Dr. Mead

While I was writing Chronosia, I was not worried that everything had to be exactly true. After all, for the past 40 years we have accepted that the starship Enterprise could go faster than light with no time dilation. But I also knew if I got too carried away with the extrapolations of relativistic science, my story could get very dull.

For the novel to work, I needed a way for a killer to travel into a universe where time travels backward. It seemed a wormhole would be my best bet. But I wondered if I would have a few scientists laughing. Years ago there was a theory in vogue among the researchers of subatomic particles. Some noticed that since positrons, (that is positive charged electrons, which could be used to make antimatter), travel in the reverse directions of ordinary electrons, they might be electrons that are simply traveling backwards in time.

Hmm. What would cause the cores of black holes to annihilate each other, as Dr. Thorne says, to create wormholes? If I sent characters to a backward time universe would they be instantly killed by antimatter?

I sent a copy of one of my early manuscripts to Dr. Lawrence Mead, an Astronomy Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. And I asked him about the antimatter problem. Dr. Mead read my manuscript and told me that the cores of black holes do not need to be made of opposite charge to destroy each other. And the mathematics that describes black holes does not require that one side of 2 universes that flow in reverse time has to be made of antimatter.

But Dr. Mead told me I still did have a problem. The wormhole still has to be filled with exotic matter. Since exotic matter would have to have negative mass, Mead insists it can not exist.

OK. I felt that was an even compromise between fantasy and reality. Maybe the novel could work.

In recent years, many scientists, still searching for an explanation of why the outer universe is expanding so much and why galaxies are rotating too fast, hold on to the idea of exotic matter. Others, (who I respect for their boldness), consider that our inability to find exotic matter is not the problem. Perhaps we need to modify our entire concept of gravity so we can account for a force we attributed to what we call exotic matter. Could Newton’s laws be appropriate for our solar system but invalid for deep space? From what I have heard scientists say in recent years, the jury is still out.

Now for Chronosia.