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Higgs-Boson Gives Time Travel Idea New Life!

Once thought a dead issue, the idea of time travel was given new life this week as scientists interpret new data.

In March of 2011, Gadling reported time travel was to be tested at Vanderbilt University. Using the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, scientists hoped to find the mysterious Higgs Boson particle, the particle that physicists invoke to explain why particles like protons, neutrons and electrons have mass.

“One of the major goals of the collider is to find the elusive Higgs boson. If the collider succeeds in producing the Higgs boson, some scientists predict that it will create a second particle, called the Higgs singlet, at the same time,” reported Vanderbilt’s research news.

Professor Tom Weiler and graduate fellow Chui Man Ho thought these singlets should have the ability to jump into an extra, fifth dimension where they can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past.

“One of the attractive things about this approach to time travel is that it avoids all the big paradoxes,” Weiler said at the time. “Because time travel is limited to these special particles, it is not possible for a man to travel back in time and murder one of his parents before he himself is born, for example.”

This week, researchers from the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, analyzed data from the Large Hadron Collider and are “almost certain that they had proven the existence of the Higgs boson, the most sought-after particle in all of physics,” says a CNN report.

The new information comes after Illinois researchers said earlier in the week that scientists had come closer to proving that the particle exists but had been unable to reach a definitive conclusion.

No information yet on the Higgs singlet. But proving the existence of the Higgs boson would most likely give new life to the idea of time travel. Not much new life, but some. Professor Weller noted, “if scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets, they might be able to send messages to the past or future.”

Baby steps.

by Chris Owen (RSS feed) on Jul 5th 2012

Michio Kaku talks Time Travel

“I would like to see . . . when we have a theory of everything.”

If Time Were Really on His Side, Michio Kaku Would Go From the Big Bang to the Big Picture

Michio Kaku is the co-founder of 11-dimensional “string theory,” which is either a Nobel-worthy “theory of everything” or unverifiable poppycock, depending on whom you talk to. His latest best-selling work is “Physics of the Impossible.”

— Joel Garreau

You describe time travel as a “Class II Impossibility” — at the very edge of our understanding of the physical world. But then you mention that physicists are unable to find any physical law that makes time travel impossible. What are the top three times you’d want to go to and why?

I think every physicist would like to witness the instant of creation. The Big Bang. Normally we’d like to do this from a safe distance.

But there isn’t one.

That’s a problem, right. Because the universe was quite small back then, and if we were inside the universe, we too would be quite small. And we too would be bathed by an enormous flux of radiation. But assume for a moment that it is possible to look at it from another dimension. That would give us a bonanza of information about the nature of the universe. Now if I had a second choice, I would like to meet Isaac Newton at the height of his creative powers.

Did the apple tree exist?

We do think that when he was 23 years old he saw an apple fall, and then he asked the key question — if an apple falls, does the moon also fall? And he came to the conclusion yes — the moon is in free-fall. And then you could calculate the motion of the moon using his new law of gravity. That’s what he did when he was in his 40s. In about 18 months, in one of the greatest outpourings of intellectual genius the world has ever seen, he wrote down “Principia” — basically the laws of the planets.

Now, a third thing, if I could, I would like to see beyond my years, maybe like 100 years in the future, when we have a theory of everything. This is my life’s work, right?

What you basically want to know is whether you’re Einstein.

Well, we want to know whether we wasted some of the best years of our life, okay?

Science has seen the future…and it’s invisible!

In the early 1990s, George Bush Senior led the U.S. into war with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. “Operation Desert Storm” became the first war to be televised “live.” Amid the images of explosions and soldiers and tanks covered in desert camouflage, the war also shed light on the Stealth jet fighter. Though it had been in use by the military since the early 1970s, for the first time it registered in the popular consciousness that this sleek jet fighter was virtually invisible to radar. At the time, being invisible to radar was a concept that seemed to come straight from the movies, rather than an evening news report.

Fast forward to 2008, with American forces embedded in a much different Iraq and the talk about invisibility circulating at the Pentagon has gone beyond radar, and into the realm of sight. Or out of sight, quite literally. Invisibility, once thought to be scientifically impossible and an outlandish concept promoted only in science fiction, is back, so to speak, on the radar.

In fact, one of the world’s foremost physicists, Michio Kaku, has put his academic mind to some of science fiction’s other concepts, such as teleportation and force fields, and is convinced that they, too, can become reality. At Duke University, Kaku explains, researchers funded by the military were able in 2006 to render a microscopic object invisible to microwave radiation. Then, a few months ago, researchers at Cal Tech and in Germany achieved the same result with visible light.

“They were able to achieve invisibility to red and green light. Single colours of light can be bent in a way consistent with invisibility on a microscopic scale using nanotechnology,” Kaku says. This has huge potential on the battlefield. Imagine a tank being invisible to enemy forces. No wonder the Pentagon is bankrolling research in this field. “The next step is to do a large object at one light colour,” Kaku says. “Within 10 years, we may be able to make an object completely invisible to one colour of light.”

And that is only one of the seemingly outrageous accomplishments in the works that Kaku discusses in his new book, Physics of the Impossible.

While the chances of someone being teleported – as in the recent hit movie Jumper – is highly unlikely, Kaku points out that teleportation of an inorganic molecule has already been achieved. And how about the fact that, while time travel poses philosophical questions that can twist your mind like trying to squeeze water out of a soaking wet towel, on principle it does not violate the known laws of physics. In the introduction of the book, he warns against ruling out great possibilities because “in my own short lifetime, I have seen the seemingly impossible become established fact over and over again.” Commenting on his book, which was published in March, Kaku says: “We are taking ideas that are usually the property of science fiction and we are looking at them with a very serious analysis with the most recent advances in physics. Science is doubling every 10 years – it’s almost too much information to print. As a result, the public is really quite unaware of the breakthroughs that we are looking forward to over the next few decades.”

How is it possible to make something invisible? Kaku believes that by using metamaterials, a substance with optical properties not found in nature, scientists will be able to eventually render subjects invisible. Another seemingly impossible idea that Kaku deals with is travel outside of our solar system. “The idea of warping in space comes from Einstein not Star Trek, and the invention the atomic bomb was predicted almost to the date in an H.G Wells novel.”

While the concept of bringing a mega-size starship with hundreds of people aboard to another star is not likely, he says NASA is making advances toward sending billions of self-reproducing nanosized exploration vessels throughout the galaxy. Some of the changes that excite Kaku are the possibilities of computers carrying information through light instead of electricity, or computers functioning on DNA molecules. Another reality that may change our view of the possible is the question of extraterrestrial life.

“It’s almost a certainty; microbial life for sure,” Kaku explains. “The odds are that there are civilizations much more advanced than us. We can count 100 billion stars in our galaxy and 100 billion galaxies in the visible universe. That’s 100 billion squared for the number of stars in the visible universe. The probability that one of these stars has a planet that will have life more intelligent than us, I think, is 100 per cent.” This marriage of science fact and science fiction, while exciting, Michio concedes, is nothing new. Instead, Michio points out that they are interrelated traditions.

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