Quantum Physicist Approves the Time Traveler's WifeS

Tragic love stories may not be your thing, but physicist Dave Goldberg says there's another reason to be excited for the film adaptation of The Time Traveler's Wife: it's the most accurate time travel movie you'll see all year.

Goldberg, a physics professor at Drexel University, and co-author of the upcoming book A User's Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes and Quantum Uncertainty, says that amidst the current glut of more fantastical time travel dramas — in which he includes Lost, Star Trek, and HeroesThe Time Traveler's Wife is a breath of relatively accurate air.

Looking at the theories developed by Albert Einstein, Hugh Everett, Igor Novikov, and Kip Thorne, Goldberg creates a checklist for accurate time travel rules ("You can't visit any time before your time machine was built." "You can't kill your own grandfather."), and explains how well The Time Traveler's Wife fits within those rules. The verdict: the story bends the rules a bit, but in a somewhat justifiable way, and comes out leagues ahead of most popular time travel tales.

One point I wish Goldberg had addressed is whether nudity is a prerequisite for time travel, because personally when they build the time machine, I'd prefer to arrive fully clothed.

Time-Traveling for Dummies [Slate]