NPR

Can We Change The Past?

Putting humans and consciousness aside, at the level of quantum particles Wheeler's Delayed-Choice experiments show that actions in the present can influence the past, says physicist Marcelo Gleiser.
Source: Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Who has no regrets about things done in the past? Wouldn't it be nice if, somehow, we could go back to tweak a couple of bad decisions?

This sounds (and as we will see, is, to a certain extent) like science fiction.

The laws of physics prohibit traveling backwards in time for many reasons. If we did travel backwards in time and changed the course of events, we would be altering the course of history. An example often cited is the grandfather's paradox: If you traveled back in time and murdered your grandfather when he was still a high school student, he wouldn't have met your grandmother and your father

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR2 min readPolitics
China's Economy Slows To Record Low, While Trump Pushes U.S. Iron And Steel
The pace of growth in the second quarter was at its lowest since 1992, when China's records began. The National Bureau of Statistics attributed the change to a complicated international environment.
NPR2 min readSociety
Neo-Nazi James Fields Gets 2nd Life Sentence For Charlottesville Attack
The Virginia court's sentence is largely symbolic. Last month, a federal judge sentenced Fields to life in prison for killing a woman protesting a white nationalist rally in 2017.
NPR3 min readPolitics
Puerto Rico Governor Defies Calls To Resign Amid Growing Protests Over Text Chats
Monday marked three days of demonstrations against Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, after the publication of private conversations containing repugnant slurs against women and homosexuals, among other insults.