Finding a new dimension… it gets spooky!
Last year, there was a lot of buzz around the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) project at CERN in Geneva when announcements were being made that it would be likely that the elusive Higgs particle would be found before the end of 2011. At the same time, things like experimental proof of multiple dimensions, on top of our 4 known dimensions (space and time), would be provided (see last November’s article here).
Now, Tom Weiler and Chui Man have devised a theory that states that if the LHC succeeds in producing the Higgs particle, it will also create a second particle, called the Higgs singlet, at the same time. The strange characteristic of this particle, is that it can travel forward… and backwards in time! The LHC would become a time machine!
The proof of the researchers’ theory will be whether the physicists monitoring the collider will start to see these Higgs singlet particles and their decay products spontaneously appearing. If they do, according to Weiler and Ho, they will have been produced by particles that travel back in time to appear before the collisions that produced them.
“Our theory is a long shot,” admitted Weiler, who is a physics professor at Vanderbilt University, “but it doesn’t violate any laws of physics or experimental constraints.”
Their theory states that time travel is limited only to these special particles, so it would avoid all the big paradoxes (Michael J. Fox’ Back to the Future escapades won’t be possible).
However, if scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets, they might be able to send messages to the past or future!
So how come we haven’t received any messages from the future? Well, if this particle is key in sending information backwards in time, it seems logical that we first need to master this kind of particle production and control it in such a way before we’re even close of getting “in touch”. Next to that, there would be a lot of impracticalities of sending any sort of message, i.e. how to encode information.
Nevertheless, the fact that we would be able to send a particle backwards or forward in time will be enough for SciFi writers to come up with the next big Hollywood blockbuster!