Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Time Travel Impossible - Again?

A team of Chinese physicists have put the time travel debate to bed. Their research concludes that a photon can not travel faster than light.

From the article:
  • By result, the possibilities of time traveling have been debunked in one fell swoop because it was previously believed that if a single photon could travel faster than the speed of light, it could "teleport" information to another time.
Professor Shengwang Du, Assistant Professor in Hong Kong University of Science & Technology's Department of Physics, study demonstrates that a single photon has to obey the same laws of the universe just as any other Electro-Magnetic wave.

Professor Du points out that by showing that single photons cannot travel faster than the speed of light, his research also demonstrates the true speed of information carried by a single photon,
thus giving scientists a better picture on the transmission of quantum information."

read more in the HK Institute of Science & Technology article, Dvice article


Dave Tackett said...

Lol, shall we start an office pool as to how long it is before another physicist claims to have disproven this result? I bet on 45 days. Fascinating and good science but the possibility of time travel has changed to many times for me to have any confidence that this result will last.

Beam Me Up said...

Yes it does seem like we have been here before does it not. I suspected that information being transported super-luminally was open to interpretation. I know that the quantum universe plays by a whole different rule set, and photons are certainly not exempt. I am willing to sit on this side of the fence for a bit. I do like you "pool" I would be surprised if there isn't some hue and cry by 90 days...lol

JoshM said...

Here's my theory: recent developments (probably the Large Hadron Collider) have set us between two possible quantum realities in which time travel is or is not possible. So at this point, until someone actually comes up with a practical and usable time-travel device, we're all stuck in this Schroedinger's Cat Box of both eventualities being simultaneously true. And not true.

Beam Me Up said...

Very plausible Josh, however, quantum aside would not it be reasonable to assume that the moment a reality discovers time travel, it destroys itself with paradoxes there for canceling their own existence?

Now I know that quantum mechanics hints at this with the odd way a photon will vibrate (two photons can vibrate 90 degrees out of phase with each other due to either magnetic or electric polarity.
(http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/06/model-big-bang/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wired%2Findex+%28Wired%3A+Index+3+%28Top+Stories+2%29%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher) But my god man that is ancient history! It was almost eight weeks ago!

I am really surprised that you are that far behind the times!

(I can tell I am going to burn synapses this saturday! lol)