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Temporal Anomalies

Main Page
Discussing Time Travel Theory
Other Films
Perpetual Barbecue
About the Author
Contact the Author

See also entries under the
Temporal Anomalies/Time Travel
category of the
mark Joseph "young"
web log
elsewhere on this site.

Quick Jumps

Reconsidering Replacement Theory
General Comments
Multiple Time Travelers
Nested Anomalies
Overlapping Anomalies

Not Letters

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  First Response

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  Second Response

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  Third Response

Chuck Buckley's Time Travel Problem:
  Fourth Response

Vazor's Time Travel Questions:
  First Response


Doctor TOC, 12 Monkeys Fixed Timeline
Doctor TOC, Woman on Plane
JKrapf007, Evil Dead 2 Not a Remake
Nathro, Evil Dead 2 a Sequel
JKrapf007, Travel Before Your Birth
Nathro, More About Evil Dead
Sauce96, Terminator and Star Trek
Sauce96, Presenting an Original Story
Sauce96, Defending Paradox
Muhammed, A Line from 12 Monkeys
Holger Thiemann, 12 Monkeys Fixed Time
Chad Hadsell, Local Infinity Loops
Chad Hadsell, Time an Abstraction
Holger Thiemann, Testing the Theory
Chad Hadsell, Travel to the Future
Chad Hadsell, Erasing Future Self
Holger Thiemann, Temporal Duplicates
Gecko, 12 Monkeys Analysis Incorrect
Jason Seiler, 12 Monkeys Static Time
Jason Seiler, Metaphysics Class Links
Etienne Rouette, Woman on Plane
Matthew Potts, Woman on Plane
Bart, Parallel Universe Theory
Bart, Clarification
Illumin8, Spreadsheets

Movies Analyzed
in order examined

    Addendum to Terminator
    Terminator 3:  Rise of the Machines
    Terminator Recap
    Terminator Salvation
    Terminator Genisys
    Terminator:  Dark Fate
Back To The Future
Back To The Future II
Back To The Future III
Star Trek Introduction
    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
    Star Trek: Generations
    Star Trek: First Contact
    Star Trek (2009)
12 Monkeys
    Addendum to 12 Monkeys
Flight Of The Navigator
  Flight Of The Navigator Addendum
Army of Darkness
Lost In Space
Peggy Sue Got Married
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
Planet of the Apes
Kate and Leopold
Somewhere In Time
The Time Machine
Minority Report
Happy Accidents
The Final Countdown
Donnie Darko
  S. Darko
Harry Potter and
    the Prisoner of Azkaban

Deja Vu
    Primer Questions
Bender's Big Score
Popular Christmas Movies
The Butterfly Effect
  The Butterfly Effect 2
  The Butterfly Effect 3:  Revelations
The Last Mimzy
The Lake House
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Hot Tub Time Machine
Los Cronocrimines a.k.a. TimeCrimes
A Sound of Thundrer
Frequently Asked Questions
    About Time Travel

Source Code
Blackadder Back & Forth
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
11 Minutes Ago
Men in Black III
La Jetée
Midnight in Paris
Meet the Robinsons
H. G. Wells' The Time Machine
The Jacket
Safety Not Guaranteed
The Philadelphia Experiment
    The Philadelphia Experiment II
Time After Time
About Time
Free Birds
X-Men:  Days of Future Past
Edge of Tomorrow
Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Project Almanac
Time Lapse
O Homem Do Futuro
    a.k.a. The Man from the Future

Abby Sen
When We First Met
See You Yesterday
The History of Time Travel
Copyright Information

The temporal anomaly terminology used here is drawn from Appendix 11:  Temporal Anomalies of Multiverser from Valdron Inc, and is illustrated on the home page of this web site.  This site is part of M. J. Young Net.

Books by the Author.

The Book

Temporal Anomalies in Time Travel Movies
A Letter from Illumin8:

A correspondent from half a decade ago whose discussion was not posted returns with new thoughts and new images.

Reconsidering Replacement Theory

Mr. Young,

We emailed each other during 2014 and 2015. I sent you spreadsheets of what I thot was going on in Replacement Theory. I've recently re-read your core articles. This time I took you at your word that time snaps back and that erased time travelers disappear. So I charted that again. I almost had it in 2014. But the difference is that now I charted the erased time travelers disappearing on the snap. RT makes a lot more sense now! It will take me some time to think about how multiple travelers would be charted.

I've attached spreadsheets in Excel97 and LibreOffice6 formats and pictures in gif, jpg, and png formats. You have my permission to use them on your sites.

I realized that Infinity Loops are just a special case of Sawtooth Snaps. The endlessly repeated teeth are just folded onto each other. The article mentioning the alternation of hamburger or pizza for lunch was illuminating.

I hope that your heart issues are better. Links to books that might help:
Left for Dead - cayenne pepper Dick Quinn
Wayne Green's Secret Guide to Health

Jeff Gallagher

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General Comments


Thank you for your note.  I apologize that I don't recall much of our previous conversation (although I recognize the screen name).  Also, I am not completely certain what the diagrams are illustrating (and I apologize to the readers, as I had to reduce the size by half for it to appear on the page, and that reduced the clarity significantly).  However, I think you're grasping the theory, and that's good.

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Multiple Time Travelers

You suggest that there are complications when there are multiple time travelers, and of course there are, but the issues are not exactly simple.  The first question, though, is what you mean by this, and there are six possibilities that come to me:

  1. Several people are involved in the same trip, that is, the machine is sending several people back at once;
  2. Two people have left the future at exactly the same instant but by different means;
  3. One person leaves the future after the other, and also arrives after the other departs;
  4. One person leaves after the other departs and arrives before the other arrives;
  5. One person leaves after the other departs and arrives inside the anomaly created by the other, that is, after the other arrives but before the other departs.
  6. One person leaves from inside the anomaly created by the other, that is, after the other arrives but before he departs, and arrives before the other arrives.
I think that is logically all the possibilities, assuming both are traveling to the past.

The first situation is not really an issue, as whether we have a time traveler or a hundred time travelers, we have only one time travel event, only one anomaly.  We have an exponentially greater chance of disaster (as one traveler might undo the existence not of himself but of one of his companions), but we handle it the same way.

I consider the second to be improbable beyond reckoning, such that I don't think it could ever happen.

The third is not an issue; we have one anomaly which obviously must have resolved into an N-jump, and then later we have another anomaly which does not interfere with the first.

That leaves the fourth, which we could call nested anomalies, and the fifth and sixth, overlapping anomalies, to be addressed.

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Nested Anomalies

There are two distinct ways to get nested anomalies, and they look very different.

For the first way, let us envision Traveler 1 leaving from 2020 to 2010.  It doesn't matter what he does, as long as our consequence is ultimately an N-jump.  If it's not--if time does not resolve--then the second event can never happen.  So we assume that history stabilizes.  Then in 2030 Traveler 2 leaves for 2000.  He has created a CD timeline; there is an anomaly in his AB timeline.  Assuming that Traveler 2's trip was in no way influenced by Traveler 1's trip, it does not matter whether Traveler 1 makes the same trip in Traveler 2's CD timeline, as long as Traveler 2 will still be the same person making the same trip from his point D with the same goals.  Thus the outer anomaly can have a contained anomaly on just the AB side or on both sides.

For the second way, Traveler 1 leaves from 2030 to 2000 creating an original history in which there was no contained anomaly.  Something Traveler 1 does induces Traveler 2 to travel from 2020 to 2010, creating a contained anomaly on the CD side that was not on the AB side.  If that does not resolve to an N-jump we have an extremely complicated situation, because it means that Traveler 1 can never leave from point D and never arrive at point C, but we can't even address that because Traveler 2 is stuck in the internal loop preventing time from moving beyond 2020.  Hopefully, though, that anomaly will resolve, and so we have the outer anomaly which has an inner anomaly only on the CD side.  If that outer anomaly resolves, history will have two N-jumps, one inside the other.

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Overlapping Anomalies

I have oversimplified overlapping anomalies, but they're about to get complicated.  In the first case, Traveler 1 went from 2020 to 2000, and created an N-jump (again because otherwise Traveler 2 never has the chance to depart).  Then in 2030 Traveler 2 leaves for 2010.  He cannot travel to the AB side of the original anomaly, because it is an erased history, so he lands in the middle of the CD side.  He is now altering the history of that anomaly, and runs the risk of destabilizing it such that it does not resolve into an N-jump, crashing us into an infinity loop.  Again in so doing he undoes his own trip to the past, but we never get that far because we're stuck at 2020.

More complicated, we might suppose that Traveler 1 left from 2030 to 2010, creating the CD history, but then in 2020 Traveler 2 left for 2000.  In so doing, Traveler 2 has altered the history of both sides of the N-jump.  He might undo the original anomaly, but then faces the problem that the version of him who traveled to the past did so from the CD timeline which no longer exists, so he cannot have arrived in the past.  Our best hope is that he creates a complex N-jump by not changing anything that would impact either side of the original anomaly.

I hope this helps.

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