Time Dilation Fields

From StargateWiki
Jump to: navigation, search


In time dilation fields, time inside the area progresses at a different rate, usually slower, than time outside the field. However, with the use of advanced technology, the time can be slowed down, sped up, or reversed relative to the normal passage of time outside the field.

According to Maj. Paul Davis' research into relativity, there are only two causes for time to progress slower in a localized area: velocities near the speed of light or extreme gravity. Beyond these causes, Stargate Command has experienced time dilation fields generated by advanced technology from the Ancients and the Asgard.

Stargate References

Time Dilation Due to Extreme Gravity

SG-10 try to outrun the gravitational effects of a newly-created black hole near P3W-451
O'Neill and Cromwell are pulled horizontal by the black hole's gravitational influence through the Stargate
Odyssey's communications are affected by the gravity from this black hole in Pegasus

The gravitational pull of a black hole is the number one cause of a time lag within the area closest to it. Stargate Command experienced one such lag when they opened a wormhole to a planet that was being pulled in by a newly-formed black hole, P3W-451. SG-10, led by Maj. Henry Boyd, saw the black hole's birth and immediately tried to get to the Stargate before the gravitational pull tore the planet apart. They made a brief connection with Stargate Command, but the wormhole didn't remain activated. When Stargate Command dialed them back, they entered the gravitational influence of the black hole through the wormhole. The energy of the black hole kept the Stargate powered and the connection could only be severed with a shaped charge's detonation close to the wormhole's event horizon. This controlled blast caused the wormhole to jump to another destination Stargate (P2A-870). Unfortunately, there was no way to save SG-10. At the end of the ordeal, two weeks had passed outside the effects, while only one day had passed inside the base's levels nearest to the Stargate. (2.15 "A Matter of Time")

Another instance in which proximity to the gravitational influence of a black hole affected the passage of time was when Lt. Col. Samantha Carter and Dr. Rodney McKay took the Odyssey to Pegasus to use the black hole's power to create a perpetual wormhole connection between a Stargate in Pegasus with that of the Ori's intergalactic "Super Stargate" (aka "Supergate") in the Milky Way. Before they could make this connection, they had to connect two normal-sized Stargates and then force the wormhole to jump to the Supergate, much like how they had made the wormhole jump in the previous P3W-451 incident. During the radio communications with Teal'c who was stationed in the Milky Way near the Supergate to observe the wormhole's behavior, an "annoying" lag in time was audible: voices were deeper and slower and there was a delay in reception. It took the carefully-placed explosion of a twenty-six megaton directed energy bomb in conjunction with the destruction of a Wraith hive ship to get the wormhole to jump properly. The connection between these two Stargates prevented the Ori's ability to send warships through the Super Stargate to the Milky Way. Later, the wormhole connection was terminated using a Mark IX Gatebuster behind the originating Stargate that was near the black hole in Pegasus. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project", 10.15 "The Shroud")

Fields Created Through Asgard Technology

War with the Replicators motivated the Asgard to develop their time dilation device
Asgard's time dilation device interface was built with Earth's "primitive" technology
Human form Replicators caught inside the Asgard's time dilation field

The Asgard had a very powerful enemy in the form of the Replicators. These technological wonders were first created by the android Reese as toys, but soon they broke out on their own and assimilated the technology of other civilizations. They became quite selective in the type of technology that they used to replicate themselves, ignoring the more primitive and seeking out the more advanced. Once they found the Asgard, the Replicators unrelentingly devoured their technology and pushed the benevolent civilization toward extinction. In fighting against this "scourge", the Asgard developed progressively sophisticated technology, and the Replicators found ways to absorb it unhindered. (4.01 "Small Victories Part 2", 5.19 "Menace")

After SG-1 discovered Reese, they gave the android's damaged remains to the Asgard, hoping that they could find some way to fight the Replicators using her data and structure. The Asgard discovered the recall signal that all Replicators, no matter which generation, would respond to. The Asgard called them all (from the known universe) to gather on the planet Hala and then encased the planet inside a time dilation field with a 0.16 light-year radius to buy themselves enough time to devise an effective weapon to use against them. Time was slowed down in the field to a factor of ten to the fourth power, meaning that one year to the Replicators would have been about ten thousand years to the area outside the field. (6.12 "Unnatural Selection")

Because these Replicators were "smart", one of their nanites managed to get inside the time dilation device and reverse the field's relative progression. Instead of time progressing relatively slower, they made it go relatively faster. This meant that the Replicators were able to progress their programming over a much longer period of time while only one hundredth of that time progressed outside the field. During that additional time, which Carter calculated to have been possibly several hundred years, the Replicators took on the form of their creator Reese, looking very much human, but not possessing the admirable emotional traits of humanity. Using Earth's materials, the Asgard created a different interface control for the device and sent SG-1 into the field in their "primitive" Prometheus battle cruiser so that they could adjust the field once again. They were successful in slowing down time within the field as it was originally designed, but one of the Replicators, named Fifth, was very close when the device was activated, leaving the Asgard with much less time to find their solution than they had originally hoped for. (6.12 "Unnatural Selection")

Not quite two years passed on the outside for the mere seconds it took for Fifth to reach the device on the inside of the time dilation field. The Asgard had decided to destroy Hala by forcing its sun to convert into a black hole, but the Replicators, still inside the protection of their time dilation field, managed to escape the gravitational effects. Their understanding and modification of the device managed to stymie even Thor of the Asgard. (8.01 "New Order Part 1", 8.02 "New Order Part 2")

Kvasir presents SG-1 with the Asgard's new time dilation device
Odyssey inside a time dilation field with Ori's energy blast 0.86 seconds from impact
Teal'c protected outside the time reversal bubble

Eventually, though, the Asgard figured it out and developed a portable model of their time dilation device. They lent this device to SG-1 when an alternate reality bridge had been created inside the Kallanan Singularity that forced several versions of SG-1 and other teams to end up at Stargate Command. Carter proposed sending a bomb enveloped in a time dilation field into the singularity to effectively close the confluence. They didn't have to send the bomb after they found out that an alternate SG-1 had a controlled method of creating and closing this confluence and of opening bridges that could send all of the stranded alternates home. (9.13 "Ripple Effect")

The design of the Asgard's time dilation device was incorporated into the Asgard Core, which was part of their legacy that they installed into the Odyssey and gave to Stargate Command directly prior to their mass suicide. The Asgard Legacy was given during the Ori War, so any advanced technology that could be used to fight this insidious enemy was extremely valuable and rare. When the Odyssey was attacked by multiple Ori warships that were using the Core's energy signal to track their whereabouts even while they were in hyperspace, the potential of losing the Legacy was great. In order to save the ship with its precious knowledge and technology, Carter programmed the Core to envelop the starship in a time dilation field, where relatively speaking, time inside the ship was slowed down, such that years progressed when a mere fraction (0.86) of a second elapsed outside the field. (10.20 "Unending")

Unfortunately, 0.86 seconds was not enough time for the ship to be sent out of phase so that the blast would go through the starship and leave it unharmed, so Carter had to come up with another plan. This took decades, but finally, after about 50 or so years, Carter developed a way to reverse time inside the field (or bubble) by channeling the energy from the Ori's blast. Carter shielded Teal'c from the blast and he carried the solution back in time so that the ship could be saved by immediately disengaging the Core and activating the hyperdrives. This meant that Teal'c remained aged from his time in the bubble with all its memories, while his team mates had been de-aged through the reversal and had no memory of that time on the ship. (10.20 "Unending")

Time reversal and traveling back in time are not quite the same thing. Those inside the reversal are not aware of the "alternate timeline" they experienced while Teal'c is. Their time in the field is a version of an alternate timeline for their own futures, but not for Teal'c, who has aged those fifty years and remembers the events inside the field. (For more information about the time spent inside the ship, see "Alternate Timelines"; 10.20 "Unending")

Fields Created Through Ancient Technology

Sheppard passes through the portal that leads into a time dilation field
The Ancients created the time dilation field so that people could meditate toward reaching ascension
The Ancient starship Tria passes the Daedalus at .999 the speed of light

The Ancients had developed several pieces of advanced technology during the one hundred years that they were at war with the Wraith, and one of these was a time dilation field powered by a Zero Point Module (ZPM), a rare and powerful energy source, on a tranquil planet in Pegasus. While exploring this planet, Lt. Col. John Sheppard's team detected the energy readings from the ZPM and landed their puddle jumper to investigate. They found a doorway that permitted a traveler to enter the time dilation field, but this traveler would be stuck inside for the rest of his life. The sanctuary inside this field was designed for those who desired to stay in Pegasus and meditate toward reaching ascension, the Ancients' highly-evolved ability to shed their physical form and live on in a form of energy. Sheppard unwittingly passed through the portal and ended up living in the sanctuary for six months while only a few hours had passed on the outside. The people he met there were the last of their kind and were on the verge of ascending. After they did so, they opened the portal so that Sheppard and his team who had eventually followed him inside could leave, but they asked that the team leave the ZPM on the planet so that others who wished to find sanctuary could do so, just as they had done. (SGA 2.12 "Epiphany")

During the Ancient-Wraith War, the Ancients built their Aurora-class starships with hyperspace engines. When the war was coming to an end and the Ancients sunk their city-ship Atlantis into the ocean and returned to Earth through the Stargate, several of their starships were still out in the galaxy fighting. One such ship was the Tria, but it had been damaged during a battle and wasn't able to rendezvous with the city dwellers in time to evacuate through the Stargate, so the crew set a course for Earth. Their hyperdrive gave out and they then proceeded at .999 the speed of light, meaning that they were living inside a type of time dilation field, where relatively speaking, only about twelve years had passed for them inside their ship while 10,000 years had passed outside. Velocities near the speed of light were the second cause that Maj. Davis had pinpointed for time to progress slower in a localized area (see "Summary" above). (SGA 3.10 "The Return Part 1")

Ten thousand years after leaving Pegasus, the Tria was still inside the void between Pegasus and the Milky Way when they were detected by the Daedalus. At about the same time, the Tria's scanner detected that the Daedalus had the capability of hyperspace travel, so it sent an automated message asking for assistance. The Tria had a ZPM that enabled the Ancients to survive in stasis chambers. When these Lantian Ancients returned to Atlantis, they realized that they were all that were left of their great civilization and asked that the Atlantis Expedition leave while they adjusted to their new situation. Unfortunately, an Asuran attack left all of these Ancients—just over 100 of them—dead only six weeks after they had returned home. (SGA 3.10 "The Return Part 1")


Stargate SG-1

Stargate Atlantis

Related Characters

Related Articles

--DeeKayP 03:05, 24 May 2010 (UTC)