Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to time travel? The response of science has always been quite controversial: It would be possible under the axioms of the laws of physics, but to date, there is no machine or device created by human ingenuity that can allow it.
However, innovative experimentation could reverse this trend.
image credit: Reddit
Some Russian and American researchers have united to bend, or at least break, one of the fundamental laws of physics in the field of energy, or the second law of thermodynamics. This law states that things that are hot over time get colder and colder as energy transforms and spreads from areas where it is most intense. In a nutshell, it scientifically confirms why your coffee will never stay hot in a lower temperature environment.
This same second law of thermodynamics is closely linked to the idea of time understood as an arrow that gives a single direction from the present to the future, in other words, it’s the same law that explains why we remember what we did hours ago, but we can’t remember what we’re going to do next summer. But these researchers and scientists have shaken the second law of thermodynamics with unexpected results.
image credit: Rodger Evans/Flickr
To understand the experimentation undertaken by the scientific team, it is necessary to understand how the equation is known as ” Schroedinger’s equation ” works: imagine a pool table in the dark and the ball that we hold firmly in our hands; the ball (which is equivalent to our “quantum reference point”) is dropped on the table with the lights off; the equation says that the ball is somewhere on the table which is moving at a certain speed; in terms of quantum physics, the ball is now on the table at infinite and possible speeds, but some are more likely than others. What we can be sure of is that a fraction of a second after the throw, the ball (information) is still close to our hand and is moving at high speed. With time, the possibilities of the position and the speed of a particle therefore widen.
However, the Schroedinger equation is reversible according to the experiment carried out, that is to say, that it is possible, at the quantum scale, to “rewind” the action of throwing the ball by locating it in the same amount of time.
image credit: Back to the Future/Universal Pictures
The team used the indeterminate state of particles from a quantum computer as a billiard ball and manipulations on the same computer as a “time machine. ” Each state of particles (or qubit) corresponded to a hand holding the billiard ball and, once the quantum computer was activated, these states were transformed into time-limited possibilities, so that the principle of the equation of Schroedinger was deliberately “rewound”; it was like throwing endless balls on the table and seeing them “rewind” in time, all together, in their original position.
While this experiment will no doubt help the scientific world better understand and analyze quantum computers, it is still irrefutable proof not only that time flows in one direction, but that at the level of infinitesimal particles a machine to rewind time is now at least possible.