Path Breaking Study Reverses Time in Quantum Computer

5Schrodinger’s equation governs the probability of existence of particles in a local region

It is Schrodinger’s equation that governs evolution of quantum systems which enables the probability of particles existing in a certain region. The Schrodinger equation is a linear partial differential equation that describes the state function of a quantum mechanical system. Named after Edward Schrodinger who created the equation which won him the Nobel Prize for physics in 1933, it was a landmark in the development of quantum physics.

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6The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

There is another law of quantum mechanics called the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle that states it is not possible to know the position and momentum of a given particle since in the universe, everything behaves like waves and particles simultaneously. What the researchers tried was to test the spontaneous probability of time reversal and see if that could happen. The example given was the billiard ball break after it leaves the triangle shape with the balls moving in all directions which is an analog for the second law of thermodynamics that states how an isolated system can go from order to chaos. In a time reversal scenario, the balls will go from order to chaos and back to order again.

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7The research team tries the impossible

The research team then tried to see if they could make this happen spontaneously in the lab and in nature. They began the though experiment with a localized electron because they were sure of its exact location occupying a tiny region of space. According to the laws of quantum mechanics, the precision and accuracy for knowing such information is very difficult. With time, the probability becomes near impossible because the particle then exists in a wider region. They then tried to effect an operation of time reversal to bring back the particle in its smaller location where it had been localized before.  At this stage, the concept was in theory only followed by the math.

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8Time reversal of an electron would take just 1/10,000 billion of a second

The research then tried to make a probable estimation of this occurrence with relation to a real-world electron due to random fluctuations.  For example, taking into account the entire lifetime of the universe, (13.7 billion years) if one were to make an observation of 10 billion localized electrons every second, then you would see that localization just once. To revert the quantum state of those electrons back into the past would take just a 10 billionth of a second. That’s roughly the time taken for a light to turn green and a person honking behind or almost a blink of the eye.

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