# Stroboscopic Time Travel

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I was sitting around thinking of what kind of gadget to build when I thought of building a stroboscope. I've used one before in physics class, and it should be pretty simple to build with the parts I have available. But I decided to look it up on wikipedia anyway, and a particular sentence there inspired me: "A strobe light flashing at the proper period can appear to freeze or reverse cyclical motion".

Everyone knows that we measure time by using cycles, whether years or days, etc. Even fundamental particles have a certain spin. Now, what if our perception of time is based upon the flashing of some sort of light similar to what we'd see with a stroboscope? By altering the frequency of this flash, we could manipulate the flow of time. :)

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...we could manipulate the flow of time.

The question that come to mind is this : To what scale ?

The reasoning behind this question comes from a response I read to a question regarding time travel :

" Time travel is already done , you can slow down time relative to another for one person... one person is ahead ( or the other behind ) ."

I read the reply and immediately what came to mind is a Yogi who is 102 years old, but doesn't appear to be any older than 60. He has developed the ability to go into a trance and slow down his physical 'properties'. That his personal energy has been slowed down, may be manipulation of time on a 'personal' scale, but he still is moving in time with the rest of us.

By altering the frequency of the flash, even if we could manipulate the flow of time, it would seem that there are still limitations. The Yogi might be able to slow down his own energy dynamics, but, still can't reverse time on a scale as to actually go backwards.

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Yogis and indians. You like your anecdotes, don't you? :yum: I can address the issue of aging on another thread if you like.

However, I am talking about a man-made machine to achieve time travel. I know a stroboscope itself will not allow time travel - I was looking for a similar concept. I don't know if you've ever used a stroboscope, but if you have, then you know that it can make things appear to go forward, stop, or reverse.

Relativity is the common theory that seems to only allow different rates of forward speed in time, without apparent practical ways to go back in time. That's not what this thread is about. :)

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Now, what if our perception of time is based upon the flashing of some sort of light similar to what we'd see with a stroboscope? By altering the frequency of this flash, we could manipulate the flow of time.

Think "movie projector". They work on the stroboscope principle. Flash the light on and off at 24 cps while rolling film in front of the light at 24 fps and the still frame photos appear to be moving.

It's persistence of vision. The reuptake mechanism at the neural synapse takes about 1/24th of a second to flush out the neural transmitters and prepare the nerve for the next impulse. During that time (called the absolute refractory period - the period where the neuron cannot fire again) the image of the pervious frame is still present in the mind. The next frame flows seemlessly in the mind as an image and viola!: the perception of motion.

Slow the flash rate to 6 cps while keeping the film rolling at 24 fps, you miss 3/4 of the frames and the perception is a jerky "freeze frame" motion.

In the cyclic motion, like a propellor blade, slow the rate to a number that is not a factor of 24 and you can get the perception of the propellor reversing direction because of the phase change. You can get that without a strobe if the propellor is spinning at the right speed simply because your eyes' biochemistry works at 24 fps.

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Yogis and Indians. You like your anecdotes, don't you?

Yeppers.

Yeah, I know.

I know a stroboscope itself will not allow time travel - I was looking for a similar concept.

Yeah, I know. AND I "was" laying down the foundation for a later introduction "for a similar concept".

I don't know if you've ever used a stroboscope, but if you have, then you know that it can make things appear to go forward, stop, or reverse.

Yeah, I did. Use to have one in the 80's. Used it to play jokes on drunk friends. You know, with the lights off, the strobe on, makes the blades of a fan appear to stop...wasn't all that difficult to baffle the drunk guy's and manipulate them to stick their hands into the ( actually ) moving blades. :devil:

Yeah, it is, more than you might imagine.