By achieving a quantum time flip, scientists could better understand quantum gravity and boost quantum computing. (Image Credit: geralt/pixabay)
In a world first, two international teams of physicists have achieved a "quantum time flip," an effect that makes the light appear forward and backward in time. This could boost quantum computing and help scientists better understand quantum gravity. Both teams published their results in the October 31st paper and November 2nd paper.
The teams accomplished this through two quantum mechanics principles, quantum superposition and charge conjugation, parity and time-reversal (CPT) symmetry. Quantum superposition refers to a phenomenon where tiny particles are present in different states until observed. Meanwhile, CPT means that a system with particles follows the same physical laws, regardless of whether the particles' charges, spatial coordinates, and movements get flipped.
The physicists performed experiments, placing a photon in superposition to move forward and backward in time. They split a photon along two separate paths via a crystal. As the photon passed through the crystal, a secondary path formed that altered the photon's polarization, making it move as if it traveled backward in time.
Afterward, the teams moved each superposed photon through an additional crystal, allowing them to rejoin. Then, they took measurements of the polarization, discovering a quantum interference pattern composed of light and dark stripes. This pattern is present only if the photons split apart and travel in both directions.
Overall, this work could lead to boosted quantum computing processing since additional experiments demonstrated that time flips could pair with reversible logic gates, allowing simultaneous computing in either direction. Additionally, their findings could lead to a better understanding of quantum gravity, a theoretical framework that seeks to unify gravity with the other forces of physics.
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