Archive for March 18, 2011

LHC: The World’s First Time Machine?

March 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Theoretical physicists Thomas Weiler, right, and Chui Man Ho. Credit: John Russell / Vanderbilt University

“If the latest theory of Tom Weiler and Chui Man Ho is right, the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest atom smasher that started regular operation last year – could be the first machine capable causing matter to travel backwards in time.

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.

According to Weiler and Ho’s theory, 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.

“One of the attractive things about this approach to time travel is that it avoids all the big paradoxes,” Weiler said. “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.””