One Nobel laureate from the 20th century, named Richard Feynman, in one of his books wrote:
We choose to examine a phenomenon which is impossible, absolutely impossible, to explain in any classical way, and which has in it the heart of quantum mechanics. In reality, it contains the only mystery.
The “time” concept is weird, while the quantum physics world is an even weirder concept. There isn’t lack of some observed phenomenon that defies our own understandings of the logic, bringing feelings, emotions, and thoughts into play – consciousness itself, or even a post-materialist view of our Universe.
The classic double slit experiment best illustrates this fact, which is an experiment that physicists use in order to explore what role our consciousness has in affecting and shaping our physical reality. Also, the physical material universe’s dominant role has been dropped when the second quantum mechanics entered in the equation, shaking up the science’s foundation, as it keeps doing today.
Another weird and groundbreaking experiment exists, which has huge implications about understanding our reality’s nature, or more specifically, time’s nature. This experiment is called “quantum eraser” or “delayed-choice,” and we can consider it the modified version of the so-called double slit experiment.
In order to understand this experiment, we need to understand the double slit experiment first. In the double slit experiment, some small bits of matter, such as protons, electrons, and any object with the size of an atom, are shot towards the screen with two slits inside it. Also, on the screen’s opposite side, a high technology video camera is recording where each of the photons land.
Then, when the scientists close one of the slits, the camera is going to show us the expected pattern. However, when two slits are wide open, there will emerge the interference pattern, and they will start acting like waves. In fact, this does not mean that the atomic objects will be observed as waves, but they simply act in that way. What it means is that each photon goes through the two slits individually and simultaneously and it interferes with itself; however, it will also go through only one of the slits, and then the other. Moreover, it will go through none of them. This single matter piece will become the wave of potentials, and it will express itself in the form of several possibilities, so that’s why there is an interference pattern.
When the observer decides to look at and measure through which of the slits this matter piece passes through, that potential paths’ wave is going to collapse into only one path. Again, the particle can become the wave of potentials in only one practice, simply taking one route. This is like the particle knows that it is watched. The observer affects the particle’s behavior.
Scientists define the quantum uncertainty as to the capacity which governs some subatomic affairs, particularly of particles like an electron in order to exist in a murky state of possibility – to be everywhere, anywhere, or nowhere – unless clicked into the substantiality by an eyeball, or the laboratory detector
Quantum eraser/delayed choice/time
How is this particular information relevant to time’s concept? Simply as the so-called double-slit experiment illustrated how the factors connected with consciousness collapse the function of the quantum waves into one piece of matter with defined physical characteristics, the delayed choice experiment actually illustrated how the things that happen now may change what has happened during the past. Moreover, it shows how the time may move backward, or how effect and cause may be reversed, and how future cause the past.
Just like the previous experiment, the quantum eraser or delayed choice was demonstrated and even repeated over and over again. For instance, some physicists from the ANU or Australian National University conducted the delayed-choice thought experiment of John Wheeler, and the findings have been published in Nature Physics in recent times. Moreover, in 2007, some scientists from France shot some photons in the apparatus, showing that their actions were able to change a certain thing that already happened retroactively.
There are many other demonstrations of this experiment which was brought to life for the first time by John Wheeler, during 1978.
Here is the explanation of John Wheeler of this experiment. According to him, the experiment has been explained in the best way on the cosmic scale.
The explanation on the cosmic scale.
Wheeler asks people to visualize a star which emitted photons billions of years ago, and how those photons are heading in our planet’s direction. There is also a galaxy in between. Because of gravitational lensing, to reach our planet, the light has to bed all over the galaxy, so it will need to take just one path, go right or left. After billions of years, when a person will decide to set up the apparatus in order to catch those photons, the resulting patterns are going to be interference patterns. This definitely demonstrates that photons took one of the ways.
You can even peek at these incoming photons by setting up your telescope on galaxy’s each side in order to determine the side which the photons took to reach our planet. This act of watching or measuring means that it may come in only from one of the sides. The patterns are not going to be interference patterns anymore, representing several possibilities, but just clump patterns which show one way.
This means that the way we choose for measuring now will affect the direction the photons took before billions of years. Our choice right now will affect what already occurred in our past.
This doesn’t make sense, which is quite a frequent phenomenon when talking about quantum physics. However, regardless of the capacity to make some sense of it, it will be real.
The experiment even suggests that the quantum entanglement exist no matters of the time. Time just like we know it and measure it, does not really exist.