General, Research, Technology

Computer simulation has proven the butterfly effect does not exist

Well then, science fiction lovers - it's heretime of disappointment. Remember Ray Bradbury's And The Thunder Came? In it, an amateur hunter named Eckels goes on an expensive hunt in the Mesozoic era, but on the way back accidentally leaves the trail and steps on a butterfly. Returning to his time, the hero realizes that the death of the butterfly entailed a series of changes beyond anyone's control. Brabury's story describes the so-called "butterfly effect" - the theory that even the smallest changes can cause chaos in the future. It is believed that the flapping of the wings of a butterfly in the UK can cause a tornado in the United States. Of course, the butterfly effect "looks great" in time travel theories, but the results of a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, there is no evidence of the butterfly effect in quantum mechanics.

The butterfly effect denotes the properties of some chaotic systems

Term "butterfly Effect" appeared in 1972. It all started when a professor of mathematics at the University of Massachusetts, Edward Lorenz, was going to speak at a conference, but forgot to send the topic of the lecture to the organizer. As a result, the organizer of the event chose a theme for the theme of Lorenz, which sounded as follows - "predictability: can the flap of a butterfly's wing in Brazil cause a tornado in Texas?"

Is time travel real?

No matter how fascinating the stories abouttime travelers who managed to change the course of history, researchers from the University of Los Alamos National Laboratory located in the state of New Mexico, USA, have proved that there is no such thing as a butterfly effect for time travelers (of course, provided that that time travel is real). As the authors of the scientific work write, they managed to prove at the quantum level that the time scale ... is capable of self-healing. But what does this even mean?

So, let's say you are traveling back in time and want to prevent the creation of an atomic bomb, for example. According to the "classic" storyline (butterfly effect), if someone went back in time and changed the past - even the smallest detail - it would lead to irreversible changes in the timeline. Imagine how the world would change ifthe atomic bomb was not invented in the 20th century. Would there be a new Oppenheimer, Manhattan Project? Could it be that during the tests they failed and a nuclear winter reigned in the world? Quite an interesting thought experiment, agree.

The protagonist of the story “And Thunder Has Fell” goes hunting in the Mesozoic era, but sees a Tyrannosaur tomorrow and decides to return home.

However, after analyzing the complex world of quantum physics, scientists found that any potential time traveler would not have to worry about changing the past at all, because the timeline essentially heals itself. In the course of computer modeling, partinformation was “sent back in time” where it was corrupted. However, as the piece of information returned to the "present," the information remained largely unchanged, thus proving that the timeline corrected and healed on its own.

You will be interested: According to physicists, there are two ways to travel in time.

Express cites the words of Nikolai Sinitsyn, a theoretical physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, that "on a quantum computer there is no problem with imitating the start of the evolutionary process in the opposite direction." It may sound surprising, but today, researchers can actually see what happens to the complex quantum world if we travel back in time, add small changes to the timeline, and go back.

The authors of the work also found that during such travels the world remains the same, which means that there is no butterfly effect in quantum mechanics. It turns out that Eckels could step on ten butterflies of the Mesozoic era at once and calmly return home. Even somehow boring.

Read even more interesting articles about why our world is such a strange and amazing place on our channel in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site.

Computer Simulation and Quantum Physics

Since such experiments are impossiblereproduce in the real world (for a number of reasons), to create a computer simulation, specialists used a quantum computer capable of simulating different situations, their causes and effects. In such experiments, the unit of information is qubits, which are described by "one", "zero" ora mixed "superposition" of both states. Earlier, we talked about IBM unveiling its first mass-produced quantum computer. You can read more about this here.

Famous theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking believed that time travel was not possible

In the simulation, the qubit was sent back in time,where it was "measured" - it was this measurement that made it possible to change the information. It should be noted that in a quantum state - and quantum physics is so complex that even better experts admit that they are struggling to understand it - once a quantum atom is measured, it changes it, moving it out of the quantum state.

See also: Is it possible to build a time machine? Astrophysicists are sure that yes

In general, the authors of the new work foundthat the concept of chaos in classical physics and in quantum mechanics should be understood in different ways. By the way, the late Richard Feynman, who is considered one of the godfathers of quantum physics, once said: "I think I can confidently say that nobody understands quantum mechanics."