Retrocausality - Future can affect past

Retrocausality Theory says Future Events can affect Past

As we know, Quantum Mechanics is the weirdest branch of Physics. And with the time passing, it is getting more weirder. Recent Experiments with the behaviour of time in the Quantum States has elevated the weirdness with the revival of Retrocausality.

Retrocausality - Future can affect past

Just keep Reading and you will come to know why Scientists sayings are not a leap in the dark. Instead, these experiments might one day turn ‘time travel’ from conjectural to real.

As quoted by great scientist Albert Einstein  “The only reason for time is that Everything doesn’t happen at once”. That led us to think that what really is the significance of past or future. If time is just a series of events that can slow down (general theory of relativity) but can’t change direction. But with new experiments of quantum entanglement (delayed choice quantum eraser experiment), scientists are getting results that defy common sense. What once was called “quantum fallacy” and “thought experiment” is now being a most active topic in Quantum Physics.

Important Definition:

Quantum entanglement is the property through which quantum sized particles share a special relationship. It begins when they are very close to each other. But once initiated, one particle affects the other even after they are separated by large distances.

These experiments have shown repeatedly that somehow future position of particles(in this case photons) affects the present fate of the particle.  These results just contradict the universal axiom “Cause and Effect” and termed Retrocausality   So, How the hell can effect leads to cause? Well, this is the question for which scientist has been scratching their heads for years now.

What the heck is Retrocausality and is this even real??

If you are a physics student or have interest in Quantum physics. Then you may … the word before. Retrocausality or opposite of causality has been termed as a hypothetical phenomenon that allows the influences to travel backwards in time. The idea of Retrocausality has been debated first by philosophers (from 1950) and now by scientists. In 2012, Huw Price philosophy professor at the University of Cambridge proposed an idea.  If any theory assumes that quantum state is real and time-symmetric, then it must allow Retrocausality.

Problems with Retrocausality


Several logical conundrums like “Grandfather Paradox” driven down the idea of Retrocausality. Because it contradicts travelling back in time. Jan Faye of the University of Copenhagen has argued that logical objections to macroscopic time travel may not necessarily prevent Retrocausality at other scales of interaction.  Even if such effects are possible, however, they may not be capable of producing effects different from those that would have resulted from normal causal relationships. This sounds true given the fact that the logic we use to create these paradoxes may not complement with Retrocausality. We are not talking about conventional time travel here. So there could be another way of explaining this problem without wrecking causality.

Major Contribution

Several Scientists have tried to interpret the problem. And one main contributor towards Retrocausality was Feynman.

Feynman Interpretation of Retrocausality
Source: Wikipedia

The diagram shown above is showing time direction from left to right. An electron is shown emitting Gamma radiations but wait, it is not destroyed. Instead, it turns into a positive electron or positron by going backwards in time. So, there is no creation and annihilation. But only travelling of particles from past to future and future to past. They are living in a time loop in which loop radius(not physical) depends on the external environment. The rule applies to all particle-anti-particle pairs. (Still, we are taught in our high school about creation and annihilation only to modify it in higher classes). Though the this was accepted theory it still doesn’t fit well with macroscopic scale.

Conditions For Retrocausality

Several scientists believe that Retrocausality may be possible under certain conditions. Such as Time Loops (as shown above electron and positron ), but in macroscopic world time loops are not plausible. These timelike curves can be generated in wormholes but these are hypothetical. ( Wormholes can be picturized as blackhole with two ends and no singularity) There is one more option for creating time loops which make use of exotic matter like  Negative mass which was recently created by physicists. Stephen Hawking created a mechanism called “chronology protection conjecture” according to which time loops would get destroyed before they could be used. However, not everyone has supported Stephen Hawking’s mechanism.

 A Theory

Retrocausality may not have been proved real but with new research, it is only a matter of time. There could be a possibility of the existence of past, present and future simultaneously. And every Timeframe is a different world with same people but different causes and effects. In which cause of one timeframe is due to the effect of another. The photon in “Delayed Choice Quantum Eraser Experiment” may be seen as not the transfer of messages to past but to a different timeframe. OK, Stop Don’t bang your head anywhere. This is just a bad theory, I guess…

What can Retrocausality bring us?

Besides all that, in real life, there could be no consequences like you got a stomach ache today due to tomorrow’s lunch (and not yesterday). “So, if you act like an asshole and start blaming your dull life on your Future Self. Then you are not being clever, you are just being more of an asshole “.  But who really knows that what is really real and what is a delusion. Maybe, you are reading this article due to the fact that it ranked first in the google in future when you searched “Retrocausality”. So, what do you think about the article, Let us know in the comments …

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