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Chronology Protection in String Theory

  • Dyson, Lisa
Published Article
Publication Date
Aug 15, 2003
Submission Date
Feb 10, 2003
DOI: 10.1088/1126-6708/2004/03/024
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Many solutions of General Relativity appear to allow the possibility of time travel. This was initially a fascinating discovery, but geometries of this type violate causality, a basic physical law which is believed to be fundamental. Although string theory is a proposed fundamental theory of quantum gravity, geometries with closed timelike curves have resurfaced as solutions to its low energy equations of motion. In this paper, we will study the class of solutions to low energy effective supergravity theories related to the BMPV black hole and the rotating Wave--D1--D5--brane system. Time travel appears to be possible in these geometries. We will attempt to build the causality violating regions and propose that stringy effects prohibit their construction. We will show how the geometry is corrected and that, once corrected, causality is preserved. We will track our chronology protection proposal in the dual conformal field theory. The absence of closed timelike curves in the geometry coincides with the preservation of unitarity in the conformal field theory. The agent of chronology protection for the geometries studied here mirrors the enhancon mechanism, a mechanism string theory employs to resolve a class of naked singularities.

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