The Slightly Disgruntled Scientist

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A Simple Time Machine



The components, construction and instructions for use for a device for travelling forward through time are detailed. Results and consequences of use are also documented.

Disclaimer : The publication of this technical note does not encourage or promote the construction or use of this device. The author accepts no responsibility or liability for consequences arising from any attempts to construct or use such a device.


  1. Temporal Insulatory Shell - a material with sufficient rigidity as to be self supporting for the dimensions of the machine. The material should also be of sufficient optical density (OD) as to appear opaque. For the construction documented herein, a material manufactured from wood pulp derivative was used; primarily for convinience, as it was already in the necessary form of a container (see below).

  2. Spatial-Temporal Probe - metallic wire, with thickness greater than 1mm, in loop.

  3. Fuel Condensate - preferably rich in enzymes. Powder or liquid form is acceptable. Long journeys may require nocturnal immersion in fuel-rich solution. To cope with possible low temperatures, ensure fuel is functional in cooler environments.

  4. Marker Pen - not that difficult.


  1. In the side of the shell, cut an entrance which can be closed during use. Locking or sealing mechanisms are not necessary.

  2. Attach probe to the top of the shell. Placement is not important, but it should be clearly visible.

  3. Label the shell with clearly visible warning signs if they are deemed necessary.


  1. Determine the date and time to which you wish to travel.

  2. On the side of the machine write this date, making sure this is clearly visible.

  3. Enter the machine, and close the door behind you.

  4. Wait for an amount of time determined by the equation:

    The machine is fairly autonomous, requiring little maintenance or interaction during the journey.

  5. Exit machine.

  6. You should find yourself in... the future!


For my attempt at time travel, I constructed the documented machine using an already manufactured cardboard containment vessel; a household wire device used for garment suspension; standard time machine fuel; and a small marker. The machine was put together as set out above.

Initially I decided to constrain myself to travelling only small periods into the future - so for my first experiment, I decided to travel one hour into the future. Knowing that the journey might take some time, I packed some food and a book to keep me occupied.

There was the obvious problem of what attire I should don in order not to stand out too much. While such a time may be vastly different from our own, I considered that given the cyclic nature of fashion, the safest bet was to wear a combination of items from various periods throughout history.

Also aware that there might be unforeseen hazards in an unknown future world, I donned some personal protective equipment; namely, a metal helmet (adapted from a colander found in the kitchen), some leather gloves and a scarf, and a metal spoon with which to defend myself should the need arise.

Geography also presented a complication. Due to unforeseeable events, my time travel laboratory may not have the same structure in the future, and so for this attempt I decided to perform my experiment in an outside area - a prominent public place that is likely to remain permanent, but not upon the thoroughfares or high traffic areas themselves.

The journey itself was entirely successful, taking approximately 3600 seconds. The strange looks I received from people as I emerged from my vehicle convinced me that I had arrived in “the undiscovered country” - a time so different from our own, so disjoint and yet hauntingly familiar. The similarities were as strange as the differences. Clearly I was recognisable as a fellow human, and yet out of place in this advanced and bizarre world. I am still adapting, and the fact that my place of residence is still in existence is of great help. (Attempting to explain my absence and amazing experiment to my partner was met only with kind stares and soothing words. I suspect she is not convinced.)

As I perform more and more travelling, I will be able to gather more data which will be presented. Truly, this is a humbling experience.


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