Time Travel Might Be Possible: University of Queensland

Time travel is something every major scientist around the world is working upon for very long. Some physicists have recently declared that time travel is possible. It is a group of scientists from University of Queensland, Australia who came up with a solution that makes time travel a possibility.

The scientists have discovered how time travelling photons behave and that at the quantum level, time travel becomes a possibility. In the study, the scientists have used single particles of light- photons to simulate quantum particles travelling back through time. The study has revealed the strange aspects of modern physics.

Professor Timothy Ralph, a co-author of the study explained, “The properties of quantum particles, are ‘fuzzy’ or uncertain to start with, so this gives them enough wiggle room to avoid inconsistent time travel situations. Our study provides insights into where and how nature might behave differently from what our theories predict.”

In the process of the experiment the researchers have analysed the behaviour of a photon travelling through time that interacted with its older self. Emphasis is laid on the photons that travel through normal space-time and interacts with another photon that is stuck in a time-travelling loop through a wormhole. This process is referred to as, closed timelike curve (CTC).

The theories of special and general relativity, proposed by Albert Einstein reveal that time travel is possible. The special relativity theory proposes that space and time belong to the same thing which is referred to as space- time continuum. Further it states that time has ability to either slow down or fasten up relative to other aspects. The general relativity theory states that time travel is possible by following a space- time path i.e a CTC that reaches it starting point in space at an earlier time.

Martin Ringbauer stated, “The question of time travel features at the interface between two of our most successful yet incompatible physical theories – Einstein’s general relativity and quantum mechanics. Einstein’s theory describes the world at the very large scale of stars and galaxies, while quantum mechanics is an excellent description of the world at the very small scale of atoms and molecules.” Martin Ringbauer is a PhD student at UQ’s School of Mathematics and Physics and a lead author of the paper.

In a recent documentary made by BBC astrophysicist Stephen Hawking asserted that it is impossible to achieve time- travel mission as it does not exist as a concept, he believes.Nevertheless, the studies being made on time travel might reveal the possibilities of making time travel a reality.

Nevertheless, the studies being made on time travel might reveal the possibilities of making time travel a reality.


Shobith MAKAM Written by:


  1. Mario Sands

    I doubt that the experiment by Ringbauer and Co has anything to do with time travel. See the paper arXiv:1609.01496 [math-ph] for arguments why the “closed timelike curve condition” in quantum mechanics originally given by David Deutsch – which Ringbauer and Co attempt to test in their experiment – is likely to be inconclusive.

  2. Good evening Mario,

    Can you tell us more about it? Please.



    • Mario Sands

      I will try to explain as far as I can understand it. In the early 1990s, Professor David Deutsch, from Oxford, considered systems of several quantum mechanical objects that interact with each other, and he proposed a condition meant to indicate that one of the objects returns, after the interaction with the other objects, to the same state it was in before the interaction. In such a situation, according to David Deutsch, the quantum mechanical object that returns to its initial state after interaction can be seen as following a closed timelike curve. The condition proposed by David Deutsch has nowadays come to be called D-CTC condition (D standing for Deutsch, CTC for “closed timelike curve”). Ringbauer and Co set up an experiment with two photons which are brought into interaction by means of devices used in quantum optics. As far as I understand, they claim that they have realized a system of interacting quantum objects (photons) where the D-CTC condition holds, and they do some experimental checks on their system to sort of show this. Then they interpret the D-CTC condition in a very strong form, as stating that if quantum objects in interaction obey the D-CTC condition, then one of the objects really follows a closed timelike curve. However, in their recent paper arXiv:1609.01496 [math-ph], the authors Tolksdorf and Verch show that the D-CTC condition can also always be fulfilled for interacting quantum objects which comply with the principles with special or general relativity in situations where closed timelike curves are excluded. This, they argue, shows that there is nothing specific relating to closed timelike curves about the D-CTC condition.
      My conclusion from this is that the experiments by Ringbauer and Co are likely to have nothing to do with closed timelike curves or time travel, since that seems to be based on what is apparently an overinterpretation of the D-CTC condition. Tolksdorf and Verch have a similar conclusion, but in a more cautions wording.

  3. Hey Mario,
    Thank you very much for your answer. I really appreciate it.
    Do you know if there is a better experiment?
    Thanks again,

  4. Mario Sands

    I think the issue is not so much about the experimental side but about the D-CTC condition according to the article by Tolksdorf and Verch. Their point is that the D-CTC condition is not specific enough to distinguish experimental settings with CTCs from those without, essentially regardless of the kind of experiment done. There is another type of condition that has been brought up in connection with CTC-related experiments. These are called P-CTC, where P is for postselected. This is involved and I think I cannot really explain it. There are two articles on this published in journals (you can find them googleing P-CTC). My impression is that the results are not fully conclusive and there are also articles discussing this. It seems to me that the experiments by Ringbauer et al. are the most advanced on CTC-related questions to date. But as I have mentioned before, the paper by Tolksdorf and Verch casts doubts on whether these experiments really can say anything about CTCs.

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