I've read these Stack Exchange articles and am assuming that Interstellar could be a time travel movie.

Cooper's Time in Space & Time travel in Interstellar explained.

Wikipedia states that,

Time travel is the concept of movement between certain points in time, analogous to movement between different points in space by an object or a person, typically with the use of a hypothetical device known as a time machine.

Can the Massive Tesseract considered as a time machine or in fact are there any time machines used in Interstellar?

  • 2
    There was no time travel, only big heavy gravity IIRC. And depending on gravity, time flows faster/slower than elsewhere. This is seen on the waterplanet Nov 8, 2019 at 7:14
  • 3
    @XtremeBaumer there was definitely time travel
    – OrangeDog
    Nov 8, 2019 at 11:35
  • @StopHarmingMonica when/where? There was only the "interaction" but certainly no travel Nov 8, 2019 at 12:15
  • 1
    @XtremeBaumer People from the distant future created a wormhole in "now". That's time travel. Nov 8, 2019 at 16:29
  • There are a few minor plot holes in Interstellar: as Cooper fell into the black hole, his daughter aged but his girlfriend on the new planet did not. Also, Cooper slowed down for decades, so his daughter could have actually invented anti-gravity, gone to the black hole, and rescued him even before he fell in (creating paradox). There is also a paradox if the wormhole was invented by humans: how did they get off the planet to begin with to be able to send back messages? Therefore the wormhole was created by aliens.
    – Chloe
    Nov 8, 2019 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


The Tesseract, to describe the real thing:

In geometry, the tesseract is the four-dimensional analogue of the cube; the tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. Just as the surface of the cube consists of six square faces, the hypersurface of the tesseract consists of eight cubical cells. The tesseract is one of the six convex regular 4-polytopes.

This for us to look at from our 3d perspective would be like a 2d creature watching a 3d sphere fall through their plane of existence. Time itself is a human construct, but the change of an object is certainly universal.

It would look like nothing, then become a single point which then grows in radius to the final diametre of the sphere, to then finally reducing back down to a point and then nothingness, as such in this animation:


In the movie 5th dimensional beings have created a 3 dimensional "room/thing" where the 4th dimension (time) is physically represented. As described in this youtube.

To take from the script: (warning pdf)

TARS (over radio) Somewhere. In their fifth dimension. They saved us ...

COOPER (frustrated) Who’s ’They’? And why would they help us?

TARS (over radio) I don’t know, but they constructed this three-dimensional space inside their five-dimensional reality to allow you to understand it ...

COOPER It isn’t working -!

TARS (over radio) Yes, it is. You’ve seen that time is represented here as a physical dimension - you even worked out that you can exert a force across spacetime -

So the Tesseract isn't a time machine as much as it's a "Time Window" of sorts. Small data/Messages can be sent through the device via force, but no physical object can traverse.

This is similarly analogous to someone stuck in a sound proof glass house, you can't directly physically interact with the outside world, but you can go around the house to different windows and breathe on the glass and draw a message of some kind and hope the outside world somewhere understands.

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