Foundations of Physics

, Volume 35, Issue 9, pp 1497–1509 | Cite as

Closed Timelike Curves and Time Travel: Dispelling the Myth

  • F. I. Cooperstock
  • S. Tieu

Gödel’s contention that closed timelike curves (CTC’s) are a necessary consequence of the Einstein equations for his metric is challenged. It is seen that the imposition of periodicity in a timelike coordinate is the actual source of CTC’s rather than the physics of general relativity. This conclusion is supported by the creation of Gödel-like CTC’s in flat space by the correct choice of coordinate system and identifications. Thus, the indications are that the notion of a time machine remains exclusively an aspect of science fiction fantasy. The element of the identification of spacetime points is also seen to be the essential factor in the modern creation of CTC’s in the Gott model of moving cosmic strings.


closed timelike curves Gödel Gott spacetimes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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