Professor Sarah Bridle told BBC Radio 4 this morning that scientists know how to travel forward over a hundred years in just a week.
In a discussion on time travel, the leading astrophysicist at the University of Manchester said this method is the closest scientists have come to cracking time travel.
However, she claimed that this was not feasible with current technology and such time travel would require a “new kind of spaceship that would use up massive amounts of energy”.
The interview on time travel followed the news that Professor Stephen Hawking’s memorial service has left the door open for time travellers to attend.
Speaking to the Today programme, Professor Bridle argued that “there are two completely respectable ways that we could travel forward in time”.
She explained: “We could move very, very fast. So if you get on an aeroplane and go around the world, you do move forward in time by a millionth of a second.
“People have done experiments with clocks on planes and flying them around the world to show this.
“If you want to move forward much more in time, you would have to move faster as well. You would have to travel near to the speed of light.
“If you were able to fly around the earth seven times a second for a hundred years, people on that plane would age one week, while the people on earth would all have aged a hundred years.
“You would have to build a new kind of spaceship that would use massive amounts of energy.
“We could also do this by getting close to a black hole.”
People who want to honour the theoretical physicist, who died in March aged 76, can apply via a public ballot.
Applicants, who need to provide their birth date, are eligible if they were born on any day up to 31 December 2038.
Professor Hawking’s foundation said the possibility of time travel had not been disproven and could not be excluded.
The celebrated scientist once held a party for time travellers as an experiment to see if anyone would turn up, but no-one showed up.
Speaking about Professor Hawking’s legacy on time travel, Professor Bridle said: “He avoided talking about because his peers may see him as a crank.
“But he was interested in it, and he thought it was a serious question.”