How a quantum system can ‘reverse time’

How a quantum system can ‘reverse time’
  • Scientists succeeded in making the particle travel through time
  • Such a system to man seems impossible
  • Quantum computing can take advantage of this novelty

Time travel is one of the ancient dreams of mankind. A team of Austrian researchers may have found the beginning of the solution. In a series of six scientific articles, they explain that they have succeeded in manipulating time, thus going back in time or making leaps into the future.

This feat is made possible by the very special properties of the quantum realm. Scientists rely in particular on a fundamental principle of the subatomic world called “entanglement”. At this scale, the particles, called qubits, can be in several places at once.

Based on this principle, the researchers succeeded in “rewinding the film” as Miguel Navasques explained, One of the team’s researchers. During the experiments that were carried out, the scientists were remarkably successful in returning the photon to its previous state before it passed through a crystal wall.

Is time travel possible? Not real

If this feat demonstrates the theoretical possibility of time travel on a subatomic scale, we shouldn’t expect a machine capable of such a feat on a human scale. As Navascués explains, the process depends a lot on the amount of information to be processed.

Thus, the scientists reduced the variables in their experiments as much as possible to succeed in achieving time jumps within the nanosecond range. “It would take millions of years to make a person a few seconds younger, and it doesn’t make sense.”

The most interesting thing is to make things move faster. Scientists explain that it is theoretically possible to save particles time. By following this principle, they can accurately predict the motions of the latter and thus better understand quantum motions on the subatomic scale.

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Quantum computing: the big winner?

If submissions to the general public ultimately seem so rare, the researchers are thrilled” by such a discovery. In the scientific world, the possibility of regenerating a particle should make it possible to present “Ctrl-Z” for researchers to resume an experiment after an obvious error.

This practicality, far from making the general dream come true, could have very interesting consequences in the long run. As the quantum realm begins to make its way into the computer realm, scientists believe the arrival of a solution like “Ctrl-Z” should help speed up the development of the first quantum computers.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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