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Best of The Daily Galaxy: July 13-20

Weird Science 2 “The Journey Begins”: Cramer Goes Forward with His Time-Reversal Experiment

Time_travel_use_2The Daily Galaxy reported earlier on an experienced and well-respected particle physicist’s mind-boggling plan to prove that time is two-directional using light particles. Now he’s going forward with his “backward” plan to explore quantum retro causality.

When Carl Sagan, the legendary astrophysicist,  was asked if he believed in the possibility of traveling back in time, he answered:

"If we could travel into the past, it's mind-boggling what would be possible. For one thing, history would become an experimental science, which it certainly isn't today. The possible insights into our own past and nature and origins would be dazzling. For another, we would be facing the deep paradoxes of interfering with the scheme of causality that has led to our own time and ourselves. I have no idea whether it's possible, but it's certainly worth exploring."

Physicist John Cramer is back from a tour of duty at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, and now he's ready to move forward with a laser experiment that may unravel the mystery of whether time is two-directional or if it can only move one way—forward.

As we mentioned earlier, conventional establishments told him his ideas were “too weird” to fund, even though what he proposes is theoretically feasible, and backed by compelling evidence. He suggested the framework for the experiment a year ago, and so far no one has come up with a conclusive reason why it wouldn’t work.

In an inspiring fashion, it was individuals (including some of our readers) rather than corporations or government-funded establishments, who had the balls (and ovaries) to step up when the “authorities” chickened out. When the word spread that Cramer couldn’t conduct his bewildering experiments without costly laser equipment, individuals started chipping in.

That remarkable effort has allowed Cramer to get ready for the “nonlocal quantum communication” portion of his research. The high-tech gadgetry he assembled could end up settling the monumental controversy of whether anything can travel faster than light. If Cramer is right, the phenomenon would have an effect that Albert Einstein found to be unnerving and referred to as “spooky”.

The experiment will involve splitting laser light into two beams, so that characteristics of one beam are reflected in the other beam as well. Basically it’s what physicists refer to as “quantum entanglement”.

When the beams go their separate ways, and you conduct a wave-vs. -particle measurement on one beam, and someone else checks the other beam; the same measurement should yield the same result. In fact, in a sense the wave-vs. -particle toggle can be seen as a means for communicating information.

Now here’s the weird part that Einstein found so spooky: Theoretically, you could check one beam to receive a “message” instantaneously from whoever is manipulating the other beam - even if you're separated from the receiver by millions of light-years.

Such an effect could send information faster than light beams could travel, running counter to special relativity - and thus Einstein thought the effect would be impossible to achieve. But in spite of all doubts, the evidence is mounting that quantum entanglement actually does occur. (Who knows, if Einstein was around today to see the evidence and advancements in quantum physics—he may have changed his mind.)

If he is successful with that portion of the experiment, Cramer will take it even further. He plans to send one of the entangled beams (Signal A) through a circuitous detour (like a few miles of fiber-optic cable) then tinker with the beam when it came out of the cable. If the principles behind nonlocal communication holds true, the evidence of that fiddling should be detected at a corresponding place in the other entangled beam (Signal B).

So here’s the truly mind-blowing aspect of his theory: If Signal B followed a shorter route to its detector, the fiddling in Signal A could theoretically show up in Signal B before Cramer actually tinkers with Signal A. It would be as if Cramer's actions had an effect that worked backward in time.

If Cramer can detect that effect, the discovery would turn the field on it’s head and raise the kinds of paradoxes we’ve only read about in science-fiction novels or seen on episodes of “The Twilight Zone”. For example, what if you detected a signal from the future, but then refused to send the original signal? (That's referred to as the "bilking paradox"). Or what if you received the text of a best-selling manuscript from yourself in the future, published it, and then saved a copy so you could send it to yourself in the past? (Cramer calls that the "immaculate conception paradox.") In spite of these weird paradoxes, Cramer is anxious to find out whether his experiment will work - and if not, why.

While Cramer is grateful for all the donations, he's admittedly "a little uncomfortable" with the spotlight. Usually, physicists work in obscurity, get some funding, conduct an experiment, publish the results, and only then does the publicity come, if the results are interesting.

"We seem to be doing it sort of backwards, in a sense," he has admitted with some concern. Noting the irony in what he has just said. He laughs, "It may be relevant to the experiment we're trying to do."

Posted by Rebecca Sato

Related Galaxy Posts:

Weird Science: Can Time Move Backwards?


Carl Sagan on Time Travel


Wouldn't it be amusing if the big secret here is that the fund providers had sent messages to their present selves from the future to fund this thing?

But what if the very act of measuring signal B before we measured signal A introduced some kind of 'observer effect' that collapses or fixes the state of B - and by forward entanglement that somehow correlates to the 'fiddling' to be done with signal A?

Or, what if the observation of signal B somehow introduces a causality chain that culminates in the 'fiddling' to be done on signal A?

I can tell you that his experiment will work. I know this because I'm from the future and the time travel technology I used to get here was based on Cramer's research.

Just kidding.

Seriously though, I see no reason why time could not be two-directional. Much of what was once considered sci-fi is now standard knowledge. I don't foresee that trend diminishing.

and after this i predict that in the far future of 2001CE we will all be living in space pods on the moon

I think the thing about history becoming an experimental science is quite unlikely anytime soon - surely observing particles travelling backwards in time (which according to the standard model is subjective anyway - a particle going backwardds is the same as an antiparticale going forwards anyway) brings us hardly closer to managing to reverse the time-direction of a whole body! Maybe we could give Hitler a sun-tan....

This experiment will work - with the 100% predictable result that the signal from the future will NOT be detectable in the present! Why do you suspend your common sense when someone makes a claim like this?

I am a physicist, and my impression is that there is at least one substantial error in Rebecca Sato's post.

First of all, Cramer appears to be exploring certain strange things that are predicted by quantum mechanics. One of these strange things is an instantaneous (and therefore faster-than-light) effect that results from entanglement. When the wave function for the entangled pair of photons collapses, it collapses instantly, no matter how large the region of space over which the wave function extends. Now, while quantum mechanics predicts that such a strange thing happens, quantum mechanics also predicts, as Jarrett has shown, that information can NOT be communicated faster than light, even though there is a faster-than-light phenomenon taking place.

Second, my suspicion is that there will appear to be an effect on the past from the measurement in the future, if the experiment is controlled carefully enough, but again, QM predicts that this can not be used to send a signal into the past.

The reason that a signal can not be sent via the nonlocality in QM is that there is no way to predict the result of the experiment at the "transmitter". The "receiver" has to compare the results of his experiment with the results of the transmitter's experiment in order for any signal to be sent. To compare those results, however, requires, in the classical EPR case, that the results be sent from one to the other across a normal channel, limited by the speed of light, or else, in Cramer's case, that the result of the first experiment (back in time from the second) be compared with the result of the second experiment after the second has occurred.

Interesting article... I feel like there must be some hole in his thinking - but I hope there isn't. Can't wait to hear the results.

I can't believe this research is funded because of a possibility of time travel. Everyone knows it's impossible, like superluminal travel. There must be something else going on here.

Thomas E. Vaughan's argument is highly nonsensical, he asserts that this article is flawed because "while quantum mechanics predicts that such a strange thing happens, quantum mechanics also predicts, as Jarrett has shown, that information can NOT be communicated faster than light, even though there is a faster-than-light phenomenon taking place."

Duh. That is the whole premises here and what Cramer is investigating. He is challenging certain assumptions. In case, you hadn't heard--that's the basis of scientific advancement.

The comment from Sceptic is even more hilarious "Everyone knows it's impossible".

Give me a break! We know next to nothing about the nature of the universe. It's a very small mind indeed that thinks "Everyone knows" anything!

Why do people still want to limit what's possible. Most of our current technology was once considered impossible.

Sorry I'm not a nut case crackpot, so I won't comment any more.

Can't wait for Frasier Cain and DR
Pamela Gay to do a show on this one.

He's not going to 'travel' through time; he's trying to REVERSE' the time flow with light particles. It has nothing to do with ANY form or method of 'time travel'.

We do not know what time is, or even if it makes sense to call it a what. According to some physicists, and contrary to many sf novels using "qubits," the information accessed when looking at an "entangled" pair is straightforwardly obtained from the present state of the system, and there is no C-defying communication between particles.

I wish for his success on his experiment. I believe that time itself is not just forward, it might look impossible but we maybe thinking inside the dimension we are with. Nothing is impossible, even I experience the so-called "clairvoyance" two times when I was a kid, and that means that our destiny is already been planned, the future has already been capture, like a movie recorded in a reel, play it , watch it just like in a present, fast forward it .. alas you have the future..


Wouldnt the Observation of B,have effect upon A?
i mean before you fool with A?
Is it the observation or the fiddling which will come first?
Seeing were dealing with instantaneous transmission.....
This may well have some interesting paranormal type connotations concerning the intent of consciousness as

For particles to interact across vast distances simulaneously means there is some type of medium of communication we have not discovered yet....not dark matter, not gravity...something else...when we discover that 'something' we will have the secret.
Maybe that 'secret' is what holds the universe together...I'm sure we'll discover it eventually. Maybe that's not for humans to know yet, because if we knew what holds the universe together we could also destroy it.
Maybe the Universe has it's own consciousness, it's own 'brain' just hasn't let us in on it's thoughts...yet.

Maybe time separate from matter is simultaneous, time separate from matter is everywhere at once. Maybe matter is what 'slows' time down & makes it appear to be on a continuum. Maybe time is disappearing through black holes as matter is sucked into black holes.

"Question everything". Without that simple statement, we would not be where we are today.

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