Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:35 PM
hue (4,702 posts)
Direction of Time Fuzzy for Subatomic Particles
Subatomic particles don't care if time moves forward or backward — it's all the same to them. But now physicists have found proof of one theorized exception to this rule.
Usually, time is symmetrical for particles, meaning events happen the same way if time progresses forward or backward. For example, a video of two particles colliding and scattering off each other can be played forward or backward, and makes sense either way. (That's not the case for macroscopic objects in the real world. You can spill a glass of milk on the floor, but if time were to move backward, the milk can't pick itself up and fall back into the glass.)
However, physicists thought there might be cases where time wasn't symmetrical for particles either — where certain events worked with time flowing in one direction and not the other. Now, for the first time, they've found proof of this phenomenon.
Researchers working on the BaBar experiment, which ran from 1999 to 2008 at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California, analyzed nearly 10 years of data from billions of particle collisions. They now report that certain types of particles change into one another much more often in one direction than they do in the reverse, confirming that some particle processes have a preferred direction in time.
This is the first solid proof of time asymmetry for subatomic particles.
3 replies, 883 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Response to hue (Original post)
Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:48 PM
ROBROX (392 posts)
2. THIS IDEA IS NUCLEAR
Now we can start to utilize this break through to tie other practices together to get us off this world. Until we know more we will not be going anywhere fast.
I remember discussing quarks at SLAC back in 1974. Then in 1975 I took a job at LLL. Thee is nothing like STATE OF THE ART. It is sad that the GOP has retarded the process and we are worst off then we were in 1940.