GREAT BALL OF FIRE Pictured is an an exploding star, known as Type 1a supernova — the type used by physicists Adam Riess, Saul Perlmutter and Brian Schmidt to measure the expansion of the universe. The trio were awarded the Nobel Prize for physics and will share a $1.4 million prize. (Photos via the New York Times)
As if the idea ideas of quantum entanglement and time travel weren’t difficult enough to wrap one’s head around separately, two physicists at the Universtiy of Queensland in Australia have further compounded the headache by merging the two ideas via a new kind of quantum entanglement that links particles not across space, but across time.
Quantum entanglement is that “spooky action” (Einstein’s words, not ours) that links two particles such that a measurement on one immediately influences the state of the other, even if the two particles are separated by miles, or even light years. Entanglement defies the intuitive way we understand the universe to work (as does most of quantum mechanics). The idea of “time teleportation,” as described by S. Jay Olson and Timothy Ralph, doesn’t add clarity but it does introduce some interesting questions about the fundamentals of the universe.
“The idea is that a detector acts on a qubit and then generates a classical message describing how this particle can be detected. Then, at some point in the future, another detector at the same position in space, receives this message and carries out the required In a sense, everyone and everything is time traveling, moving forward in time at a given rate. What Olson and Ralph propose is that it’s possible to take a shortcut into the future without being present in the interim. How? Tech Review’s KFC explains: