Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey or how the future affects the past

Science-fiction often proceeds science-fact. The latest one is the possibility that future events can affect the past, at least at the quantum level. As Doctor Who said,

Wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey.

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Or perhaps a little more elegantly ...

"The future can affect the past, even though the past is a road to the future." - The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Indeed, Susan Cooper's quote works particularly well in this context as what scientists have found is measuring the state of a helium atom can affect whether it behaves as a wave or particle before it "knew" it was going to be measured. We all know at the quantum level that things can exist in an indeterminate state. The classic is the photon which behaves as both a wave and a particle. Which it is, seems to be locked down the instant you measure it. What this latest experiment suggests is that measuring it in the future can affect how it behaves in the past before it knew it was going to be measure. Seems a little mind wrenching, well it is :-)

Full details here, and well worth the read - Physicists demonstrate how time can seem to run backward, and the future can affect the past. Jay Kuo - June 8, 2015


Header image source: 123rf.com



Jamie Whitehorn

Jamie Whitehorn

A self proclaimed geek who loves technology, data, computers and science; but balances this by spending time with his wonderful better half and their dogs and horses in the countryside.

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