Here We Go Through the Newtonian Time Telescope™!

I know–many of you will now be angry with me because my title sucked you in and subsequently failed to deliver the goods (or will fail to deliver, as we shall see). My brain is in a dither. If I could possibly explain my failure at actually producing my Time Telescope technology as I outlined in an earlier proposal, would you forgive me? Would you buy my excuses? I have one after another: illness, children, Christmas, Christmas trees, driving in the mountains where there’s snow, too many hot drinks with brandy or rum, and too much generalized merry-making to want to bend time through the spherical mirror inside my scope.

That leaves me with more confessions to make. Although I envisioned the brand name Newtonian Time Telescope™ and even found the name to ring poetically in my ears, while the ampersand and semicolon necessary for cute html insignia sent pleasure signals to the dopamine-producing regions of my brain, the truth is I can’t imagine how one could time-travel through a telescope. Presumably, one would have to move faster than the speed of light in order to travel through time. Yet, a telescope simply collects light and, in the case of the Newtonian telescope, reflects this light to the eyepiece using its secondary mirror. This leaves me with a bewildering sense of 17 C steam-punk, in which impossible technology is rendered possible using steam power to produce some kind of Galilean kinematic system. But wouldn’t the steam fog up the mirrors?

So, although I would like to pretend I’ve been hiding away in my basement hammering out this time telescope, my final confession is this: I have no basement, not even a crawl space. I have no place to hide away from the world. I’ve long considered moving to a cave I know of, but the musky smell of wild animals inside it puts me off a little. When Virginia Woolf wrote in her ridiculously long sentences about a woman needing a room of her own in order to accomplish awesome feats of intellectual stupendousness, she failed to mention the part about houses with missing basements or the fact that caves often come furnished with wild animals. Where did she think a woman was to obtain this “Room of One’s Own”? And, then after finding such a place, did Ms. Woolf perceive that a woman might do nothing more intellectually stimulating than stare at the wall in the silent room reserved for her little lone self?

Back to the Newtonian Time Telescope™ and my proposal to the Royal Society of None, I have to admit that my excitement over the idea was perhaps slightly premature. I thought that earlier today, anyway. I thought, what have you gotten yourself into now, Jill? Why did you want to force Newtonian physics into encompassing this sort of nonsense? I don’t know. I can’t make sense of the world; that’s why. And when I write about it, I realize the words are just phonemes that represent stuff like time machines. They’re not real. They’re not really real.

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13 comments

  1. When you look into a standard telescope, you are experiencing the past, because the light that you see is a record of cosmic events that occurred hundreds, thousands, or even millions of light years ago.

    In my time, this realization formed the initial basis that makes all time travel possible.

    1. That was my thinking. I figured that if the telescope were powerful enough, one could see details of the past, if not actually be able to reach or live in the past. I’m not sure how that would work for the future, unless one just reversed the telescope and looked in it backwards!! 😉

  2. All we need is an ancient and gigantic mirror somewhere in space, then with a telescope powerful enough, we will indeed be able to see into Earth’s past. It’s a big universe…anything is possible!

  3. “I’m not sure how that would work for the future, unless one just reversed the telescope and looked in it backwards!!”

    I laughed out loud when I read this because you are soooo close to the theoretical underpinnings of the time travel technology that we use in the future that I inhabit. (I am prohibited by International Law from disclosing any future technologies or events, etc., but you are extremely close!)

    1. Wow, time traveller, who woulda thunk the future technology would be so much like a child’s plaything? I’m truly honored to know that a real time traveller has looked at the 21st C, all it has to offer, and then decided that my blog is the place to be. Tell all your future friends about it. Oh, and will my name remembered far into the future? I’ve always had delusions of grandeur. That’s all, thanks.

  4. I don’t have a “future” ethics code; it is a “present” ethics code….Oh, never mind!

    In my time, everyone knows you as a historic figure who is credited with developing the theorems that resulted in the first successful time travel (so-called Domschot’s Laws).

    You did your ground breaking work while attending New Mexico Tech.

    You also happen to be my great-great-great grandmother.

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