Vanderbilt University’s Tom Weiler and graduate fellow Chu Man Ho theorize that the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful, is capable of sending particles into either the past or the future.
The research website arXiv.org published their paper on March 7.
The Collider is designed to produce enough energy in a collision that the fabled Higgs boson can be detected. The Higgs boson is theorized by some as the particle that provides protons, neutrons and electrons with mass. Going even further out on the theoretical limb, if the Higgs boson exists and can be detected, it may be accompanied by an even more elusive Higgs singlet.
The Higgs singlet has a unique property according to Weiler and Ho’s theory: Since it is only effected by the gravitational force, it can jump out of our familiar four-dimensional plane and take short cuts through a fifth-dimension before it is re-captured back in our space-time, effectively having traveled backward or forward in time.
“Our theory is a long shot, but it doesn’t violate any laws of physics or experimental constraints,” said Weiler, a professor of Physics at Vanderbilt.
The test of the theory is simple enough: just look for the Higgs singlet and its decay products a few moments before they are created in the collision. That’s right, you detect them just before they begin to exist. No problem.
“If scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets,” Weiler speculated, “they might be able to send messages to the past or future.”
This has produced a lot of comment. One idea is similar to the SETI experiment which listens for possible messages from other civilizations in the universe: Build a receiver to decode the messages now being sent back from the future.
One comment suggested that Weiler could enter a time-loop with himself by t-mailing the winning Lotto numbers back to the day before, then fund the rest of his research.
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