Scientists Take One Step Closer To Real Life Time Travel

For light particles at least.

Scientists for the first time have been able to simulate quantum particles traveling through time. They are then able to study the photon's behavior and better understand some of the more inexplicable aspects of physics.

"The question of time travel features at the interface between two of our most successful yet incompatible physical theories -- Einstein's general relativity and quantum mechanics," University of Queensland’s Martin Ringbauer says in a news release. "Einstein's theory describes the world at the very large scale of stars and galaxies, while quantum mechanics is an excellent description of the world at the very small scale of atoms and molecules."

Time will slow down or speed up depending on how fast you're moving relative to objects around you> Einstein suggested the possibility of traveling backward in time by following a space-time path that returns to a starting point in space at an earlier time. That's basically what you see pictured above. More commonly, it's referred to as a wormhole.

In a quantum regime, physicists think that the paradox of time travel can be solved, leaving closed curves consistent with relativity.

"The properties of quantum particles are 'fuzzy' or uncertain to start with, so this gives them enough wiggle room to avoid inconsistent time travel situations," UQ’s Tim Ralph explains. "Our study provides insights into where and how nature might behave differently from what our theories predict." These include the violation of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, cracking of quantum cryptography, and perfect cloning of quantum states.

The work was published in Nature Communications in June, 2014.

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