In the movie Paycheck (Wiki, IMDB), it is proposed that one could view the future by shooting a super-powerful laser around the curvature of the universe in such a way that it goes around and ends up back at its point of origin.
Pushing aside the rather extreme pre-requisites of such a feat, like how ridiculously powerful a laser would have to be for this, or how it is at all possible to "shoot around the curvature of the universe", I still find that this theory stretches credulity. In particular, even if this feat could be accomplished, wouldn't such a laser have to be maintained for quite some time (think hundreds upon billions of years)? Even then, wouldn't it only allow viewing of the past - starting from the moment it was first activated?
My thought is this: The laser would be activated at time a. The laser would take x amount of time to travel around the universe, back to its point of origin - where x is, in years, equal to the circumference of the universe in light years. When it reaches its point of origin, a time we'll call time b, it would then be reflected back to the viewing station. Presumably (and, in the movie, this is the case) the viewing station is not far from the point of origin, so the laser would take roughly x amount of time again to reach the viewer. We'll call the time that it reaches the viewer time c. At the point it finally reaches the viewing station, any observer at that station would see an image that is now x number of years old. So, b = a + x and c = a + (2 * x).
This is similar to how we don't actually see stars in real-time. What we see are images of what occurred a certain amount of time in the past, where that amount of time is equal to the time it takes for light to travel between the stars and us.
According to Wikipedia, the observable universe is about 93,000,000,000 light years in diameter. Using this number, the least amount of distance the laser would have to travel to return to its point of origin is over 292,168,116,783 light-years. This means that the laser would not return an image until almost 600 billion years after it is first activated, and the image returned would be nearly 300 billion years old! And this is only for points of origin at the edge of the observable universe - it doesn't even take into account the distance the laser would have to travel to reach or return from that edge in the first place, or that the edge of the observable universe is most likely not the edge of the whole universe!
So, is there any actual scientific basis behind the "time viewing" method used in Paycheck, which is beyond my current understanding? If so, who is it attributed to and (in layman's terms) how would it actually work?