Entanglement might allow time teleportation

A pair of theoretical physicists have announced that, looking at the standard understanding of entanglement, they see a way that entangled particles might be “teleported” forward in time in the same way they can be teleported across space.

At one level this isn’t terribly surprising. We speak of “space-time” rather than space and time in Physics because it isn’t accurate in the modern view to see space as being different than time. (At least mathematically speaking.) If we can entangle the wave functions of things like electrons and make use of this entanglement to transport particles across small (but macroscopic) distances, we ought to be able to the same for time.

“To see how, imagine an experiment that Ralph and Olson describe in which a qubit is sent into the future. The idea is that a detector acts on a qubit and then generates a classical message describing how this particle can be detected. Then, at some point in the future, another detector at the same position in space, receives this message and carries out the required measurement, thereby reconstructing the qubit.

But there’s a twist. Olson and Ralph show that the detection of the qubit in the future must be symmetric in time with its creation in the past. ‘If the past detector was active at a quarter to 12:00, then the future detector must wait to become active at precisely a quarter past 12:00 in order to achieve entanglement,’ they say. For that reason, they call this process ‘teleportation in time’.

But how is this different from ordinary existence? After all, we’re all time travellers, moving into the future at the same rate. What’s special about Olson and Ralph’s route?

The answer is that Olson and Ralph’s teleportation provides a shortcut into the future. What they’re saying is that it’s possible to travel into the future without being present during the time in between.”

Read the full article here.

So, let’s say someone does the experiment. It verifies the predicted result. That’s going to be an an interesting tool in the belt of the folks working on quantum computing. I don’t think it would be possible to get an answer to a question before you ask it, but…

Frankly, more interesting to me would be if the experiment fails. That would be unexpected. And might signal that there is something different between space and time. And if that’s the case, then we’ve got some thinking to do. And that would be a lot fun!

About Nick Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...
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