Freezing Time: Chronovisors

Foto de Burak Kebapci en Pexels

The chronovisor was supposedly a functional time viewer described by Father François Brune in his 2002 book Le nouveau mystère du Vatican ("new mystery of the Vatican"). Brune is the author of several books on the paranormal and religion. In the book, Brune relates that the chronovisor was built by Pellegrino Ernetti (1925-1994), an Italian priest and scientist. Although Ernetti was a real person, the existence or functionality of the chronovisor has never been confirmed; its purported capabilities are very reminiscent of the fictional time viewer in T. L. Sherred's 1947 science fiction novel, E for Effort.


A "Chronovisor" is a hypothetical device that can view past and future events. Now, we will not talk about conspiracy theories. Our interest in this article lies in other types of chronovisor less hypothetical and if it is possible something like the hypothetical. Nothing new, by the way.

It is now known that time as a dimension is linked to space. By looking at the past with a device one would be looking at the way the place was at a given time. From this, looking into the future would be, perhaps, either impossible or very complicated. It could probably be achieved by using computers to perform complex probabilistic calculations, as we do today with statistical projections.

Looking into the past seems to me more feasible (among the unbelievable). Doing so would ensure that time contains space, or the other way around. It would be like every measurable moment contains physical change information. The information of space would be contained in infinite sheets of time. By sheets I mean the thickness of measured time that would contain more or less information of events.

The information can be stored or is stored in codes understandable to whoever created them, whether words or some other medium. Books are chronovisors (not strictly speaking, since we do not really see. We imagine), they allow us to "see" the information contained in a lapse of time. And, of course, any other medium you must already be imagining. The translation of the information is done by us, and so we compress it into words. On the downside, it is not easy to store all the information.

Still, imagine having to store the information of a place, let's say the size of your room. All the information that is produced in an exact millisecond of time, AND everything, is everything, atoms, particles, everything, is too much information to then have to compress it and process it into a code understandable to us. The less time elapses the less information, just the base information contained in the amount of space.

It is possible, yes, we can do it now, no. We can do it now. Will we ever be able to do it, I don't know.

The simplest thing to do is to simply store a single dimension of information. Be it the visual or auditory information given or reflected by objects as they are affected by another source in an exact period of time. It's less information, easier to translate into a code and store it on a medium.

Voice recordings and photographs manage to collect some of the information from space over time.

Foto de Rodolfo Clix en Pexels

Photographs freeze a sheet of time. Photographic cameras use the information contained in light to contain it in a medium. What we get is a simplified version of reality. There is not much information really (just a two-dimensional trace), the rest we fill in with memory. And if we combine many of these temporary painted sheets and put them in succession with a constant interval, we create the sensation of movement.

It is very complex, just using our limited reason, to find a way to imagine a device that can translate the visual information of years in the past contained in a place and display it, just as if it were a photograph or even a video. But, many things we have imagined have found form in the world.

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