Scientists Reversed Time Using A Quantum Computer


Is it possible to turn back time? In a recent study, scientists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, helped by colleagues from Switzerland and the U.S inverted the flow of time for a quantum computer and an electron for a fraction of a second, contradicting the second law of thermodynamics, which says that a natural process runs only in one sense and is not reversible.

What does physics say about the past and future? According to many laws of physics, there is no past and future. If two identical round objects collide one to another, an equation can describe the event exactly the same even if it is played backward, but it is tough for the human mind to imagine an infused tea flowing back into the tea bag, or a volcano erupting in reverse.

But scientists wanted to see if it is possible for time to involuntarily invert, and they observed a single electron in empty space stating that the reverse evolution of the electron can happen only once. They used Schrödinger’s equation, which is reversible, saying that they can just suppose where the electron is because the laws of quantum mechanics cannot offer a precise location of the electron.

Scientists reversed time using a two-qubit quantum computer, at a success rate of 85 percent

Scientists reversed time in an experiment made out of 4 parts, as follows:

  • Order (all qubits are zero);
  • Degradation (the order is lost and the qubits become a complex changing pattern of zeros and ones);
  • Time reversal (a program which tells the computer to run backwards);
  • Regeneration (the first program is ran again)

The scientists had an 85 percent success rate and only in the case of a two-qubit quantum computer. They realised that in the case of a three-qubits system, the success rate was of only 50 percent.

“Our algorithm could be updated and used to test programs written for a quantum computer and eliminate noise and errors,” the study co-author Andrey Lebedev concluded.


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