Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The future affects the present

There have been hints of this phenomenon in quantum research for some time. But apparently it is now accepted. Think about this, kids: the future can affect the present. In other words, time isn't what we always thought it was - an inexorable machine, moving from the past toward the future. Sometimes, there are detours.
Aharonov turned Einstein's question around and asked, "Why does God play dice?" He found that Nature gains something very beautiful and exciting with this indeterminism: the present is not only affected by the past but it is also affected by the future. That is, the future (also known as post-selection) can come back to the present (like in the movie "Back to the Future"). So quantum mechanics does not pick out an arrow of time, it works just as well from past to future as from future to past. The quantum world links the future with the past in subtle and significant ways; and in dramatic contrast to everything previously known about time.
This is huge. It's like a whole new corner of quantum mechanics appeared from out the blue. I love it.