Scientists might have just figured out why time moves forwards and not backwards

Joan Vaccaro, an Associate Professor of Griffith University has put forward a proposition based on her calculations as to why there is a difference between the future and the past. According to her, the answer is in a special class of quantum phenomena, as the law of physics don’t have to distinguish between time and space.

If you are going forward or backward in time, there may be a possibility that certain quantum phenomena may not act in the same way. She recommended that these are the key to understanding the arrow of time – the “asymmetry”, or one-way direction of time, and in particular, subatomic particles known as K and B mesons could provide some exciting details.

“If you want to know where the universe came from and where it’s going, you need to know about time,” Vaccaro said in a statement.

“Experiments on subatomic particles over the past 50 years show that nature doesn’t treat both directions of time equally. In particular, subatomic particles called K and B mesons behave slightly differently depending on the direction of time.”

Here is a comparison: If you leave a cup of coffee on the table, you would believe it to stay there. Similarly, it would still be a cup on a table even if you move it around on the table. But, you would start thinking strange, if the cup started fluttered in and out of existence.

The glimmering of the cup is not something we experience because it would disturb the conservation of mass. However, it should be allowed to happen, if space and time are really two sides of the same coin. Since, an object is restricted in space (got a size and a position), they could also be restricted in time (they could appear and disappear).

“In the connection between time and space, space is easier to understand because it’s simply there,” she added. “But time is forever forcing us towards the future.

“Yet while we are indeed moving forward in time, there is also always some movement backwards, a kind of jiggling effect, and it is this movement I want to measure using these K and B mesons.”

To ensure that conservation of mass was not a given condition of the universe, Professor Vaccaro revised the equations of quantum mechanics in that way, wherein she found out that time and space did really act alike in that scenario. Once violations of symmetries are permitted they are even more remarkably, as the equations evolve into the ones that define our universe. Hence, this theory is naturally the originator of the law of conservation of mass.

“Understanding how time evolution comes about in this way opens up a whole new view on the fundamental nature of time itself,” she said. “It may even help us to better understand bizarre ideas such as travelling back in time.”

Professor Vaccaro’s research is published in the Proceedings of The Royal Society A.