Does The Past Exist Yet?

past-present-futureThe future has yet to be determined, but what about the past? This recent Huffington Post piece discusses the possibility that what you do in the present shapes both future and past — “historical events such as who killed JFK, might depend on events that haven’t occurred yet.”

Recent discoveries require us to rethink our understanding of history. “The histories of the universe,” said renowned physicist Stephen Hawking “depend on what is being measured, contrary to the usual idea that the universe has an objective observer-independent history.”

Is it possible we live and die in a world of illusions? Physics tells us that objects exist in a suspended state until observed, when they collapse in to just one outcome. Paradoxically, whether events happened in the past may not be determined until sometime in your future — and may even depend on actions that you haven’t taken yet.

In 2002, scientists carried out an amazing experiment, which showed that particles of light “photons” knew — in advance −- what their distant twins would do in the future. They tested the communication between pairs of photons — whether to be either a wave or a particle. Researchers stretched the distance one of the photons had to take to reach its detector, so that the other photon would hit its own detector first. The photons taking this path already finished their journeys -− they either collapse into a particle or don’t before their twin encounters a scrambling device. Somehow, the particles acted on this information before it happened, and across distances instantaneously as if there was no space or time between them. They decided not to become particles before their twin ever encountered the scrambler. It doesn’t matter how we set up the experiment. Our mind and its knowledge is the only thing that determines how they behave. Experiments consistently confirm these observer-dependent effects.

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  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    This is so cool I could spend all day thinking about it…or have I already done so?…or will I someday to come? Is there a difference anymore? ……

  • Josephmicke

    Dude, you’re not understanding it right. Learn physics. And don’t assume the common media knows what they’re talking about. Until then, stop making ignorant posts like this.

    • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

      Come on man, what are you talking about? I get all my “hard science” research from Huffpo.

      arxiv.org is for poseurs.

  • marklar

    Personally I’ve always viewed time is a standing wave of probability which seems to be rather consistent with these results.

  • Haystack

    Huffington is notoriously bad in their science reporting, but the idea is interesting to consider. Some physics does talk about “retrocausality.” We perceive time as moving in a straight line, but if it weren’t–say, if a day were repeating Groundhog’s Day-style–we wouldn’t be able to tell. What if there are certain events that “can’t happen,” and time routes around these?

    Total speculation here, my point being that we’re limited to perceiving time in one particular way, but it’s possible that it’s a lot more “wobbly” than we imagine.

  • Vesperost

    these things are in front of our eyes everyday from the day we’re born till the day we die… mystics were talking about these things centuries ago… too bad they were called crazy that time… but i think that it’s time for us to hear what ancient religions like Buddhism have to say about our age in this global age of technology… we are living in a continuum, there are multiverses instead of one universe, our perception shapes the reality we perceive… how couldn’t people see this!

  • stnero

    They were actually looking at the same particle from different points of view, think of a hologram, no matter how much you cut up a hologram, you are still able to make a whole of a part. Just don’t ask me how they were looking at the same particle

  • stnero

    They were actually looking at the same particle from different points of view, think of a hologram, no matter how much you cut up a hologram, you are still able to make a whole of a part. Just don’t ask me how they were looking at the same particle

  • BobSage

    There is no past. The only thing that exists is the present. The present is full of things that make us believe there is a past. But dinosaur bones and photos exist NOW.

    So, can the best be changed?

    Short answer: No, because there is no past.

    Longer answer: Representations of what is past can and do change.

  • BobSage

    There is no past. The only thing that exists is the present. The present is full of things that make us believe there is a past. But dinosaur bones and photos exist NOW.

    So, can the best be changed?

    Short answer: No, because there is no past.

    Longer answer: Representations of what is past can and do change.

  • Lynne

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/audio/2010/sep/11/hawking-physics-cox

    A brief interview from Brian Cox with Professor Stephen Hawkins.

    He is being interviewed by a scientist is he not , liked his wry remark about now great living ones.

    Interested by the comments about genetic engineering. If Neanderthals were themselves superimposed with same type of action of our cognitive development, was these a real implantation or a natural evolution? Where is an ethical dilemma in natural processes. I understand the selectivity of it but is it not natural evolution that this capacity developed. A pondering point.

    Retrospective thought as an idea to explain his appreciation of scientist of the past and not of the present has led to thinking how much as time passes our appreciation of the original disinfo chat in my nostalgic mind. As a societies increased appreciation of artists, writers, scientists, philosophers after the history of there time increase there importance in mass through the passing of time. I see a parallel of how Disinfo chat is dependent on the actions of the future to create its own history as it is not stable in history. The notion of collapsing into one outcome ..Antrophy? Are we in that suspended space? I would be interested to experimentally ( well reality is the experiment) recreate the original past of chat to find out the future.

  • Lynne

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/audio/2010/sep/11/hawking-physics-cox

    A brief interview from Brian Cox with Professor Stephen Hawkins.

    He is being interviewed by a scientist is he not , liked his wry remark about now great living ones.

    Interested by the comments about genetic engineering. If Neanderthals were themselves superimposed with same type of action of our cognitive development, was these a real implantation or a natural evolution? Where is an ethical dilemma in natural processes. I understand the selectivity of it but is it not natural evolution that this capacity developed. A pondering point.

    Retrospective thought as an idea to explain his appreciation of scientist of the past and not of the present has led to thinking how much as time passes our appreciation of the original disinfo chat in my nostalgic mind. As a societies increased appreciation of artists, writers, scientists, philosophers after the history of there time increase there importance in mass through the passing of time. I see a parallel of how Disinfo chat is dependent on the actions of the future to create its own history as it is not stable in history. The notion of collapsing into one outcome ..Antrophy? Are we in that suspended space? I would be interested to experimentally ( well reality is the experiment) recreate the original past of chat to find out the future.

  • Lynne
  • Vox Penii

    On this hypothesis, then:

    1. World War II was followed by WWI.

    2. (a) Israel was established in 1948, which was followed by (b) the Holocaust. (I knew the Jews were somehow responsible…)

  • Vox Penii

    Ancient religions like Buddhism have also said that women were inferior and justified centuries of brutality in Tibet.

    http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html

  • Thepostman

    nonono…. photons act as both wave and particle at the same time, we call this duality,>
    If you don’t understand things don’t pretend you do it just causes confusion to people, If you must carry on at least learn what you are talking about first.
    I really cant be bothered correcting what youve written but just go and read a decent science site about the double slit experiment and quantum physics you are utterly confused.

  • Thepostman

    nonono…. photons act as both wave and particle at the same time, we call this duality,>
    If you don’t understand things don’t pretend you do it just causes confusion to people, If you must carry on at least learn what you are talking about first.
    I really cant be bothered correcting what youve written but just go and read a decent science site about the double slit experiment and quantum physics you are utterly confused.

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