The Bottom Line
- A fascinating look inside the life and work of a physicist.
- Explores the concepts of time in relativity, as author seesk to create a time machine.
- Experimental evidence of Mallett's claims have still not been detected.
- Subtitle: A Scientist's Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality
- 216 pages, 14 chapters + endnotes + index
- Review is based on a 2006 hardcover edition of the book. A paperback edition is also available.
- Authors: Dr. Ronald L. Mallett (of the University of Connecticut) and Bruce Henderson (professional author)
Guide Review - Time Traveler by Dr. Ronald Mallett
It's a reasonable desire for any young boy, but Mallett had an unusual level of dedication ... he stuck with it, devoting his life to the study of theoretical physics - specifically Einstein's theory of relativity - until he finally developed a theory that allowed for time travel.
This is not a dry scientific procedural, as many books about physics turn out to be. This is an intensely personal account of Mallett's life, which includes service in the military and the tension of life as a black man in the 1960s (Mallett, though from the Bronx, was stationed in the south when he served with the military).
The physics explanations are clear but, again, it's the autobiographical details that drive the story of his search for a time machine. He explains the physics elements involved, placing the information in the context of the life events going on at the time he learned it. Along with his growing understanding of physics he relates science fiction in popular culture that also influenced his interest in time travel.
In the end, Mallett came up with a concept where a grid of laser beams causes a phenomenon called frame dragging, which causes tiny ripples in space-time. This may allow for particles or light beams to travel back in time, if experiments bear out the prediction.
One of the most intriguing aspects of his book is the description of a concept which he has patented, the Laser Optical Time Machine and Receiver Transmitter (LOTART) - a device which can receive and transmit messages from the future.