Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Metamaterial Reveals Nature of Time and the Impossibility of Time Machines - Technology Review

Metamaterial Reveals Nature of Time and the Impossibility of Time Machines - Technology Review: Metamaterials can help researchers study this problem because it is possible to manipulate them so that space-like dimensions become time-like. Smolyaninov describes how to create a material in which the the x and y directions are space-like while the z-direction is time-like.
The way light moves in this space is exactly analogous to the behaviour of a massive particle in a (2+1) Minkowski spacetime, which is similar to our own universe. So the pattern of light propagation inside this metamaterial is equivalent to the "world lines" of a particle in a Minkowski universe.
Smolyaninov says that a Big Bang event in the metamaterial occurs when the pattern of light rays expands relative to the z-dimension, or in other words, when the world lines expand as a function of time. This establishes a cosmological arrow of time...
Their system is made using specially shaped plastic strips placed on a gold substrate. And the light rays are actually plasmons that propagate across the surface of the metal while being distorted by the plastic strips...

1 comment:

  1. Everything within the universe is in a state of perpetual motion passing from one moment to the next. Every thought is related to what happened before, what’s going on now or what will be in the future. As time passes, the current moment ceases to exist and a new instant comes into being. The future becomes the present and the present becomes the past. Such is the essence of change and the nature of time. This thought, however, begs the question, “If physical being is in a perpetual state of motion and change, what is the constant?” If nothing remains the same then by what cause do the processes of life perpetually repeat themselves exactly the same way with the celestial bodies movin repetitively through space-time in perfect order. The inescapable conclusion, therefore, is that there is a universal constant; a standard by which all things follow a particular order without deviation as if following a prime directive.