My Dad Is Cooler than Your Dad: "If the experiment works, a signal could be received before it's sent"
From yesterday's Seattle PI: Going for a blast into the real past: If the experiment works, a signal could be received before it's sent
If his experiment with splitting photons actually works, says University of Washington physicist John Cramer, the next step will be to test for quantum "retrocausality."
That's science talk for saying he hopes to find evidence of a photon going backward in time.
"It doesn't seem like it should work, but on the other hand, I can't see what would prevent it from working," Cramer said. "If it does work, you could receive the signal 50 microseconds before you send it."
Uh, huh ... what? Wait a minute. What is that supposed to mean?
Roughly put, Cramer is talking about the subatomic equivalent of arriving at the train station before you've left home, of winning the lottery before you've bought the ticket, of graduating from high school before you've been born -- or something like that.
Yaaay for the home team!!! (See also my previous post: Retrocausality.)
SEE ALSO Slashdot. (Daddy's been Slashdotted!)
My favorite blog post on this subject is from Correntewire: Science for Republicans! which first quotes from the article on my dad and then quotes John McCain' electoral regrets:
“We departed rather tragically from our conservative principles,” McCain lamented recently, offering his take on why the GOP fell from power in Congress. He urged a return to what he called the foundation of the Republican Party — restrained spending, smaller government, lower taxes, a strong national defense and family values.
Sorry guys, not this time out. This is just a physics experiment.
My dad, also a publshed novelist, explains the excitement of experimental phsyics:
Even if this does fail miserably, providing no insights, Cramer said the experience could still be valuable. As the author of two science-fiction novels, "Twistor" and "Einstein's Bridge," and as a columnist for the sci-fi magazine Analog, the UW physicist enjoys sharing his speculations about the nature of reality with the public.
"I want people to know what it's like to do science, what makes it so exciting," he said. "If this experiment fails in reality, maybe I'll write a book in which it works."
(Also, I've added a Restrocausality photoset to my Flickr account!)