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back to article Hadron Collider 'could act as telephone for talking to the past'

Spurs-a-jingle boffins in America say that the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), most puissant matter-rending machine ever assembled by humanity, may also turn out to be the first time machine ever built. According to the physicists' calculations, instruments at the mighty particle-smasher may soon detect signs of "singlets" which it …

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Headmaster

@SpeakertoAliens

because seen from outside the universe ...

Hey, just _what_ is outside the universe, and where did the observer come from?

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Coat

@Michael Dunn

"where did the observer come from?"

The newspaper stand?

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Boffin

Doctor?

I would like The Doctor to opine on the matter, before drawing any conclusions...

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FAIL

I'll get the crowbar and H.E.V. suit at the ready then!

..."Now, now, if you follow standard insertion procedure,

everything will be fine."

"I don't know how you can say that. Although I will admit

that the possibility of a resonance cascade scenario is extremely

unlikely."

"Gordon doesn't need to hear all this, he's a highly

trained professional. We've assured the administrator that nothing will

go wrooong."

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Anonymous Coward

Oww

This makes my head hurt.

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Flame

The title is in 2027 and will be along any minute

THAT makes your head hurt? Time to reread 'Rotating Cylinders and the Probability of Global Causation Violation' just to be reminded how far the universe is prepared to go to stop this sort of thing.

Mine's the one with the anti solar flare goggles in the pocket'

Flames for upcoming massive causal violation penalty flare, natch

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Paris Hilton

Easy peasy?

Imagine living in one dimensional space, say, a line.

Movement is constrained to the line and if there is a point on the line that creates a disruption to movement well, ...

Now in 2D, just pick up the living object and drop it back on to the line

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Nah

"However, if scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets, they might be able to send messages to the past or future."

Hmm, must be impossible then.

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IT Angle

Indeed - very dangerous

The ability to transmit as little as one bit backwards in time leads to such a dramatic increase in computability, that meatware would almost certainly be obsolete a few seconds later. IT might also be able to bootstrap ITself even if one didn't allow any direct control or sensing of the closed timelike information path by a computer.

What happens thereafter depends on whether IT has any use for the rest of the planet / solar system / universe.

Possibly, IT has already happened, and IT cares about us inferior creatures. Atheists beware.

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Silver badge

What's that then, exactly?

IIRC, the algorithms in PSPACE become accessible.

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WTF?

Fermi's Paradox

So...if we're making these "singlets" in the future that travel back in time, where are they? Or, is there a detector piece of the puzzle missing that wasn't explained?

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Boffin

Detector sensitivity.

If we assume for the sake of argument that this hypothesis isn't a load of bollocks (my guess is that it almost certainly is, but since the collider is already running anyway, might as well look out for it, the additional cost is minimal), the singlets would be a right bugger to detect because they can spread out in so many more dimensions than we're used to. Point sources of particles in our boring old 3d world get dimmer according to the inverse square law, but singlets would be subject to inverse cube law at the minimum, and possibly to the fourth power as well, depending on how the brane works.

In other words, you need to be very close to the source in both time and space to get a strong signal. Probably even a few metres away in distance and a nanosecond away in time would be too far.

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Boffin

Re: Detector sensitivity

One has to wonder how much energy would be required to push such particles far enough in time and yet still be detectable to be useful, ie more than a few nanoseconds. Enough to do some serious damage I expect.

Whilst the ability to communicate a few nanoseconds into the past might be enough for some fancy parallel computing (as others have pointed out) it isn't far enough to affect your grandad or even get that magical lottery win. I suppose you could cascade messages further and further back in time if you had billions of atom smashers to work with (and enough energy to power them).

Maybe that is the purpose of the universe .. to remind god that he left his gas on.

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Joke

To get a strong signal...

...make sure you're holding it right

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Boffin

Too excited for a title

We could measure the size of the compactified dimensions by the frequency of the stroboscopic intervals in which the time-travelling singlet crosses the brane. That would give us the first experimental confirmation of the existence of those dimensions.

Unfortunately, "These discrete [4]-spatial intervals are likely too small to be discerned" (p.18).

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So where are they ?

So .. if this theory were in some way possible and a methodology could be found .... at some time in the near or distant future ....

Then why are we not getting such messages from the future ?

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Alien

UFOs?

Well may be our flying saucer friends are tourists of the future?!

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Boffin

No Paradox...

The sniglet will travel in a path orthogonal to the initial 3D space such that it doesn't intersect.

So if it does travel 'back in time', we'll never know.

Thus the paradox never occurs.

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Pint

"Sniglet"

That's the quantum unit of humour, no?

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Joke

Dyslexics Untie!

Well I could say that I would hope that God has a sense of humor in terns of his 'god' particle, but honestly, I'm a bit of a dyslexic typist.

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Boffin

You haven't read the paper, have you?

Their paths cross the brane stroboscopially, with the period of the stroboscopy dependent on the size of the compactified dimensions (Dimensions 5 and above). The problem is that we can only detect them when they decay, they're comparatively long-lived, and there are two, maybe three detectors in the LHC (and none anywhere else on the planet) that could detect their decays.

They're possibly the worst communications medium ever proposed; they'd make neutrinos look like a reliable, well-chosen carrier.

Enjoyed reading the paper; it stretched parts of my brain I haven't used in a couple of decades.

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Sniglet

Hey El Reg! This is surely a candidate for qualification as a Reg unit - lovely ring to it. You could even print the Vulture on it.

Votes for 'Sniglet' anyone?

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Pirate

DANGEROUS NERDS

The Cern lot are mainly a bunch of egotistical sociopathic morons who are playing with the unknown with massive potential risks of which we have rarely been exposed to before. And I say this a sci-tech person and one who has to currently live next door to them. Given a choice I would feel safer living next door to a nuclear power station in Europe than here.

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Coat

You're absolutely right

You underestimate the threat level, though. I mean God's plans obviously didn't include us mere muppets investigating the fabric of the universe. The hearth-shattering quake in Japan is obviously a warning sign. If the LHC stays on, no doubt the japanese plants will go boom, wiping the non-believers in the process. Question is, where is your arch?

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title

Eleven dimensions my arse.

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Joke

OK

Torus Colon sir?

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Headmaster

"one of the /few/ pictures of the universe"?

>"Weiler and Ho's multidimensional version of M-theory is apparently one of the few pictures of the universe which can explain all the types of particle and force which we know to exist"

Hmm, and I thought it was one of about ten to the five hundred or so such possible theories...

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Next they will be saying

What will they next be saying, that you can talk to god down the great white telephone in the bathroom.

Most of us have been doing that for years every Saturday Night when we have had too many.

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Grenade

Hmmm.

I can't help wondering how much information a singlet can convey, and whether or not they can be expected to arrive in the past in order. The question above regarding whether or not they would appear in the right place is also a good one IMHO.

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Boffin

We already know how to communicate with the future.

Just leave a note.

But sending a message to the past completes the two-way communication channel need for a conversation.

Now that's the basis of a bad movie plot.

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Silver badge

Ever seen Frequency?

It's actually quite good. Well, I thought it was.

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Joke

Someone...

Will accept a call and be asked what they are wearing while looking at a web cam pointed at someones crotch from the future.

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Badgers

Irrelevant

Now that the black hole created by the LHC is now eating away at the earth's core causing eathquakes, tsunamis, and the imminent end of the world.

Lucky I've got my tin foil hat ready.

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Anonymous Coward

re: the imminent end of the world

Actually it's some guys in a different set of dimensions who are causing the current problems - hopefully we'll be able to DoS them when we get the hang of this LHC thing.

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E 2
Thumb Down

If A says X, and B cites A, and C cites B, then X must be true.

Therefore spend more money!

You know: string theory.

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Thumb Up

You left out the most important part of the chain

and A cites C (in preparation).

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Go

Hand me that crystal

Which future will be sending a message to which past and who would notice if that future became a thing of the past?

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Time is relative

If they manage to find a way to do it, the timespan will be very small, maybe the detector would only be able to detect that there were 2 things instead of one; or maybe history would show that the detector was damaged before the experiment ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Being the massive cynic that I am.

I bet that when they come clean about this, it'll turn out that by "time travel" they mean 0.0001 nanoseconds into the past or something.

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Is anyone else worried....

..... by the strange pic on the main website explaining the concept... Seems a bit wrong.

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Coat

Eh!

All you need is a Delorean and a flux capacitor plus a mad professor, its been done already.

Ive already got my coat

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Coat

It's all down to Branes?

Great. So the LHC-induced end of the world is now going to be caused by an invasion of dyslexic zombies from the future.

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Messages from the future!

Of course! That explains Lady Gaga!

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Already done.

http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/quirkies/8779718.Bevendean_woman_finds_time_capsule_from_30_years_ago/

"Jill now plans to record her own thoughts and bury the two documents in the same spot for her predecessors to discover"

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Bronze badge

A nice little earner?

In 2007, public donations funded similar research. The University of Washington had set up a special account, "Non-Local Quantum Communication Experiment".

http://www.seattlepi.com/local/319367_timeguy12.html

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/134497-Public-donates-to-UW-scientist-to-fund-backward-in-time-research

Has someone at Conservative Central Office perhaps stumbled upon this?

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WTF?

Better yet

Ideally you'd want to send the plans for the time machine back into the past so you could (have) invented it earlier (which of course you would have done already).

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Better yet

Not so...

The intended recipients of your transmitted plans need to have :-

A, Invented the means to receive your transmission, and ...

B, be listening.

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Joke

No good

The plans would be from Microsoft Visio 2207 and the latest you have is 2010 and refuses to open them.

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Contact

Already done - read Carl Sagan's 'Contact'

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