Grandfather Paradox

By Neeti Adhia
Picture Credits: Pinterest

Nothing is as far as one minute ago, and “Time” is an illusion. It is a vague concept yet so precisely paradoxical; the past has evaporated; the future is unknown, and the present becomes the past in the blink of an eye. Time travel seems too good to be true and is only a topic for Sci-Fi movies, currently, but what if we could actually turn back in time to recast certain events? Although the theory of time travel has been a topic of dispute due to ample reasons, “The Grandfather Paradox” has aroused predominant surveillance from philosophers. This paradox is said to have serious consequences for the possibility of time travel. 

Let us visualize that you have a time machine which could assist you to have an excursion back in time possibly when your grandfather was living his youthful days. After jaunting back, you accidently happen to murder your grandfather. This means, if your grandfather were killed during his salad days your own birth would be next to impossible. So, who was the ultimate homicide responsible for the assassination of your grandfather?  

As improbable and conflicting as it appears, scientists, philosophers and fiction writers have always tried to fantasize the idea of time travel with a broader standpoint and visualization. Despite the practicability and endless probabilities proffered, physics offers no practical clarification when it comes to time travel. It is purely conceptual.  

Although according to ‘Quantum Mechanics’ it is feasible to find a practical solution to this paradox to a certain extent. It imparts that any quantum particle which is an electron or a proton or a photon can manage to subsist at distinct places at the same time. This is known as the ‘Quantum Superposition’. It states that a particle can exist at diverse places at the same time and this is precisely what occurs in the universe.  

Physicists believe that there are an infinite number of universes which exist altogether with varying time periods. Hence, when the theory of Quantum Superposition is applied in real life on a universe model we come across an astounding solution for the ‘Grandfather Paradox’.   

Let us consider an individual who uses a time machine to travel into his past. Now, due to the existence of different cosmos, he will simultaneously travel into another universe and not on his own. Thus, if this individual strives to make even the slightest of change in the alternative world then it will result in an occurrence taking place in the alternative universe and not the universe he originally belongs to.  

Henceforth, if an individual travels back in time to murder his grandfather he will automatically end the existence of his own life in the alternate world. The outcome of this incident will have nothing to do with his existence in the world that he lives in. His past in the original world will be conserved and there is no possible way to change that event.  

This entire scenario concludes that the teleportation of an individual in his own past can change the entire future for an alternate universe and bring it to a halt but it will have no effect in his original world. This means that the individual killing his grandfather is ultimately an autonomous being.  

Thus, the Grandfather Paradox, although an interesting thought experiment, does not pose serious problems to the possibility of time travel.

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