If Marty McFly were real, would he use Twitter? Researchers set out to wring any traces of time travelers out of the online world. Astrophysicist Robert Nemiroff and physics graduate student Teresa Wilson from Michigan Technological University released their findings with a paper titled "Searching the Internet for evidence of time travelers."
The researchers start by acknowledging the theoretical possibility for time travel into the future. Stephen Hawking's famously unattended time travel party in 2009 gets a mention. (He sent out the invitations after the party was over.)
The search for signs of time travelers involved scouring the Internet for prescient information. "Specifically, we search for content that should not have been known at the time it was posted," the paper says. The scientists narrowed down some search terms that had specific windows for entering popular use, and looked for mentions of those terms prior to them entering the lexicon. "Comet ISON" and "Pope Francis" both fit the bill.… Read more