Physicists Declare the Future Might be Influencing the Past

Quantum physics, quantum mechanics and their cousins of scientific thought are difficult fields of study to grasp. It’s like the difficulties our human minds have comprehending time, or the theory that time isn’t linear.

In the past there was the double slit experiment, which seemed to prove beyond any doubt that by simply observing matter, it could change the way it is expressed (going from particle to wave behavior). Take a minute to think about what this means: if you observe matter, it might change just because you observed it.

Now, headlines are being made about how the future might actually be influencing the past: you heard that right.

Retrocausality is a term given to this theory: the idea of reverse causality, that the future might influence the past.

A couple physicists from North America examined some basic foundations for quantum theory and came to the conclusion that unless time was completely linear and nothing but linear, “measurements made to a particule could echo back in time as well as forward.” To understand firsthand what this means is difficult.

Well summarized by Science Alert:

“We all know quantum mechanics is weird. And part of that weirdness comes down to the fact that at a fundamental level, particles don’t act like solid billiard balls rolling down a table, but rather like a blurry cloud of possibilities shifting around the room.

This blurry cloud comes into sharp focus when we try to measure particles, meaning we can only ever see a white ball hitting a black one into the corner pocket, and never countless white balls hitting black balls into every pocket.

There is an argument among physicists over whether that cloud of maybes represents something real, or if it’s just a convenient representation.”

As far back as 2012, a physicist named Huw Price published a paper titled “Understanding Retrocausality –Can a Message Be Sent to the Past?.” In it, he suggests that if nothing restricts time to only move in one direction, time must essentially behave as strangely as particles and waves are known to in quantum physics.

“Critics object that there is complete time-symmetry in classical physics, and yet no apparent retrocausality. Why should the quantum world be any different?” Price asked.

This topic is a real rubix cube for the mind. Do you think time is linear? Do you think physicists are close to figuring this out, or far away? I’m inclined to believe they are far away from the truth, but that the truth must be very strange, and some particular people may be on the precipice of some discovery, possibly far outside the realm of academia.

Image: Geralt/Pixabay.

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