Turns out it wasn’t 88mph after all. A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has completed a successful experiment with quantum time travel.
Seth Lloyd and his collaborators “have identified a new approach to the problem that opens up the strange world of time travel to experiments,” according to a report in New Scientist magazine.
What is so tantalising about time travel is that there seems to be nothing to prevent it. As far as the laws of physics are concerned, time can run forwards or backwards. But time travel of the kind that Marty McFly gets up to in the movie Back to the Future is a different kettle of fish. It requires an object to go back in time while everything else keeps creeping forward. Still, there is no shortage of ideas about how this might happen.
Even more fascinating, the MiT team sent a photon back to “kill” itself.
The magazine says, ‘When this experiment is done, something interesting happens: every single time the time travel works, the gun fails to go off. And when time travel fails, the gun works. To put this in the language of the grandfather paradox, as long as there is some chance of your gun misfiring and the assassination failing, time travel may work. “You can point the gun but you can’t pull the trigger,” says Lloyd.’