method which is based both on observations and on mathematical models than can be tested and verified by measurements and experiments. The spiritual world is something we know about by personal revelation from our God. Most marvelous of all, God has created man to live simultaneously in the material and in the spiritual world. He wants us to be at home in two worlds, he wants us in His training program designed to prepare us for an amazing greater world which is to come. The opening of doors for us to enter into other worlds was accomplished by the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ on the Cross--we live in a moral universe, and much more than physics is involved in the superhyperspace the Bible calls the "heavens."

"Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, 'I believed, and so I spoke,' we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:13-18)

By assuming that time was the mysterious "fourth dimension" of 19th Century sci-fi speculation, Einstein was able to show that we live in a space-time continuum where ordinary dimensions are both elastic and also interrelated. Mass and energy are two different forms of the same thing, the speed of light is the top limiting velocity in the physical world, space is curved, and gravity affects the curvature of space. Einstein's legacy was extensive and sweeping in its consequences. His Special and General Relativity theories have been well established by many experiments.

In 1919 Einstein received a letter from an obscure mathematician, Theodr Kaluza, who suggested that he could tie together electromagnetism into a simpler theory if he assumed there were five dimensions--four spatial dimensions plus time. Previously I mentioned that Bernard Riemann's power tensor mathematical notation made dealing with N dimensions ("Hilbert space") easy to do. Four dimensions required a matrix of four rows and four columns. It was simple to add a fifth dimension.

The Kaluza-Klein theory in effect replaces points, P, on a line with tiny circles on a hose (diagram below). Later on when more dimensions were added, the minute circles were replaced by very small vibrating strings.

When higher dimensions are added, the new dimensions are found to be curled "compactified" into a very small "space" whose size is of the order of the Planck length, (Gh/c3)1/2 = 10^-35 meters.

If five dimensions are better than four, why not add more? (The whole point of additional dimensions in hyperspace is that the Laws of Nature become simpler when higher dimensions are added).

Kaluza and Klein enjoyed initial popularity but their theory was more or less dead by the 1930's, though their work pointed along a path which led to Quantum Electrodynamics (QED). Quantum Mechanics itself moved into the limelight occupying everyone's attention in the '30s and '40s. Catch up by reading Barry Setterfield on QED and SED.

But by 1960 particle physicists were flooding journals with data about new and previously unknown particles. In 1971 a Dutch graduate student Gerard 't Hooft proposed a theory unifying three of the quantum forces (excluding gravity). The next major effort to unify physics (often called the Yang-Mills field theory) by Glashow, Salam, Weinberg and others attempted to include the strong and weak nuclear forces leading to the hypothesis that there are some 11 dimensions. Finally the result was what has become the "Standard Model."

The SM can explain the existence and behavior of every known atomic particle up to energies of one trillion electron volts. But things were no longer all that simple! There were now 36 quarks in six "flavors" and three "colors," plus their antimatter counterparts. Eight Yang-Mills fields were needed to describe particles called "gluons" which bind the quarks. Four Yang-Mills fields were invoked to describe the weak and electromagnetic forces, six types of leptons were needed to describe the weak interactions (including the electron, muon, tau lepton, and their neutrino counterparts). Not only that, there were now a large number of mysterious "Higgs" particles necessary to adjust the masses and constants that describe the particles. Finally at least 19 arbitrary constants describe the masses of the particles and the strengths of all the various interactions! In many ways the Standard Model was not "beautiful" at all--many considered it quite "ugly." On top of all this the model was still incomplete--it was not yet a GUT (Grand Unifying Theory).

The Kaluza-Klein theory was resurrected in the 1980s in the search for TOE -- "The Theory of Everything." The next step onwards and upwards was "Supergravity." If The K-K theory using Riemann metric tensors was redefined for 4 + N dimensions and the N dimensions were "curled up," ("compactified") then sets of equations can be split from the new larger tensor that lead to the previous theories as subsets.

"Superstring" theory followed next: What had originally been a point in space became now a small circle by a small length of vibrating string. The string had 10 modes of vibration in the clockwise direction and 16 counter-clockwise, 26 dimensions was the end result! So far the laws of physics still seemed to simplify in higher dimensions--at least the mathematical physicists considered this to be the case. The symmetries of the subatomic world seem to be but remnants of the symmetry of high dimensional space.

Einstein's original Riemann Metric Tensor with added dimensions results in Supersymmetry. Supergravity "almost" fulfills Einstein's dream.

In his excellent briefing package "Beyond Perception" Chuck Missler goes into much greater detail about quantum mechanics, particle physics and hyperspace. The average reader should not feel intimidated if some of what we have said is difficult to grasp. The experts often admit their perplexity and they often disagree with one another. The latest and best models leave a lot to be desired, and life has not gotten simpler--which was the original hope of modern physics.

There were, and are, still flies in the ointment concerning hyperspace. Has the world really become simpler and easier to understand by invoking the higher dimensionality of hyperspace? No one may be smart enough to take work further it would seem. No reasonable experimental tests seem possible to test the theories.

Earlier we pointed out that a higher speed of light in the past would shrink this already tiny very small dimension, the Planck Length, where many of the higher order dimensions are supposed to be curled up. The Planck Length would appear to have been 20 orders of magnitude smaller at the time of creation--a mere 10^-55 meters in size--exceedingly tiny by all known standards and probably meaningless.

The existence of higher dimensions can not be proved--the required atomic accelerator energy levels are well beyond present technology. Therefore we can not be sure that they are really there. "Elegance" and "beauty" and "simpler equations" are attractive reasons for favoring a new theoretical model but they are not infallible guidelines. Not everything that meets these aesthetic criteria describes the world as it really is. At best we are probably only "seeing through a glass darkly."

Does Modern Physics Correspond to Reality?

Advertising the book The Tomb of God: The Body of Jesus and the Solution to a 2000-year-old Mystery, by Richard Andrews and Paul Schellenberger, Barnes and Noble Booksellers says in their fall catalog, "Applying mathematical logic to the mystery, the authors turn up evidence of a long-suppressed secret challenging Christian dogma--that Christ's body actually rests in a Reennes-le-Chateau tomb! This fascinating study illuminates the real secret maintained over the centuries by the Templars and others, revealing at the same time a "heretical" Christian teaching stressing responsibility over blind faith..."

How can mathematical logic contradict known historical fact concerning the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ? Can mathematics prove anything? It should already be obvious from what we have said that mathematics is capable of describing an almost infinite number of dimensions and a multiplicity of "parallel" universes. Do these fictitious worlds correspond with the tangibles of the known material world and are they in harmony with Biblical revelation? In some cases the answer is no!

In the Tibetan Book of the Dead we encounter beautiful ornate and symmetric paintings and drawings that purport to show the journey of the soul after death. These mandalas have great power and fascination because they seem to correspond to symbols of the "self"--what C. G. Jung called "archetypes of the collective unconscious." The fact that mandalas have experiential meaning to more than one person does not mean they are true depictions of the afterlife, or that they tell us anything concrete about unseen dimensions in the material or the spiritual world. Is it not possible that some of the sophisticated theories of modern physics are in the same category?

When human beings, or their collective work in science or philosophy. become autonomous--independent of the truth and life that are in God alone--the end result is likely to be deception, delusion and wasted effort. God's common grace to all men partly overrules this path to error and wrong answers, but it does not correct all our faulty reasonings. It is possible for science to be systematically wrong for long periods of time, if the foundations and initial assumptions were faulty to begin with.

The Apostle Peter (speaking for the other apostles of Jesus) urges us to stick to known facts, and to measure all things against the Word of God. He says, "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty." (2 Peter 1:16)

Many of the forefathers of physics were godly men who followed Jesus the Lord and invited in help in all they did. Thus the very early foundations for good science were well-laid. However, this pioneering example of piety has not been followed by the vast majority of modern physicists and astronomers who retain an agnostic or atheistic (and therefore pagan) world view. Is such a wide-spread ignorance of the living God likely to lead to the right answers in science? History (and the Bible) tell us otherwise.

Were our present generation of bright and gifted scientists to turn wholeheartedly to the God of our scientific forefathers, we should soon be dazzled and amazed by God's explanation of the way things really are. Our God delights to make Himself known to all men. Should we not ask questions of the One who is the Architect and Builder of the universe to whom we must all give account? Without His inputs we remain lost and confused with nothing to show for all our labors, and we are in fact really fools in God's eyes as we grope around in the dark. An Intelligence much greater than our own has created us. Without His help we can not hope to tune in and see things as they really are.

...I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will thwart." Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater (suzetetes = the learned scholar, disputer) of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe...but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, "Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:19-31)


Michio Kaku, Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension, Anchor Books Doubleday, New York. 1994. D. Stauffer and H. E. Stanley, From Newton to Mandelbrot, Springer-Verlag, New York, 1995. P. C. W. Davies, The Forces of Nature, Cambridge U. Press, New York, 1986. A. Zee, Fearful Symmetry: The Search for Beauty in Modern Physics, Collier Books, Macmillan, New York, 1986. E. David Pearl, Superstrings and the Search for The Theory of Everything, Contemporary Books, Chicago, 1988. Barry Parker, Chaos in the Cosmos: The Stunning Complexity of the Universe, Plenum Press, New York, 1996. Kip S. Thorne, Black Holes & Time Warps: Einstein's Outrageous Legacy, W. W. Norton, New York, 1994. Abbott, Edwin A., Flatland, 1884. Sacred Mandalas: The Art and Books of Tibet, and The Psychology of C. G. Jung, by Jolande Jacobi, Yale University Press, 1973. Some scientists today have openly tried to fit modern physics into pagan mythologies. For instance see Paul A. Laviolette, Beyond the Big Bang: Ancient Myth and the Science of Continuous Creation, Park Street Press, Rochester, VT., 1995. The Creationist Basis for Modern Science From: Articles for Chuck Missler, by Lambert Dolphin, Koinonia House, 1997.

For the present discussion note that mathematical physics allows for many more dimensions than may actually exist. Endless speculations by leading mathematicians has led to the vast, all-encompassing universe of Science Fiction (SciFi) which pushes the envelope of objective truth into bold, new frontiers of imagination and fantasy. Do we not know people who live their lives in Fantasy Land? The trouble is, behind much of this entertaining pseudo-science are powerful fallen angels who do mean to do us harm!

Remote Viewing, Channeling, ESP --and the Power of God (1997)

Yet science continued to make discoveries and bring new technologies forth which are from God, beneficial, liberating, redemptive. Hardly anyone wants to revert to the Dark Ages!

We stumble around down here unable to handle what God is presently giving us. Every new and valid scientific discovery is quickly misused, subverted, stolen, by persons who hate God and want nothing to do with his program. The gullible surrender to every new fad and fancy. Those who are too conservative hide from the real world and can miss out on real life altogether.

Heaven will be far better than Utopia and only those qualified and prepared will be able to handle the intensity of life in heaven!

“Worm holes” are speculations by some physicists, astronomers and mathematicians that tunnels may exist from our 4D space-time continuum to other universes. Could be! But most of us who follow Jesus have a “wait and see” mind set. We are plenty busy obeying Jesus one day at a time down here.

But there are sound reasons for believing in time tunnels from the present physical world leading directly to events in heaven that are in a different space domain, in the zone called “the heavenly places.”

More succinctly, our present physical universe is evidently embedded in multidimensional realms that are more substantial, more solid than anything we now know.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis is probably the best way to begin to grasp this.

“Heaven” is also within us! Western Man tends to ignore the evidence that God has placed man midway between microcosm and macrocosm in the role of a cosmic mediator. Inner space as well as outer space are both frontiers open to us for exploration with Jesus as Tour Guide.

There are gates and portals everywhere in God’s universe. The most important narrow gate which most miss!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:7-23)

Portals and Gates in the Invisible

Death brings one of two open doors for all us. Door #1 opens for every one who know knows Jesus when we leave this mortal coil. We are beamed-up to New Jerusalem instantly! We receive a new body in transit. The great gate into the heavenly city is an immigration Portal known as the Judgment Seat of Christ. Also, Bema Now (notes).

For every person who did ever not know Jesus, who is unpersuadable, and has no desire to know Jesus, a suitable body of a different kind is provided in transit to the Judgment of the Great White Throne. Then follows a final separation forever. Bodies are destructible, souls and spirits are not. In this sense everyone is immortal.

A “great gulf fixed” separates these two groups. A vivid example is found in Luke Chapter 16

Jesus teaching: “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

“Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

“Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ Abraham said to him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ” (Luke 16:19-31)

There are separate time threads for earth dwellers (whose perspective remains naturalistic), spanning 1007 years of history from the Rapture to the end of the Millennium. Contrast the multiple time lines transpiring in heaven for followers of Jesus.

Most commentators fail to realize that experiential time in heaven is many-faceted and not strictly delineated with the more rigid flow of time on earth as experienced by outsiders to the family of Jesus. Christians are enabled to commence living in the eternal, heavenly sphere of reality here and now when they become followers of Christ--not merely when they die. To see this, pay attention to verb tenses in the New Testament! The full experience of heaven is delayed until one get his or her final new body.

The Bible depicts salvation as complete and instantaneous when one first believes even thought experiential salvation often takes years to realize and to experience. Jesus said, “The thief came only to kill and to destroy. I came that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

The First Martyr

The first martyr of the Christian church, Stephen, was stoned to death after giving an impassioned message on the history of Israel before the leaders of the nation. He saw “Jesus standing at the right hand of God” which would seem to contradict earlier evidence in the Book of Acts that Jesus was then “seated at the right hand of God.” Stephen’s last words suggested he would “time travel” to the Rapture upon taking his last breath. When He receives His Bride, we would expect Jesus to rise from His throne to welcome her.

Stephen said in part...

“However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:
‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says the Lord,
Or what is the place of My rest?
Has My hand not made all these things?’

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”

When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (Acts 7:48-60)

We accommodate our present entrapment in linear, historical time by saying a person “falls asleep” at death. "Asleep in Jesus” is engraved on many tombstones. The actual dying Christian undergoes an immediate transformation of his or her body and arrives at the Rapture “in a twinkling of an eye.” The Rapture is overdue now but could happen today.

Ray Stedman notes: “A vivid picture, is it not? It is noteworthy to see how God stands by his faithful martyr here. Stephen's eyes are opened, even in the presence of the council, and he sees the Lord Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father. It is my conviction that every believer who dies sees this event, that when a believer steps out of time into eternity the next event waiting for him is the coming of the Lord Jesus for his own. Here Stephen sees him waiting to step out and receive him in a few moments, when he will be taken out of the city and stoned to death. This is the sight that greets the eyes of those who fall asleep in Jesus, and Stephen sees it. He prays to him in words that echo those of Jesus himself on the cross. Jesus had prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," (Luke 23:34). Stephen says, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit, and do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

Many more details about the end of the age we live in are found in the New and the Old Testament. The time of the end for us gentile-world nations will be marked by God turning His attention to the tiny nation of Israel. He will fulfill all His promises to them as a new age dawns on earth. Jesus Himself will reign over all the nations (as King of kings)—from Israel.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24:29-31)

Psalm 19

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.

Their line has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun,
Which is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
And rejoices like a strong man to run its race.
Its rising is from one end of heaven,
And its circuit to the other end;
And there is nothing hidden from its heat.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

Added Warp Note

We are not allowed to set dates.
But there are followers of Jesus in the various schools of eschatology.
Only one view will prove correct after the fact.
But every believer arriving in heaven will find his position was partially true, and partially incorrect.

No one of us grasps the big picture entirely: only Jesus.

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
For “He has put all things under His feet.”
But when He says “all things are put under Him,” 
it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.  
Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself
will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him,
that God may be all in all.“ (1 Corinthians 15:26-28)

But I think God will accommodate every true believer when the Rapture actually happens.
Each believer when he dies, or at the Rapture, time travels to New Jerusalem.
New body given enroute.
Upon arrival each of us will be assigned to a parish built
around the truth as those individuals in our world-view knew it on earth.  
This time warp also happens to the “overcomers” from each of the Seven Churches.
We can then visit other parishes in New Jerusalem.
All this is the diverse life we will experience in New Jerusalem at the Rapture.
Probably 100 million citizens, from 2000 years of history since Pentecost.
Now the situation down on the planet by any means! 

Romans 3:4, “Let God be true though every man be false.”

Present day Jerusalem, Israel is divided into the Jewish Quarter, the Armenian Quarter the Arab Quarter, etc.
Fast forward: eventually everyone in Jerusalem Below will know the Lord but have very different family and cultural values. 

All evil will have been purged from each parish now for Jerusalem Above.
At the end of the Millennium New Jerusalem descends and unites with Jerusalem Below.
Culturally speaking everyone’s view while on earth will have been partially true and partially incorrect. 

5 sci-fi concepts that are possible (in theory)

By published  October 10, 2021

Science fiction novels and movies are packed with far-out ideas, most often as the springboard for an action-packed adventure rather than a serious attempt to predict future trends in science or technology. Some of the most common tropes, such as accelerating a spacecraft to fantastic speeds in a matter of seconds without crushing the occupants , are just plain impossible according to the laws of physics as we understand them. Yet those very same laws appear to permit other seemingly far-fetched sci-fi concepts, from wormholes to parallel universes. Here's a rundown of some of the sci-fi ideas that could really be done — in theory, at least.


Traveling through a wormhole could be possible in certain gravity conditions. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The idea of a wormhole —a shortcut through space that allows almost instantaneous travel between distant parts of the universe — sounds like it was created as a fictional story-driver. But under its more formal name of an Einstein-Rosen bridge, the concept has existed as a serious theoretical concept long before sci-fi writers got hold of it. It comes out of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, which views gravity as a distortion of space-time caused by massive objects. In collaboration with physicist Nathan Rosen, Einstein theorized in 1935 that points of extremely strong gravity, such as black holes, could be directly connected with each other. And so the idea of wormholes was born.

The forces around a black hole would destroy anyone that came close to it, so the idea of actually traveling through a wormhole wasn't given serious consideration until the 1980s, when astrophysicist Carl Sagan decided he was going to write a sci-fi novel. According to the BBC, Sagan encouraged fellow physicist Kip Thorne to come up with a feasible way to travel interstellar distances in a flash. Thorne duly devised a way — possible in theory, but highly improbable in practice — that humans might achieve interstellar travel by traversing a wormhole unscathed. The result found its way into Sagan's novel "Contact" (Simon and Schuster: 1985) which was subsequently adapted into a film with Jodie Foster in the lead role. 

While it's highly unlikely that wormholes will ever become the simple and convenient methods of transportation portrayed in movies, scientists have now come up with a more viable way to construct a wormhole than Thorne's original suggestion. It's also possible that, if wormholes already exist in the universe, they could be located using the new generation of gravitational-wave detectors.

Warp drive

It's theoretically possible to travel faster than the speed of light if you manipulate the space around the spaceship. (Image credit: EDUARD MUZHEVSKYI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY via Getty Images)

An essential prerequisite for most space-based adventure stories is the ability to get from A to B much faster than we can today. Wormholes aside, there are multiple stumbling blocks to achieving this with a conventional spaceship. There's the enormous amount of fuel required, the crushing effects of acceleration, and the fact that the universe has a strictly imposed speed limit. This is the speed at which light travels — precisely one light-year per year, which in a cosmic context isn't very fast at all. Proxima Centauri, the second-closest star to Earth, is 4.2 light-years from the sun, while the center of the galaxy is a whopping 27,000 light-years away.

Fortunately, there's a loophole in the cosmic speed limit: It only dictates the maximum speed we can travel through space. As Einstein explained, space itself can be distorted, so perhaps it's possible to manipulate the space around a ship in such a way as to subvert the speed limit. The spaceship would still travel through the surrounding space at less than the speed of light, but the space itself would be moving faster than that. 

This was what the writers of "Star Trek" had in mind when they came up with the concept of a "warp drive" in the 1960s. But to them it was just a plausible-sounding phrase, not real physics. It wasn't until 1994 that theoretician Miguel Alcubierre found a solution to Einstein's equations that produced a real warp drive effect, Live Science's sister site Space.com reported, contracting space in front of a spaceship and expanding it to the rear. To start with, Alcubierre's solution was no less contrived than Thorne's traversable wormhole, but scientists are attempting to refine it in the hope that it might one day be practical.

Time travel

The theory of general relativity shows that it's possible to travel back in time.  (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The concept of a time machine is one of the great sci-fi plot devices, allowing characters to go back and change the course of history — for better or worse. But this inevitably raises logical paradoxes. In "Back to the Future," for example, would Doc have built his time machine if he hadn't been visited by the future Marty using that very same machine? It's because of paradoxes like these that many people assume time travel must be impossible in the real world — and yet, according to the laws of physics, it really can occur.

Just like with wormholes and space warps, the physics that tells us it's possible to travel back in time comes from Einstein's theory of general relativity. This treats space and time as part of the same "space-time" continuum, with the two being inextricably linked. Just as we talk about distorting space with a wormhole or warp drive, time can be distorted as well. Sometimes it can get so distorted that it folds back on itself, in what scientists refer to as a "closed timelike curve" — though it could just as accurately be called a time machine.

A conceptual design for such a time machine was published in 1974 by physicist Frank Tipler, according to physicist David Lewis Anderson, who describes the research on the Anderson Institute, a private research lab. Called a Tipler cylinder, it has to be big — at least 60 miles (97 kilometers) long, according to Humble — and extremely dense, with a total mass comparable to that of the sun. To get it to function as a time machine, the cylinder has to rotate fast enough to distort space-time to the point where time folds back on itself. It may not sound as simple as installing a flux capacitor in a DeLorean, but it does have the advantage that it really would work — on paper, at least.


Star Trek The Adventure Exhibition In London, 2002. Sci-fi shows and films use teleportation as an easy way to move people to new locations, but the reality is far more limited.  (Image credit: Scott Barbour / Staff via Getty Images)

The archetypal sci-fi example of teleportation is the "Star Trek" transporter, which, as the name suggests, is portrayed simply as a convenient way to transport personnel from one location to another. But teleportation is quite unlike any other form of transport: Instead of the traveler moving through space from the starting point to the destination, teleportation results in an exact duplicate being created at the destination while the original is destroyed. Viewed in these terms — and at the level of subatomic particles rather than human beings — teleportation is indeed possible, according to IBM.

The real-world process is called quantum teleportation. This process copies the precise quantum state of one particle, such as a photon, to another that may be hundreds of miles away. Quantum teleportation destroys the quantum state of the first photon, so it does indeed look as though the photon has been magically transported from one place to another. The trick is based on what Einstein referred to as "spooky action at a distance," but is more formally known as quantum entanglement. If the photon that is to be "teleported" is brought into contact with one of a pair of entangled photons, and a measurement of the resulting state is sent to the receiving end — where the other entangled photon is — then the latter photon can be switched into the same state as the teleported photon.

It's a complicated process even for a single photon, and there's no way it could be scaled up to the kind of instant-transportation system seen in "Star Trek." Even so, quantum teleportation does have important applications in the real world, such as for hack-proof communications and super-fast quantum computing.

Parallel universes

Bubble universes in a multiverse shown in this artist's conception. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The universe is everything our telescopes reveal to us — all the billions of galaxies expanding outward from the Big Bang. But is that all there is? Theory says maybe not: There might be a whole multiverse of universes out there. The idea of "parallel universes" is another familiar sci-fi theme, but when they're depicted on screen they typically differ from our own universe only in minor details. But the reality may be much weirder than that, with the basic parameters of physics in a parallel universe — such as the strength of gravity or nuclear forces — differing from our own. A classic portrayal of a genuinely different universe of this kind, and the creatures living in it, is Isaac Asimov's novel "The Gods Themselves" (Doubleday1972).

The key to the modern understanding of parallel universes is the concept of "eternal inflation." This pictures the infinite fabric of space in a state of perpetual, incredibly rapid expansion. Every now and then a localized spot in this space — a self-contained Big Bang — drops out of the general expansion and begins to grow at a more sedate pace, allowing material objects like stars and galaxies to form inside it. According to this theory, our universe is one such region, but there may be countless others.

As in Asimov's story, these parallel universes could have completely different physical parameters from our own. At one time scientists believed that only universes with virtually the same parameters as ours would be capable of supporting life, but recent studies suggest the situation may not be as restrictive as this, Live Science previously reported. So there's hope for Asimov's aliens yet — though perhaps not for making contact with them, as happens in the novel. Nevertheless, the traces of other universes might be detectable to us by other means. It's even been suggested that the mysterious "cold spot" in the cosmic microwave background is the scar from a collision with a parallel universe, Ivan Baldry, a professor of astrophysics at Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K. wrote in The Conversation.

Originally published on Live Science.

Andrew May holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from Manchester University, U.K. For 30 years, he worked in the academic, government and private sectors, before becoming a science writer where he has written for Fortean Times, How It Works, All About Space, BBC Science Focus, among others. He has also written a selection of books including Cosmic Impact and Astrobiology: The Search for Life Elsewhere in the Universe, published by Icon Books.

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