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  • Time travel to the past is basically impossible without breaking some laws of physics and acquiring plutonium from some Libyans.

  • But time travel to the future is easy; we're all doing it right now.

  • So why does time go forward and not back?

  • The idea that time only flows in one direction is called the Arrow of Time.

  • But, odd as it sounds, there's nothing in the equations that describe the laws of physics that says it has to be this way.

  • The equations can tell you what will happen in the future or what took place in the past based on what's going on in the present,

  • but they don't explicitly state that time must go from past to present to future.

  • The math works just as well going either direction.

  • The one thing that seems to keep driving this time bus to futuretown is the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy must always increase.

  • Things must go from order to chaos ; heat must disperse from hot bodies to colder ones.

  • This increase in entropy is what keeps the ordered past behind us and the increasingly messy future ahead.

  • But there seems to be a loophole in the second law of thermodynamics, and scientists recently exploited it to turn entropy on its ear.

  • Apparently the law doesn't apply to correlated particles, which are like entangled particles, but with less of a connection.

  • When researchers observed a hot hydrogen nucleus that was next to a cooler carbon nucleus inside a trichloromethane molecule, the nuclei behaved as expected: Heat flowed from the hot hydrogen to the cool carbon.

  • But when they tried the same thing with correlated hydrogen and carbon nuclei, the opposite happened.

  • The hydrogen got hotter, while the carbon chilled even more.

  • This is akin to putting a hot coffee cup in a cold room and watching it heat up as you feel the room get colder.

  • The scientists went on to make the bold claim that this experiment shows the reversal of the Arrow of Time.

  • But even if that's indeed what's happening, it looks like it only applies under very specific circumstances on an atomic scale.

  • So, not that I'm a physicist or anything, but did you reverse the Arrow of Time ?

  • Does that mean time is suddenly running backwards or is there something else at play with these atoms here?

  • Needed is research more.

  • I wouldn't exactly predict a future where broken coffee mugs spontaneously reform or rooms tidy themselves just yet.

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  • If you've watched all our past episodes, then please subscribe for our future ones.

  • If you haven't seen them all, check out this video on how your perception of time can alter if you speak another language.

  • In the distant future, when the entropy is at its maximum, there will actually be no Arrow of Time, because nothing will be able to change.

  • Thanks a lot for watching Seeker.

Time travel to the past is basically impossible without breaking some laws of physics and acquiring plutonium from some Libyans.

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