You’ve heard of your past predicting your future, right?
Well, buckle up. Because a new study is claiming that your future might have the ability to influence your past.
Retrocausality, as this phenomenon is known, refers to a particle’s ability in the present to have an impact on the particle’s existence in the past.
So it’s not like you can hope a time machine and tell yourself secrets of the future and vice versa — when is someone going to come up with that, though?
Retrocausality is about bending the laws of time symmetry and since time is known to be fluid and cause and effect are not as linear as we once thought, retrocausality makes the argument that the effect can happen before the cause.
Seriously, are you still with me?
The theory of retrocausality could disrupt some of the most popular theories of our time including Bell’s theorem, Kochen-Specker’s theorem, and other proof that the quantum state is not as we thought.
So how do scientists come up with this stuff?
Basically, they have described an experiment by which time symmetry would assume processes have the same probabilities – no matter if they are travelling back or forth in time.
Because this would cause a contradiction in how we understand quantum physics today, retrocausality argues that processes and particles can have both the same probabilities and different probabilities at the same time.
I know, right?
But what’s fascinating about this theory is that if it is accepted, it can change the way we look at our environments, our actions, and our outcomes and results.
When realists try to test quantum theories, they get a bunch of nonsensical results; but when you include the notion that perhaps the processes and particles have different and similar probabilities in time, the result can change and be predicted by the past actions and dynamics.
But how can this actually impact real life?
One theory is that accepting and acting upon retrocausality could mean that positrons (which are antimatter counterparts of electrons) could potentially move backwards in time so that they are no longer negative, but positively charged.
Theoretically, if one were to engage in actual time travel — wait for it — the simple solution would be to change the direction of the moving particles in a single dimension of time to create a positive reaction.
Sounds so simple, doesn’t it?
This goes beyond beaming us to other places on earth, this could mean big changes in the way people interpret the big bang theory, and other cosmological data.
What we thought was true may not be
Each time that a new theory is proposed, it rocks the scientific community into questioning what they think they know.
But for everday Joe’s like you and me, this means that we aren’t done exploring this big badass universe just yet and there is much more work to be done to find out about our place in the world, the reasons things happen the way they do, and how we could potentially impact those results in the past, and the future.
So whether you think all this particle and positron talk is for the birds, or if you are a die hard quantum theory fan, it’s interesting to think about how the things we are doing right now — the actions we are taking right now, the words we are reading right now — could be actually influenced by our futures.
We put a lot of stock in looking to our past to find answers about our future, but what is going to happen when our present selves have to accept that the deal is done and the work is completed and now it’s just a matter of letting it happen?
Don’t worry though, most scientific discoveries and theories take years to prove… so just keep on doing what you are doing… we’ll let you know when you need to start considering about how your future is impacting your past.
Want to read more about this interesting study? You can check it out here.