Quantum superposition is a feature of quantum mechanics in which particles can be in more than one place all at once. A team comprised of researchers from Stevens Institute of Technology at the University of Vienna and University of Queensland decided to demonstrate that time can also exist in a quantum superposition.
That means that one even can be a consequence of another event at the same time the latter phenomenon can be a consequence of the first one; there is no differentiation between the events. The team of physicists is formed by Igor Pikovsli, Magdalena Zych, Fabio Costa, and Caslav Brukner. Their research and results had been published in journal Nature Communications.
The physicists are among the first ones to tackle with the quantum properties of time. They theorized that time does not progress onward in a straight line, but it actually flows back and forth in such a way that cause and effect exist side by side.
Time Might Exist in a Quantum Superposition Just Like Particles
The theory may also have applicability in quantum computing. Quantum computers could take advantage of the quantum order of carrying out operations and become way more better than devices that run utilizing just fixed sequences.
In order to understand how time can be in a quantum superposition, the team of physicists combined two theories that opposed each other: quantum mechanics and general relativity and carried an experiment called Gedanken. A Gedanken experiment implies researchers to use their imagination to analyze various hypotheses.
The question they attempted to answer was: „What would a clock measure if it was influenced by a massive object in a quantum superposition state which is near and far at the same time?.” By imagining a scenario to answer the question, the team of four physicists demonstrated how the quantum superposition of time could occur and showed that it could be demonstrated.
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