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Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

We cannot reverse the arrow of time any more than we can erase all our wrinkles or restore a shattered teacup to its original form.

Or can we?

An international team of scientists led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory managed to return a computer briefly to the past.

To achieve the time reversal, the research team developed an algorithm for IBM’s public quantum computer that simulates the scattering of a particle. In classical physics, this might appear as a billiard ball struck by a cue, traveling in a line. But in the quantum world, one scattered particle takes on a fractured quality, spreading in multiple directions. To reverse its quantum evolution is like reversing the rings created when a stone is thrown into a pond.

In nature, restoring this particle back to its original state – in essence, putting the broken teacup back together – is impossible, since you would need a ​”supersystem” to manipulate the particle’s quantum waves at every point. The time required for this supersystem to properly manipulate the quantum waves would extend longer than that of the universe itself.

The team managed to overcome this complexity, at least in principle. Their algorithm simulated an electron scattering by a two-level quantum system,​ “impersonated” by a quantum computer qubit and its related evolution in time. The electron goes from a localized, or​ “seen,” state, to a scattered one. Then the algorithm throws the process in reverse, and the particle returns to its initial state – in other words, it moves back in time, if only by a tiny fraction of a second. (1)

Going back in time.

By returning to the original state.

Because time is defined by change.

But what does this mean?

This doesn’t mean they go back in time.

But that time wasn’t there in the first place…

The 2nd law of thermodynamics.

The arrow of time.

The fate of the universe.

Everything will be back to their original state at the end.

And the end will be the new beginning.

Going back in time.

Where time is nothing but a fleeting feeling.

Open your eyes.

Can you dream of how you started dreaming?