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Editorials

Physicists manage to ‘turn back time’ in a new experiment

A time machine that can teleport us to the past or future might seem a work of sci-fi, but scientists have managed
Published March 14, 2019 Updated March 18, 2019

A time machine that can teleport us to the past or future might seem a work of sci-fi, but scientists have managed to build a ‘time machine’ that can move particles a fraction of second into the past.

Physicists in Russia have claimed to build a time machine that moves smaller-than-atom sized, tiny particles a fraction of a second into the past, moving them in the opposite direction of ‘time’s arrow’ through quantum computing.

The team managed to restore IBM’s public quantum computer to the state it had been a fraction of second earlier. As explained by Daily Mail, the experiment involved electrons – the negatively charged particles that make up an atom – found in the area of quantum mechanics, the study of sub-atomic particles.

“We have artificially created a state that evolves in a direction opposite to that of the thermodynamic arrow of time,” lead researcher Gordey Lesovik said.

The ‘time machine’ is based around a quantum computer that carries out calculations with the help of basic elements known as superconducting ‘qubits’ – a unit of information described by a ‘one’, a ‘zero’, or a mixed ‘superposition’ of both sides, explained Independent.ie.

The team ran thousands of experiments on quantum system programmed to reverse time’s arrow on a single electron. After numerous trials, the physicists managed to restore the quantum computer’s earlier state around 85% of the time, but only working with a simplified two-qubit system. With a more complex quantum computer with three qubits, the time reversal experiment only worked 49% of the time.

Furthermore, the time reversal cannot be linked to actual teleportation of people, rather the team hopes that their work can help quantum computer scientists make sure their software is doing fine by moving it through time and double checking the work, reported Futurism.

“Our algorithm could be updated and used to test programs written for quantum computers and eliminate noise and errors,” said Lesovik.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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