Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: October 14, 2009 Archive

Theories in the News

Posted at 5:53 AM on October 14, 2009 by Dale Connelly (21 Comments)

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Enter the drawing

Obey the rules And good luck. ..

Perhaps the most delightfully weird theory to come along in a while is the notion, recently described in an article by Dennis Overbye in the New York Times, that the remarkable lack of success scientists have had so far with the Large Hadron Super Collider is the result of a spooky blocking maneuver from the future.

One hope is that the collider will prove the existence of a theoretical, mass-inducing particle called Higg's boson. But when the collider was started up with much fanfare last year, there was a malfunction and it had to be shut down for a lengthy repair which is now almost complete. Two theoretical physicsts, Holger Bech Nielsen of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, and Masao Ninomiya of the Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics in Kyoto, Japan, are wondering if that failure might be due to the search for Higgs boson, which, as described in the New York Times essay ...

... might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

So ... the idea seems to be that the collider has, by its very existence, generated an effect from the future that thwarts its own reason for being. (Note to self: If time travel becomes possible, let grandpa live.)

Other scientists have ridiculed this idea as simply ludicrous and professionally embarassing, but scientific study does have a long and colorful history of experiments that produce unintended results.

For me, the real question is this ... how might this effect be used if it proves true? If things abhorred by nature will be automatically thwarted by a negating action that reaches across time, then the key to time travel is simply to identify those things that nature finds truly apalling. That may not be easy. We have been treated to an ongoing string of nasty events and situations that nature doesn't seem to hate quite enough to derail at a distance (war, famine, Tom Delay on "Dancing With the Stars").

So what is potentially bad enough to duplicate this remarkable effect?

There's a children's play I'd like to write about a rabbit, a squirrel and a mosquito that never seems to get done - something always gets in the way, like a sudden nap or a good program on TV. Perhaps this is the kind of thing nature simply won't allow. And then there's that spicy turkey meatloaf I keep trying to make. Even though I buy the ingredients at the store on Sunday, when I go to the cupboard on Wednesday they've mysteriously vanished.

Maybe the potential creation of my theoretical meatloaf opens a door to backwards movement through the time-space continuum that causes the components to migrate into the garbage in time for the neighborhood pick-up on Tuesday! Cool! And also ... expensive!

Is there anything you've been trying to accomplish that nature my be actively trying to thwart through mysterious action from the distant future?

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