Robbie Pinter’s 21-year-old son, Nicholas, is upset again. He yells. He obsesses about something that can’t be changed. Even good news may throw him off.
So Dr. Pinter breathes deeply, as she was taught, focusing on each intake and release. She talks herself through the crisis, reminding herself that this is how Nicholas copes with his autism and bipolar disorder.
“This has happened before”, she tells herself. “It’s nowhere near as bad as before, and it will pass”. (1)
Think of time as a dimension. Then travel back to that dimension. Go and see Pinter as he tries to calm. Go and see Pinter as he loves his child.
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.
In a UCI study, participants sat with their heads inside a high-resolution fMRI scanner while watching a TV show and then viewing still frames from the episode, one at a time.
The researchers found that when subjects had more precise answers to questions about what time certain events occurred, they activated a brain network involving the lateral entorhinal cortex and the perirhinal cortex. The team had previously shown that these regions, which surround the hippocampus, are associated with memories of objects or items but not their spatial location.
“Space and time have always been intricately linked, and the common wisdom in our field was that the mechanisms involved in one probably supported the other as well,” added Maria Montchal, a graduate student in Yassa’s lab who led the research. “But our results suggest otherwise.” (1)
Trying to remember then when.
Without caring about the where.
But nothing of these matters.
Because no matter how precisely we recall where or when something happened in the vast dark forest of existence, we will still not be able to answer a much more fundamental question: How did we get in that forest in the first place?
According to a new interpretation of general relativity, the Big Bang wasn’t the start of ‘everything’. Based on a new model, some scientists showed that as we rewind time back to the beginning the universe does not diminish into a singularity, but at something the team call a Janus Point, named after the Roman god with two faces. The relative positions and scales of the stuff that makes up the Universe effectively flatten into a two-dimensional pancake as we rewind time. Passing through the Janus Point, that pancake turns 3D again, only back-to-front. (1)
A timeless world. Breeding time into the void of space.
An eternal universe. Breeding timelessness into the cosmos.
At the end, what matters is not time’s existence or inexistence which matters.
You are not a timeless being, neither are you bound to the seconds passing.
Even the negation of something implies its existence.
Care not about anything outside you.
And you will discover that there is nothing there.