The Science Behind The Timey-Wimey Time Travel On ‘Doctor Who’

Posted Friday, August 10th, 2012 05:28 pm GMT -5 by

Tardis traveling through time

One of the best things about ‘Doctor Who’ is the bits of scientific facts interwoven with scientific fiction. The mixture gives the viewer just enough to believe that the impossible may actually be possible. One of those impossible things is the idea of time travel.

Recently, BBC America gathered a few scientists to talk about the science fiction aspect of ‘Doctor Who’ and aired it in a special called ‘The Science of Doctor Who.’ One of the subjects that theoretical physicist Michio Kaku and Jim Al Khalili along with space scientist Maggie Aderin Pocock talked about was the ability of the TARDIS to travel through time.

If you missed the special, BBC America released a clip of that segment which you can watch below. In the footage, the scientists debate the possibility of time travel using Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and the use of wormholes.  Watching the segment was a bit surreal reminding me of episodes of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ where Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard sit around talking about who was the better Robin: Dick Greyson, Jason Todd or Tim Drake and using scientific reasoning to back up their assertions.

I must admit, though, I was half expecting one of these scientists to proclaim that “people assume time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually — from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint — it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.”  Though they did come close.

The segment is pretty interesting and if you want to see the entire special, you can download it off iTunes. Now if I can only get my psychic paper to work…