Using common greek or latin roots, is there a word that can be constructed that would properly convey the Study of Time Travel?

Sample Sentence: Dr. Caroline is experienced in ____________ology. She studies the mechanisms required for, and the effects of, effective time travel. Dr. Caroline has been instrumental in minimizing the adverse effects of time retroversion, both to the human body, travel devices, and the Continuum.

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    Delusion (from Latin deludo, to mock or cheat). Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 10:32
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's somebody's homework. Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 15:07
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    Ah, a prospective novelist. I stopped reading after the directions, before the description. I don't treat imperatives as questions. Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 15:18
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    We don't form sciences from Greek or Latin roots anymore. Consider that it's planetary science and not planetology; computer science and not cyberology; I think the last -ology science word to be coined may be ecology, in 1873. Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 15:20
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    Isn’t the study of aging one form of the study of time traversal? ;-)
    – Jim
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 1:40

4 Answers 4


The word chronoportation already has been coined. It's formed from the root chrono-, meaning time, (the Latin form of the Greek root khrono-) and the Latin word portare, meaning to carry.

You could call the study of time travel chronophysics or chronoportation science, if chronoportation isn't good enough.

If time travel is actually invented, and a field of science formed to study it, I think it's very likely that it will be called time travel science.

We use computer science rather than cybernetics or cyberology.
We use planetary science rather than planetology.
We use quantum mechanics rather than quantumology.

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    Who coined chronoportation, when and where? Reference? Did you just coin it now?
    – bof
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 8:46
  • Searching around, I've already found many references to Chronoportation, as well as Chronophysics. Awesome awesome. Thanks!
    – Swivel
    Commented Jul 18, 2017 at 5:49

The author Douglas Adams used the word chronology in his novel Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. In that novel, a character named Professor Urban Chronotis has the title of the Regius Professor of Chronology at Cambridge University. Here is a short excerpt from Chapter 4 in which Adams begins to tell us what that means:

Since Richard had always managed to get on reasonably well with the old fruitcake, he had one day plucked up courage to ask him what, exactly, the Regius Professorship of Chronology was. It had been one of those light summery days when the world seems about to burst with pleasure at simply being itself, and Reg had been in an uncharacteristically forthcoming mood as they had walked over the bridge where the River Cam divided the older parts of the college from the newer.

'Sinecure, my dear fellow, an absolute sinecure,' he had beamed. 'A small amount of money for a very small, or shall we say non-existent, amount of work. That puts me permanently just ahead of the game, which is a comfortable if frugal place to spend your life. I recommend it.'

He leaned over the edge of the bridge and started to point out a particular brick that he found interesting. 'But what sort of study is it supposed to be?' Richard had pursued. 'Is it history? Physics? Philosophy? What?'

'Well,' said Reg, slowly, 'since you're interested, the chair was originally instituted by King George III, who, as you know, entertained a number of amusing notions, including the belief that one of the trees in Windsor Great Park was in fact Frederick the Great.

'It was his own appointment, hence "Regius". His own idea as well, which is somewhat more unusual.'

Sunlight played along the River Cam. People in punts happily shouted at each other to fuck off. Thin natural scientists who had spent months locked away in their rooms growing white and fishlike, emerged blinking into the light. Couples walking along the bank got so excited about the general wonderfulness of it all that they had to pop inside for an hour.

'The poor beleaguered fellow,' Reg continued, 'George III, I mean, was, as you may know, obsessed with time. Filled the palace with clocks. Wound them incessantly. Sometimes would get up in the middle of the night and prowl round the palace in his nightshirt winding clocks.

He was very concerned that time continued to go forward, you see. So many terrible things had occurred in his life that he was terrified that any of them might happen again if time were ever allowed to slip backwards even for a moment. A very understandable fear, especially if you're barking mad, as I'm afraid to say, with the very greatest sympathy for the poor fellow, he undoubtedly was. He appointed me, or rather I should say, my office, this professorship, you understand, the post that I am now privileged to hold to - where was I? Oh yes. He instituted this, er, Chair of Chronology to see if there was any particular reason why one thing happened after another and if there was any way of stopping it. Since the answers to the three questions were, I knew immediately, yes, no, and maybe, I realised I could then take the rest of my career off.'

The nature of Professor Chronotis's studies of chronology is not explained in more detail until close to the end of the novel, but if you read it you'll see that the professor has one or two things in common with your fictitious Dr. Caroline...

See also here and here.


Writer-editor Anthony Boucher (or, rather, his character Jonathan Hull) coined the term chronokinesis (from Greek roots, meaning time travel) in a science-fiction story "The Chronokinesis of Jonathan Hull", first published in Astounding Science Fiction, June 1946, which is available at the Internet Archive. Quoting from p. 126 (emphasis added):

But more and more one aspect of the paranormal began to absorb me. I concentrated on it, devouring everything I could obtain in fact or fiction, until I was recognized as the WIPR’s outstanding authority upon the possibilities of chronokinesis, or time travel.

It was a happy day when I hit upon that word chronokinesis. Its learned sound seemed to remove the concept from the vulgar realm of the time machines cheapened by fiction fantasists. But even with this semantic advantage, I still had many prejudices to battle, both among the populace and among my own colleagues. For even the very men who had established extra-sensory perception upon a scientific basis could still sneer at time travel.

The corresponding adjective is chronokinetic. Still quoting from p. 126:

We learned of no totally successful chronokinetic experiment. But from what we did know of the failures, I was able to piece together a little of what I felt must be the truth. Surely the method must involve the rotation of a temporo-magnetic field against the “natural” time stream, and Hackendorf's current researches would make the establishment of such a field a simple matter.

[. . . .]

There was not one who would tolerate my experiments. And that is why, Lucifer-likc, 1 severed my connection with the WIPR and retired to America, to pursue by myself the chronokinetic researches which would, I was sure, make Hull a name to rank with the greatest in all the history of science.

Boucher's coinage does not seem to have caught on; I do not know if it has ever been used again, outside of this one story. Still, I think this is the sort of thing you are looking for. The science of time travel would naturally be called chronokinetics, or, if you insist on an -ology, the uglier word chronokinesiology could be used.


The most obvious candidate I can come up with is chronotechnology. This would be the technology of time, and by extension the technology of time travel.

It does not explicitly include the adverse effects of time travel, but since such effects are consequences of the use of time travel technology, I suspect that no one would be confused.

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