Is it possible that the future affects the past?

Second Nexus reports that recent physics experiments would seem to indicate that the future affects the past.  If so, that would be a form of time travel.

I love to write about time travel and ponder the implications.  Whether the form of time travel is through messaging into the past or future, suspended animation, wormholes, time machines, or some other quirks of physics, the paradoxes created are mind boggling as well as entertaining.  If you think so too, you might enjoy my “Science Fiction: Time Travel” anthology.

Time Travel E-book Cover

The Future is Short – Volume 2

My microstory “Winners Take All” is in print!

The Future is Short – Volume 2” is printed through Amazon’s Createspace service.  There are many other very short stories in this anthology “based on the best from the second year of the Science Fiction Microstory Contest on LinkedIn’s Sci-Fi group.”  The e-book version will be available in the near future, probably on Smashwords.com.

“Winners Take All” is my second story to make use of anti-gravity technology.  The other was “Above the Mississippi”, which you can find in my “Science Fiction: The Arts” anthology.

The Future is Short – Volume 2

LightSail Test Success

Image: The Planetary Society; LightSail unfurled June 9, 2015

The Planetary Society blog declared the LightSail test mission a success as of today, June 9, 2015.  Above you can see an image of the unfurled light sail, though it won’t be until next year’s mission that another LightSail is used to actually attempt to sail into space.  Below you can see LightSail crossing the night sky on June 8, 2015.

Our ancestors sailed the seas and discovered new lands.  Perhaps today is a step towards future vehicles sailing on sunlight — and possibly laser light, running supply missions, and making new discoveries.  The stuff of science fiction made into reality.

LightSail deployed!

The Planetary Society’s Mission Control website exudes excitement as the LightSail test flight successfully deployed the sail.  It’s only a matter of time before the test sail falls, but until then you might be able to spot it in space if you check on sighting instructions at the mission control site.  I imagine this raises expectations for next year’s launch when LightSail will be expected to achieve real space flight.  The Planetary Society already well exceeded their goal on Kickstarter.

Whether portending sailing on light or taking an elevator to space, science fiction is fuel for the imagination.  If you want to dream of the possibilities, or just take a ride in a time shuttle, check out my short science fiction anthologies available in several e-book formats.

RobotsAndCyborgsCover

 

Telesurgery

Computerworld recently reported on simulated robotic surgery over the internet.  I think it’s only a matter of time before doctors are able to operate on a patient across the country.  But, as the Computerworld headline hints at, how about across space?

As long as the space station is within the orbit of the moon, we’re probably only talking about a 1 second or less display — assuming the station is within reach of a ground station.  That’s not ideal, but it might be acceptable for some emergency remote operations that are supervised.  But Mars communications, when everything is aligned to allow it, is a matter of minutes, not seconds.  That might be okay for communicating a set of operating instructions to a doctor on Mars — or surgical subtasks to a robot on Mars, which would have to be more robust than the research shows in the video below — but it would likely be dangerous for not-close-enough-to-real-time operation of a robotic surgical device.

But once you get further out to other solar systems, the communication times are in years.  Surgery from Earth would not be possible without some kind of FTL (faster than light) communications.  One can see in the movie “Prometheus” a — rather disturbing — example of a robotic surgeon capable of many different kinds of operating procedures on its own.  On Star Trek “Voyager” we’re introduced to an Emergency Medical Hologram capable of serving as the ship’s doctor when needed.

My story “RemoteDoc” — about a woman in the future who performs remote surgeries on Mars and on Earth — was published in 2004 in “The Martian Wave”.  It’s not in print, but I will put this in my second “Science Fiction: Robots & Cyborgs” anthology.

Extremely slow Wi-Fi transporter?

CNet recently wrote about a Wi-Fi router tricked out to look like the “Star Trek” Enterprise. That’s pretty neat to have, if you can get one or make one. As the article says, you might feel the need to say “Beam me onto the internet, Scotty”. But don’t expect to be transporting yourself from one place to another anytime soon. I figure it would take about 3 billion centuries to transport once using a Wi-Fi router. Here’s my rough calculations.

Figure quantum processing time on a quantum computer is unbelievably fast, but the Wi-Fi transfer rate is limited (1 gigabit per second, maybe) and recording quantum atom states likely takes more than 1 bit, so maybe 100,000,000=10^8 atoms recorded per second. The human body has approximately 10^27 atoms, so 10^27/10^8 = 10^19 seconds. There are about 60*60*24*365*100=3*10^9 seconds in a century, so 10^19/(3*10^9) is about 10^10/3 = 3 billion centuries.

Below is a video showing several transporter glitches in “Star Trek” movies and television episodes. Notice they don’t include any where the crew’s Wi-Fi signal is suddenly lost because their badges lost contact with the router, but they’ve had worse things happen.

While I haven’t written any stories that discuss transporters, I did have one published about a young man who has a device that attempts to predict the near future based on the current state of the atoms in his vicinity. This, like the transporter, would require technology far more advanced than Wi-Fi speeds. But it was fun to write about. The story is called “Surfing the Wave” and can be found in my anthology of science fiction short stories: “Science Fiction: Future Youth”.