It’s time to build your own TARDIS! 2020 hasn’t been the greatest of years, and you might wish you could fast forward to the year 2025, or even journey back to simpler times, when ‘The Power of the Daleks‘ still existed, and tweets came only from birds.
Now, you may be thinking that dimensionally transcendental capsules with the ability to move anywhere in the universe are the stuff of science fiction, but there is nothing in the laws of physics that says you cannot build such a machine.
So stock up on Zeiton and pack a healthy supply of Artron cells. This is your official guide to building a TARDIS.
Make your TARDIS travel in time
Did you know that the cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev has already set the world record for time travel by virtue of the amount of time he spent orbiting the earth? Be like Sergei. Or – be nothing like Sergei, and squash his record underfoot.
It goes without saying that your TARDIS must have time travel capability. There are many ways of achieving this, but the simplest method is just to make it “go fast.” As Einstein pointed out in his theory of special relativity, time moves more slowly for fast-moving objects. That’s how Sergei Krikalev set his record. By travelling fast enough – and for long enough – his aging slowed down, meaning he effectively time travelled 20 milliseconds into the future.
It’s really that simple. Just make your machine quicker than anything ever built by man.
If you’re curious as to why time moves more slowly for fast-moving clocks, Professor Brian Cox illustrates this in his lecture The Science of Doctor Who. It’s well worth a watch.
But remember – any TARDIS worth its salt must be able to time travel to the past, too. Achieving this isn’t quite as straightforward – but you do have options.
The first method involves gravity. Einstein theorised that space and time are an interwoven fabric, and this fabric can be bent – much like a bed sheet, or a tarp. You get the idea. Now imagine spreading the bedsheet out, and throwing a football into the middle. The sheet would bend, its fabric pulled down by the mass of the object on top.
All you need, therefore, is an object with a big enough mass. This could be used to bend the fabric of space and time in such a way that you could (in theory) ‘link’ it up with another piece of space and time – somewhere in the past, if you like.
In fact, the Doctor himself uses a similar method for the TARDIS. Its power source is that of collapsing star, on the verge of becoming a black hole. And at present, we know of nothing in the universe more ‘massive’ than a black hole, as its singularity is infinitely dense. If you’re wanting to bend the fabric of space and time, look no further.
Another Einstein-approved method involves the use of wormholes. Basically, you need to make use of the theoretical ‘tunnels’ that act as shortcuts across the fabric of universe – not unlike the subway tunnels beneath London, that link different parts of the city.
In time, you might be able to generate your own wormholes, and link them to any place you fancy, and at any time in that place’s existence. Sounds easy, no?
Make your TARDIS bigger on the inside
Actually, you’ll almost certainly need a wormhole if your TARDIS is going to be bigger on the inside. Its interior exists in a different dimension – far away from its smaller outer shell. Therefore it doesn’t matter how large it is; the outer shell merely acts as a doorway. But you might need a wormhole to link this doorway to the console room.
The Fourth Doctor described this beautifully in the Doctor Who story ‘The Robots of Death.’ He took two boxes. He placed one on top of the TARDIS console, and the other at the far end of the room. Because of the change in perspective, the large box (on the console) now fit inside the small box (at the far end of the room.)
His companion Leela told him that this was silly, but the Doctor simply replied: “That’s trans-dimensional engineering.”
But before you go putting wormholes all over the place, there is a small caveat. It’s never been explained as to how the TARDIS doorway links to its interior. Yes, there could be a wormhole linking the two, but if there is, it’s too small to be perceived, as the journey into the TARDIS is instantaneous. It’s possible that the Doctor used some other method to bend space and time in such a way as to pull the two separate components together – but I’ve no idea what it could be.
Best stick to wormholes, then. But do they even exist? Well, according to the laws of physics, they’re certainly possible. Although nobody’s ever observed one. No doubt the person who does will be well on their way to a Nobel prize. So get searching, everyone.
Obviously this is only a basic, introductory guide to TARDIS construction, and Lovarzi cannot be held responsible for any damage incurred by amateur temporal engineering (e.g. devastating changes to the timeline / spaghettification in the singularity of a black hole / getting lost in a wormhole at rush hour.) But we hope you found it useful, and that it helps you in your mission to explore the cosmos. And if you ever claim that Nobel prize, please remember us, yeah?
Where would you go if you had your very own TARDIS? And would you have a police box as your outer shell? Let me know in the comments below.
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