So can you slam protons together so hard that the collision creates a particle that can travel forward and backward in time?
That, very basically mind you, is the time travel theory Vanderbilt University researchers hope to check out in the Large Hadron Collider - the world's largest atom smasher located in Switzerland (CERN). "Our theory is a long shot, "but it doesn't violate any laws of physics or experimental constraints," said Tom Weiler, one of the physics professors at Vanderbilt University testing the theory.
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From Vanderbilt: "One of the major goals of the collider is to find the elusive Higgs boson: the particle that physicists invoke to explain why particles like protons, neutrons and electrons have mass. If the collider succeeds in producing the Higgs boson, some scientists predict that it will create a second particle, called the Higgs singlet, at the same time. These singlets should have the ability to jump into an extra, fifth dimension where they can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past," Weiler and grad student collaborator Chui Man Ho's theory.
"Because time travel is limited to these special particles, it is not possible for a man to travel back in time and murder one of his parents before he himself is born, for example. However, if scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets, they might be able to send messages to the past or future," Weiler said.
This isn't the first time travel experiment for the Weiler. According to Vanderbilt, 2007, the researchers, along with Vanderbilt graduate fellow James Dent, posted a paper titled "Neutrino time travel."
From Vanderbilt: "Their ideas found their way into two science fiction novels. Final Theory by Mark Alpert, which was described in the New York Times as a "physics-based version of The Da Vinci Code," is based on the researchers' idea of neutrinos taking shortcuts in extra dimensions. Joe Haldeman's novel The Accidental Time Machine is about a time-traveling MIT graduate student and includes an author's note that describes the novel's relationship to the type of time travel described by Dent, Päs, Pakvasa and Weiler."
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