How long should a safety rope be when travelling through a time portal?

I have created a time portal which goes back 1 second in time. I’m going to toss a few items into the portal, but I don’t want to lose them. I’m going to attach a very strong rope to the items so I can pull them back to the present. If you saw the movie “Poltergeist”, you may remember a similar situation when the dad went through the portal to get his daughter. My question is, how long should the rope be?

If you’re only sending them one second back in time, can’t you just pick them up from wherever they land after going through the portal?

The whole nine yards sounds about right.

Two Weeks

Well, everybody knows the proper reference frame with time portals is the galactic center. Since we’re traveling about 143 mi/s around the galactic center, I say about 143 miles long.

I don’t think so. They’re 1 second behind me. Will they ever catch up to me? I’m 1 second ahead of them in time. I’m thinking it’s like being on a moving sidewalk. I toss the items behind me on the moving sidewalk. By the time the item gets to where I was when I threw it, I’ve moved that same distance ahead and will always be that far ahead of it on the sidewalk. The only way to retrieve the items is to walk back to it or to pull it towards me.

Since God is the creator of time and space I think an old story can give us some insight. A man meets God and asks him “God, what is a million dollars to you?” God says “It’s but a penny”. Next the man asks “God, what is a million years to you?”. God replies again “It’s but a second.” Finally the man asks “God, can I have a penny?” to which God answers “Of course you can! Give me a second”

The lesson in this story is clear. Since we know that Time = money we can ascertain that 1 second = 1 million dollars.

So all we have to figure out now is how far can you stretch a million dollars. I think it will be variable. A million dollars goes a lot further in Kansas than it does in New York or California. So by moving to one of those cities you can use a shorter rope.

In fact, in Los Angeles there exists the worlds most expensive sidewalk:

The price tag for that sidewalk is $150,000 for 50 feet. At that rate you could build a 333 foot sidewalk for 1 million dollars so I think that gives you your answer. Build your time portal there and you could get by with a 350 foot rope for 1 second of time (I added a little extra length for insurance)

Couldn’t help but notice the timestamp on the OP’s post, and just wondered if he’s getting hungry yet.


That’s only on Mars.

According to Einstein, one second of time equals 300,000 km of space.

I think . . . you might have to multiply that by the square root of -1.

I think that joke only works on the east coast.

If you take this interpretation, what do you think the world would be like that those objects would find themselves in? Think about it for a moment… If you posit that you’ve “moved on” from the point one second in the past, and are thus no longer there, then by the same logic, wouldn’t the chair you’re sitting on also no longer be there in past-world, or the room the chair is in, or the house, or the planet? Nothing you’re expecting would be present. And there could be literally anything there in its place. Which makes this whole exercise completely unrecognizable as time travel, and rather just a peculiar way of describing plane shifting or dimension-hopping or whatever you choose to call it.

If you throw something back in time, it smashes against itself (because it’s already there before (and because) you threw it.

I wonder if the rope has to be made of a peculiar form of matter where the speed of sound through it is greater then the speed of light.

When you threw them, they are already there, since you tossed them to 1 second ago and they existed for 1 second (since then) and they’re here now (the “you tossing” now). Assuming the “items” are something you had in your pocket, you now (still the “you tossing” now) have two of each item–one to toss and one that appeared a second ago and still exists now.

If you follow me.

And a million dollars ain’t what it used to be. If you can travel back in time you can take a thousand 2013 dollars and spend them in the past to get a million dollars worth of rope.

No factual answer being possible, moving this from General Questions to IMHO.

samclem, moderator

I’m on the west coast and I LOL’d. :smiley:

omg he really posted in general questions? too funny!

You need a rope 1 lightsecond long, of course. But it’s going to snap when the force of the temporal deceleration propagates through it.