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We can change the past?

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Well, according to some at the BBC. From Philip Ball:

Only a handful of physicists and philosophers have embraced retrocausality. Most consider backwards causality “too high a price to swallow”, says Wharton.

But he feels that we only resist this idea because we are not used to seeing it in daily life.

“The view that the past does not depend on the future is largely anthropocentric,” says Wharton. “We should take apparent backwards causation more seriously than we usually do. Our intuition has been wrong before, and this time symmetry on quantum scales is a reason to think we could be wrong again.”

If time’s arrow is not quite as one-way as it seems, that raises one last question: why do we perceive it as always pointing one way? Why should the “psychological arrow of time” be aligned with the physical ones?More.

If only it were true.

See also: Arrow of time points to missing dark matter

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7 Replies to “We can change the past?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    of related note:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    You can see a little better explanation of the “delayed-choice entanglement swapping” experiment at the 9:11 minute mark of the following video:

    Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment Explained – 2014 video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6HLjpj4Nt4

    Quantum Mechanics imitating Laplace’s French accent,

    “Space-Time? I have no need for that hypothesis!”

    Also of note:

    LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must explain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamentally spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    Also of related interest:

    Einstein vs. “The Now” of Philosophers and Quantum Mechanics – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1129789497033982/?type=2&theater

    Question: Isn’t retro-causality kind of small potatoes for quantum mechanics compared to reality not even existing until it is measured?

    Reality doesn’t exist until we measure it, (Delayed Choice) quantum experiment confirms –
    Mind = blown. – FIONA MACDONALD – 1 JUN 2015
    Excerpt: “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” lead researcher and physicist Andrew Truscott said in a press release.
    http://www.sciencealert.com/re.....t-confirms

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.
    http://themindunleashed.org/20.....at-it.html

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”

  2. 2
    Davem says:

    Physicists have sent a pulse of laser light through cesium vapor so quickly that it left the chamber before it had even finished entering.

  3. 3
    Querius says:

    There once was a man named Dwight,
    Who could travel much faster than light.
    He left one day in an Einsteinian way,
    And returned on the previous night.

    -Q

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Light Exceeds Its Own Speed Limit, or Does It?
    By JAMES GLANZ – May 2000
    Excerpt: The kind of chamber in Dr. Wang’s experiment is normally used to amplify waves of laser light, not speed them up, said Aephraim M. Steinberg, a physicist at the University of Toronto. In the usual arrangement, one beam of light is shone on the chamber, exciting the cesium atoms, and then a second beam passing thorugh the chamber soaks up some of that energy and gets amplified when it passes through them.

    But the amplification occurs only if the second beam is tuned to a certain precise wavelength, Dr. Steinberg said. By cleverly choosing a slightly different wavelength, Dr. Wang induced the cesium to speed up a light pulse without distorting it in any way. “If you look at the total pulse that comes out, it doesn’t actually get amplified,” Dr. Steinberg said.

    There is a further twist in the experiment, since only a particularly strange type of wave can propagate through the cesium. Waves Light signals, consisting of packets of waves, actually have two important speeds: the speed of the individual peaks and troughs of the light waves themselves, and the speed of the pulse or packet into which they are bunched. A pulse may contain billions or trillions of tiny peaks and troughs. In air the two speeds are the same, but in the excited cesium they are not only different, but the pulses and the waves of which they are composed can travel in opposite directions, like a pocket of congestion on a highway, which can propagate back from a toll booth as rush hour begins, even as all the cars are still moving forward.

    These so-called backward modes are not new in themselves, having been routinely measured in other media like plasmas, or ionized gases. But in the cesium experiment, the outcome is particularly strange because backward light waves can, in effect, borrow energy from the excited cesium atoms before giving it back a short time later. The overall result is an outgoing wave exactly the same in shape and intensity as the incoming wave; the outgoing wave just leaves early, before the peak of the incoming wave even arrives.

    As most physicists interpret the experiment, it is a low-intensity precursor (sometimes called a tail, even when it comes first) of the incoming wave that clues the cesium chamber to the imminent arrival of a pulse. In a process whose details are poorly understood, but whose effect in Dr. Wang’s experiment is striking, the cesium chamber reconstructs the entire pulse solely from information contained in the shape and size of the tail, and spits the pulse out early.

    If the side of the chamber facing the incoming wave is called the near side, and the other the far side, the sequence of events is something like the following. The incoming wave, its tail extending ahead of it, approaches the chamber. Before the incoming wave’s peak gets to the near side of the chamber, a complete pulse is emitted from the far side, along with a backward wave inside the chamber that moves from the far to the near side.

    The backward wave, traveling at 300 times c, arrives at the near side of the chamber just in time to meet the incoming wave. The peaks of one wave overlap the troughs of the other, so they cancel each other out and nothing remains. What has really happened is that the incoming wave has “paid back” the cesium atoms that lent energy on the other side of the chamber.

    Someone who looked only at the beginning and end of the experiment would see only a pulse of light that somehow jumped forward in time by moving faster than c.

    “The effect is really quite dramatic,” Dr. Steinberg said. “For a first demonstration, I think this is beautiful.”
    https://partners.nytimes.com/library/national/science/053000sci-physics-light.html

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    It is interesting to note that if there were absolutely no way for our minds to reach back into the past and effect it in some way and that the past actually did have absolute control over the future, i.e. determinism, then the free will of our mind, as held by theists, would be dead.

    Physicalism and Reason – May 2013
    Summary: So we find ourselves affirming two contradictory propositions:
    1. Everything is governed by cause-and-effect.
    2. Our brains can process and be changed by ground-consequent logical relationships.
    To achieve consistency, we must either deny that everything is governed by cause-and-effect, and open our worldviews to something beyond physicalism, or we must deny that our brains are influenced by ground-consequence reasoning, and abandon the idea that we are rational creatures.
    Ask yourself: are humans like falling dominoes, entirely subject to natural law, or may we stand up and walk in the direction that reason shows us?
    http://www.reasonsforgod.org/2.....nd-reason/

    Yet, as partially referenced at post 1, according to quantum mechanics, we are not such victims of the past, i.e. deterministic automatons, as materialists would presuppose in their ‘past controls the future’ deterministic view of reality:

    “If we attempt to attribute an objective meaning to the quantum state of a single system, curious paradoxes appear: quantum effects mimic not only instantaneous action-at-a-distance but also, as seen here, influence of future actions on past events, even after these events have been irrevocably recorded.”
    Asher Peres, Delayed choice for entanglement swapping. J. Mod. Opt. 47, 139-143 (2000).

    What Does Quantum Physics Have to Do with Free Will? – By Antoine Suarez – July 22, 2013
    Excerpt: What is more, recent experiments are bringing to light that the experimenter’s free will and consciousness should be considered axioms (founding principles) of standard quantum physics theory. So for instance, in experiments involving “entanglement” (the phenomenon Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”), to conclude that quantum correlations of two particles are nonlocal (i.e. cannot be explained by signals traveling at velocity less than or equal to the speed of light), it is crucial to assume that the experimenter can make free choices, and is not constrained in what orientation he/she sets the measuring devices.
    To understand these implications it is crucial to be aware that quantum physics is not only a description of the material and visible world around us, but also speaks about non-material influences coming from outside the space-time.,,,
    https://www.bigquestionsonline.com/content/what-does-quantum-physics-have-do-free-will

    Free will and nonlocality at detection: Basic principles of quantum physics – Antoine Suarez – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhMrrmlTXl4

    Interestingly, due to advances in quantum mechanics, the materialist is now forced to claim that our free will choices, instead of being ‘randomly’ determined by the material particles of our brain as atheists had originally claimed, is now forced to claim that our ‘illusory’ free will choices were somehow ‘superdetermined’ all the way back at the Big Bang:

    Is Quantum Entanglement Real? – David Kaiser – Nov. 14, 2014
    Excerpt: HERE’S the problem. In any test of entanglement, the researcher must select the settings on each of the detectors of the experimental apparatus (choosing to measure, for example, a particle’s spin along one direction or another). The setting-independence loophole suggests that, though the researcher appears to be free to select any setting for the detectors, it is possible that he is not completely free: Some unnoticed causal mechanism in the past may have fixed the detectors’ settings in advance, or nudged the likelihood that one setting would be chosen over another.,,,
    How to close this loophole?,, In our proposed experiment, the detector setting that is selected (say, measuring a particle’s spin along this direction rather than that one) would be determined not by us — but by an observed property of some of the oldest light in the universe (say, whether light from distant quasars arrives at Earth at an even- or odd-numbered microsecond). These sources of light are so far away from us and from one another that they would not have been able to receive a single light signal from one another, or from the position of the Earth, before the moment, billions of years ago, when they emitted the light that we detect here on Earth today.
    That is, we would guarantee that any strange “nudging” or conspiracy among the detector settings — if it does exist — would have to have occurred all the way back at the Hot Big Bang itself, nearly 14 billion years ago.
    If, as we expect, the usual predictions from quantum theory are borne out in this experiment, we will have constrained various alternative theories as much as physically possible in our universe. If not, that would point toward a profoundly new physics.
    Either way, the experiment promises to be exciting — a fitting way, we hope, to mark Bell’s paper’s 50th anniversary.
    – David Kaiser is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he teaches physics and the history of science. His latest book is “How the Hippies Saved Physics: Science, Counterculture, and the Quantum Revival.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11......html?_r=1

    But why is the quantum world thought spooky anyway? – September 1, 2015
    Excerpt: Zeilinger also notes that there remains one last, somewhat philosophical loophole, first identified by Bell himself: the possibility that hidden variables could somehow manipulate the experimenters’ choices of what properties to measure, tricking them into thinking quantum theory is correct.,,,
    Leifer is less troubled by this ‘freedom-of-choice loophole’, however. “It could be that there is some kind of superdeterminism, so that the choice of measurement settings was determined at the Big Bang,” he says. “We can never prove that is not the case, so I think it’s fair to say that most physicists don’t worry too much about this.”
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ky-anyway/

    Thus, either free will is real as is claimed by Theists, or there is no truly ‘undetermined’ randomness worth speaking about since the Big Bang.

    Either way, since ‘undetermined’ randomness plays a major role in Darwinian thought, this development in quantum mechanics, supporting the Theist’s contention for free will, certainly does not bode well for materialists who want to believe they are automatons with no real free will or even no real consciousness.

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter”.
    J. B. S. Haldane [“When I am dead,” in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    Supplemental note:

    How and Why exactly did consciousness become a problem? by Margaret Wertheim – Dec. 1, 2015
    Excerpt: Heaven and Earth were two separate yet intertwined domains of human action. Medieval cosmology was thus inherently dualistic: the physical domain of the body had a parallel in the spiritual domain of the soul; and for medieval thinkers, the latter was the primary domain of the Real.,,,
    But perhaps most surprisingly, just when the ‘stream of consciousness’ was entering our lexicon, physicists began to realise that consciousness might after all be critical to their own descriptions of the world. With the advent of quantum mechanics they found that, in order to make sense of what their theories were saying about the subatomic world, they had to posit that the scientist-observer was actively involved in constructing reality.,,,
    Such a view appalled many physicists,,,
    Just this April, Nature Physics reported on a set of experiments showing a similar effect using helium atoms. Andrew Truscott, the Australian scientist who spearheaded the helium work, noted in Physics Today that ‘99.999 per cent of physicists would say that the measurement… brings the observable into reality’. In other words, human subjectivity is drawing forth the world.,,,
    Not all physicists are willing to go down this path, however, and there is indeed now a growing backlash against subjectivity.,,,
    when I was a physics student the MWI (Many Worlds Interpretation) was widely seen as a fringe concept. Today, it is becoming mainstream, in large part because the pesky problem of consciousness simply hasn’t gone away.,,,
    https://aeon.co/essays/how-and-why-exactly-did-consciousness-become-a-problem

    A Professor’s Journey out of Nihilism: Why I am not an Atheist – University of Wyoming – J. Budziszewski
    Excerpt page12: “There were two great holes in the argument about the irrelevance of God. The first is that in order to attack free will, I supposed that I understood cause and effect; I supposed causation to be less mysterious than volition.
    If anything, it is the other way around. I can perceive a logical connection between premises and valid conclusions. I can perceive at least a rational connection between my willing to do something and my doing it. But between the apple and the earth, I can perceive no connection at all. Why does the apple fall? We don’t know. “But there is gravity,” you say. No, “gravity” is merely the name of the phenomenon, not its explanation. “But there are laws of gravity,” you say. No, the “laws” are not its explanation either; they are merely a more precise description of the thing to be explained, which remains as mysterious as before. For just this reason, philosophers of science are shy of the term “laws”; they prefer “lawlike regularities.” To call the equations of gravity “laws” and speak of the apple as “obeying” them is to speak as though, like the traffic laws, the “laws” of gravity are addressed to rational agents capable of conforming their wills to the command. This is cheating, because it makes mechanical causality (the more opaque of the two phenomena) seem like volition (the less). In my own way of thinking the cheating was even graver, because I attacked the less opaque in the name of the more.
    The other hole in my reasoning was cruder. If my imprisonment in a blind causality made my reasoning so unreliable that I couldn’t trust my beliefs, then by the same token I shouldn’t have trusted my beliefs about imprisonment in a blind causality. But in that case I had no business denying free will in the first place.”
    http://www.undergroundthomist......theist.pdf

    Agent Causality (of Theists) vs. The self refuting Blind Causality (of Atheists) – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1118356054843993/?type=2&theater

  6. 6
    awstar says:

    Reference BA77 #1

    Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.

    Reference Matthew 18:18

    Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth (Alice and Bob) shall be bound in heaven (Victor): and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth (Alice and Bob) shall be loosed in heaven (Victor).

    The more science discovers, the more we understand what we’ve already been told.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    semi OT:

    (Leggett-Garg inequality) Weird quantum effects stretch across hundreds of miles – July 19, 2016-
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Excerpt: MIT physicists have found that subatomic particles called neutrinos can be in superposition, without individual identities, when traveling hundreds of miles.,,,
    The researchers obtained data from Fermilab’s Main Injector Neutrino Oscillation Search, or MINOS, an experiment in which neutrinos are produced from the scattering of other accelerated, high-energy particles in a facility near Chicago and beamed to a detector in Soudan, Minnesota, 735 kilometers (456 miles) away,,,
    , the researchers found that the data was “in high tension” with more classical descriptions of how matter should behave. In particular, it was statistically unlikely that the data could be explained by any model of the sort that Einstein sought, in which objects would always embody definite properties rather than exist in superpositions.
    “What’s fascinating is, many of us tend to think of quantum mechanics applying on small scales,” says David Kaiser, the Germeshausen Professor of the History of Science and professor of physics at MIT. “But it turns out that we can’t escape quantum mechanics, even when we describe processes that happen over large distances. We can’t stop our quantum mechanical description even when these things leave one state and enter another, traveling hundreds of miles. I think that’s breathtaking.”,,,
    In the MINOS experiment, huge numbers of neutrinos are created at various energies, where Kaiser says they then “careen through the Earth, through solid rock, and a tiny drizzle of them will be detected” 735 kilometers away.
    According to Formaggio’s reworking of the Leggett-Garg inequality,,,
     they found that the data fit squarely within the predicted distribution for a quantum system, meaning that the neutrinos very likely did not have individual identities while traveling over hundreds of miles between detectors.
    “What gives people pause is, quantum mechanics is quantitatively precise and yet it comes with all this conceptual baggage,” Kaiser says. “That’s why I like tests like this: Let’s let these things travel further than most people will drive on a family road trip, and watch them zoom through the big world we live in, not just the strange world of quantum mechanics, for hundreds of miles. And even then, we can’t stop using quantum mechanics. We really see quantum effects persist across macroscopic distances.”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/07/160719091637.htm

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