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Have Scientist Discovered Time Travel?

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“Uncovering the origin of the arrow of time remains a fundamental scientific challenge.”

Apparently work being done at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, accompanied by help from Switzerland and the US, has lead to the breakthrough of time reversal. Now before you picture a big box covered in metal and controls, this breakthrough is on a very small scale. Even smaller than an atom itself.

To understand this we have to first understand some key terms. Classic physics involves the properties of matter and energy, but quantum physics breaks this down to a subatomic level where particles such as protons and electrons deviate from classic laws of physics. Their exceptionally small size and quantum properties is what allows the researchers to “execute a time reversal operation” meaning that they are transforming the normal model of a quantum particle into a state that is able to reverse time. This being said, scientist have concluded that if the particles were larger than they are than time reversal is either “highly improbable or actually impossible”. This means that though it is now possible to time travel, it is only possible to do so at a less than atomic level. So why does this even matter?

Though science is not anywhere close to obtaining time travel in a way that we understand it, there is research exploring this possibility. Up until this point in history time irreversibility has been seen as a fundamental fact, meaning it is impossible. For the first time this belief is being challenged, even if just on a microscopic level. Could this lead to the revision of the Laws of Physics themselves? How we understand time? Humanity? These are definitely big questions but as we have now seen, even the impossible is possible.

“For decades researchers have sought to understand
how the irreversibility of the surrounding world emerges
from the seemingly time-symmetric, fundamental laws
of physics.”

“while in nature the complex conjugation needed for time reversal is exponentially improbable, one can design a quantum algorithm that includes complex conjugation and thus reverses a given
quantum state.”

“Using this algorithm on an IBM quantum computer enables us to experimentally demonstrate a backward time dynamics for an electron scattered on a two-level impurity.”

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