Not much is happening economically speaking this Sunday evening so let’s ponder the ability to travel back in time such that the future can change the past.
Scientists from the University of Queensland, Australia, have used single particles of light (photons) to simulate quantum particles traveling through time. They showed that one photon can pass through a wormhole and then interact with its older self. Their findings were published in Nature Communications.
The source of this time travel conundrum comes from what are called “closed time-like curves” (CTC). CTCs are used to simulate extremely powerful gravitational fields, like the ones produced by a spinning black hole, and could, theoretically (based on Einstein’s theory of general relativity), warp the fabric of existence so that space-time bends back on itself – thus creating a CTC, almost like a path that could be used to travel back in time.
Think in terms of the ‘grandfather paradox,’ a hypothetical scenario where someone uses a CTC to travel back through time to cause harm to their grandfather, thus preventing their later birth. Now imagine a particle going back in time to flip a switch on the particle-generating machine that created it – this is a possibility that these physicists say they have shown through their simulation.
In my opinion, there is no doubt time travel is possible. Why do I believe this? Well, it’s because we know one hundred percent that superposition is real on a quantum scale.
In 2007 (Science 315, 966, 2007), scientists in France shot photons into an apparatus and showed that their actions could retroactively change something which had already happened.
This particular experiment illustrates how what happens in the present can change what happened in the past. It also shows how time can go backwards, how cause and effect can be reversed, and how the future caused the past.
In 2012, physicists David Wineland and Serge Haroche received the Nobel Prize in physics for demonstrating how “quantum weirdness” could not only exist at the subatomic micro-world level, but also show itself in the macro-world.
Back to the Future
If a subatomic particle can travel back in time, does that mean a person can?
If so, something like the movie Back to the Future is quite possible.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock