Time reversion (pop science show)

  • Thread starter benorin
  • Start date


Homework Helper
I just watched a physics show that claimed future outcomes can determine past possibilities for subatomic particles. It was Through the Wormhole - Can Time Go Backwards? (Time index 9:18 to 14:33). I hope it's ok to post that link in here it is a cable TV show, moderator kill my link if not ok, anyone with Google or YouTube can find that video easy enough. Ok so, the pigeons represent electrons but what do the hats symbolize (they never said)? And is the experimenter's conclusion that the future effects the past here sound? What's going on here? Kinda confused.

Andrew Mason

Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Unfortunately you will not learn quantum physics from watching tv shows such as this. Using pigeons with hats is a confusing gimmick. By the way, the reason he uses hats is explained - the hats distinguish between pigeons who have collided (losing their hats) from those who have not collided (still with hats).

The suggestion made by the pigeon professor is that the future may influence the past. The fact that he uses actual live pigeons in cages to illustrate his points kind of tells you that he is not your typical physicist. Don't feel badly if you find his approach less than illuminating.

If you want to learn about this issue (how interactions of particles at the quantum level may be symmetrical whether going forward or backward in time) I would recommend that you start by reading Prof. Richard Feynman's Nobel lecture.

Last edited:

Want to reply to this thread?

"Time reversion (pop science show)" You must log in or register to reply here.

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Top Threads