Potentials of Future-Viewing Machines

Abstract

{June 2018 UPDATE: This work has been greatly surpassed by "Utilizing Future-Viewing Instruments" which will appear in the July 2018 issue of Progress in Physics. It can now be downloaded in PDF form from their website.} The introduction of new scientific instruments has always played a vital role in the advancement of science and society. All scientific instruments to date have only been able to gain information pertaining to events of our immediate and distant past. Concerning our attempts to gain information about future events, thus far our sciences have been limited to prediction. However, what if we could develop instruments that would enable us, in a wide range of circumstances, to achieve direct empirical access to future states of our world? It is clear that any kind of future-viewing machine would have enormous impacts upon science and society, but what kinds of impacts? Questions as to whether such machines are physically possible and might ever be feasible from an engineering perspective will not be addressed; this work is devoted to exploring the logic of such machines and deducing some of the possibilities of their utilization.

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