Scientists Have Simulated Time Travel With Photons

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It seems like time travel is possible, well, for particles of light. Consuming a photon, physicists have achieved to simulate quantum particles traveling through time. Learning the photon’s actions could help researchers understand various mysterious features of modern physics. Martin Ringbauer from University of Queensland, in a news release, says "The question of time travel features at the interface between two of our most successful yet incompatible physical theories -- Einstein's general relativity and quantum mechanics. Einstein's theory describes the world at the very large scale of stars and galaxies, while quantum mechanics is an excellent description of the world at the very small scale of atoms and molecules." Time slows down or hustles up reliant on how fast you move relative to a different object. Einstein's theory proposes the prospect of traveling back in time by following a space-time track that returns to the initial point in space, but at an earlier time. This is termed as closed timelike curve (pictured below).
Image Credit: Space-time construction showing closed routes in space (horizontal) and time (vertical). A quantum particle journeys over a wormhole back in time and returns to the similar place in space and time / Martin Ringbauer

In a quantum realm, the authors say, the paradox of time travel can be resolute, parting locked timelike curves dependable with relativity. Close to a black hole, for instance, the thrilling properties of general relativity play a part.  Visualized above, a space-time construction showing locked routes in space (horizontal) and time (vertical). A quantum particle journeys through a wormhole back in time and comes to the similar position in space and time. Tim Ralph of UQ’s explains "The properties of quantum particles are 'fuzzy' or uncertain to start with, so this gives them enough wiggle room to avoid inconsistent time travel situations. Our study provides insights into where and how nature might behave differently from what our theories predict." These contain the violation of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, cracking of quantum cryptography, and faultless duplicating of quantum states.

The paper was distributed in Nature Communications this month.

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