science and fiction | July 18, 2012

How Scientist Ronald Mallett is Building a Time Machine (And Why)

In a new video series called EPIPHANY, Ronald Mallett discusses his emotional and scientific quest to make time travel possible. The video reveals the original story behind his lifelong quest: how the death of his father, when Mallett was just ten, inspired him to build a functioning time machine. While most childhood dreams fade over time, Mallett has transformed his into an academic career that has made him an influential voice in theoretical physics—overcoming poverty, racism, and much else along the way. Here's Mallett, explaining how his personal tragedy inspired him to begin a lifelong scientific pursuit:

My whole reason for being interested in time travel has to do with my father. My father was the center of my life—to me, he almost seemed like Superman, larger than life. Unfortunately what we didn't know was that he had a very weak heart, and he was a two pack a day smoker. He died, totally unexpectedly, of a massive heart attack when he was only 33 and I was 10. It crushed me. It really destroyed my world, it turned it inside out, and I was inconsolable. But one of the gifts he left me with was this gift of reading. I loved reading science fiction, and since my mother had her own problems to deal with, I was left on my own, to do that...[When I read] H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, even when I saw the cover, I knew that this might be the answer.

In his well-attended keynotes, Ronald Mallett peppers his mind-blowing scientific findings with his personal story, showing audiences just how far dedication to a dream and scientific know-how can take you.