Russian physicists seriously believe that the Large Hadron Collider can be used for time travel. However, it will only happen when it starts working at full capacity and stops breaking down.
If earlier time travel was considered science fiction, now it suddenly turned into the favorite pet project of theoretical physicists. Renowned physicist Kip Thorne of the California Institute of Technology once said in one of his lectures:
“Once upon a time, time travel was the exclusive prerogative of writers. Serious scientists were shunning it like the plague, even when they were writing novels under a pseudonym or were secretly reading them. The times have changed! Now in serious scientific journals you can find a scientific analysis of time travel, authored by outstanding theoretical physicists. Why this change? Physics simply understood that the nature of time is too important to give it to the mercy of writers.”
Today, there are many different schemes of devices designed for time travel. The main one is the Large Hadron Collider. It was launched in the fall of 2008. This is the most powerful particle accelerator in history located on the border of Switzerland and France. In its 27-kilometer ring scientists are trying to collide beams of protons accelerated to nearly light speed. As expected, this device will provide new information about particles and forces acting in space, as well as will reproduce conditions that existed immediately after the Big Bang gave birth to the universe.
After launching the collider, people were scared of the giant black hole capable of swallowing the Earth. Yet, scientists quickly calmed the population saying that in case of a collision of particles in the collider, the holes that may appear would be microscopic, or so large that they can be used as a handy tool for time travel.
This sensational proposal was made by two doctors of physical and mathematical sciences, Professors of Institute of Mathematics named after Steklov, Irina Arefyeva and Igor Volovich.
“Modern principles of theoretical mathematical physics allow the possibility of time travel,” explains Volovich, a member of RAS. “One of the admissible models of working time machine is the so-called wormhole, that is, a space-time tunnel leading to another time or space. And the probability of formation of a wormhole in the LHC is comparable to the probability of occurrence of the black hole itself, which can occur when particles collide with high energy.
As explained by the physics, wormhole is a tunnel connecting different parts of space and time. Entrance to the tunnel may be the size of a star, a planet, a house and even a speck of dust, depending on a purpose of the tunnel use. After all, there is a difference between sending a photon or a group of tourists. You can get to another galaxy, or another universe. And you can also get into in the past. In terms of the physical properties, the entrance to the wormhole is very similar to the entrance to the black hole. The difference is that you can come back.
Since the LHC is designed, figuratively speaking, to create a part of space on Earth, then it can be used to obtain dark energy. This is also an important detail of creating the miracle machine. Another necessary condition for making the machine work is to distort space and time so it closes up in a ring. And the LHC is quite capable of that.
“This phenomenon in physics is called “closed time-like curve,” explains Professor Arefyeva. “It allows, at least theoretically, returning to the past.”
“Is it possible to have a paradox described by Bradbury, when a traveler caught in the past accidentally steps on a butterfly, which results in coming to power of a different president in his time? “
“We expected such issues,” says professor Volovich. “We came to this conclusion: time travel may change the course of history, but not very significantly.”
To make time machine the reality, the scientists stress the need for the LHC to reach at least the design capacity (now it is working at half capacity) and stop breaking down.
“So far, our biggest home is that the LHC will demonstrate the existence of wormhole. If some of the collision energy in the collider disappears, this can be explained by the creation of particles that pierce time through wormholes.”
Research and Development Center of the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN), promised that the LHC will start working as expected in September. Then it becomes clear whether Russian physicists were right in their solution of the most intriguing problem of mankind.