|"Weird Time Tunnel." Image Source Below.|
Topics: Quantum Computer, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics
It's easy to take time's arrow for granted - but the gears of physics actually work just as smoothly in reverse. Maybe that time machine is possible after all?
An experiment from 2019 shows just how much wiggle room we can expect when it comes to distinguishing the past from the future, at least on a quantum scale. It might not allow us to relive the 1960s, but it could help us better understand why not.
Researchers from Russia and the US teamed up to find a way to break, or at least bend, one of physics' most fundamental laws of energy.
The second law of thermodynamics is less a hard rule and more of a guiding principle for the Universe. It says hot things get colder over time as energy transforms and spreads out from areas where it's most intense.
It's a principle that explains why your coffee won't stay hot in a cold room, why it's easier to scramble an egg than unscramble it, and why nobody will ever let you patent a perpetual motion machine.
Virtually every other rule in physics can be flipped and still make sense. For example, you could zoom in on a game of pool, and a single collision between any two balls won't look weird if you happened to see it in reverse.
On the other hand, if you watched balls roll out of pockets and reform the starting pyramid, it would be a sobering experience. That's the second law at work for you.
Electrons aren't like tiny billiard balls, they're more akin to information that occupies a space. Their details are defined by something called the Schrödinger equation, which represents the possibilities of an electron's characteristics as a wave of chance.
Physicists Have Reversed Time on The Smallest Scale Using a Quantum Computer
Mike McCrae, Science Alert