The Large Hadron Collider has been the center of wild theories since well before the 17-mile long particle accelerator underneath Geneva was even switched on, and there seems to be no end to the speculation surrounding the facility. The latest comes from a group of scientists who theorize that not only is time travel possible, but that the means may be within our grasp thanks to the LHC.
The theory hinges on a subatomic particle called the Higgs singlet, a particle related to the Higgs boson. The catch is it is not yet clear if the Higgs singlet, or even the Higgs Boson, exist at all. Assuming they do, MSNBC reports that time travel for the Higgs singlet would work something like this:
[The Higgs singlet] may have a unique ability to jump out of the normal three dimensions of space and one dimension of time that we inhabit, and into a hidden dimension theorized to exist by some advanced physics models. By traveling through the hidden dimension, Higgs singlets could re-enter our dimensions at a point forward or backward in time from when they exited.
Of course, sending a single particle backwards or forward in time is far different than hopping in your flying time-DeLorean and zipping off to the 1950s. But scientists believe that Higgs singlets could be used to send messages backwards or forward in time, thanks to the particle’s theorized properties. Vanderbilt physicist Tom Weiler says that this limited time travel is the theory’s greatest strength, since it avoids paradoxes and does not violate the current understanding of physics.
I’m certainly no expert on deep physics, but even Weiler describes the theory as “a long shot.” Only time will tell with this theory, and others, as the LHC continues to enlighten and befuddle us as we try to understand the universe we live in.