Can the arrow of time be reversed? Some like Richard Feynman, the architect of quantum electrodynamics suggest that it can because he defined antiparticles as particles traveling backwards in time. However even though it may allow one to define a very accurate quantitative description of their properties it may not reflect how and why they interact with their environment
The reason he found it necessary to make this assumption is because when Paul Dirac used his mathematical calculations to integrated quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theories, he realized his equations not only worked for an electron with negative charge it also worked for a particle that behaves like an electron with positive charge.
In other words, they predicted something entirely new to science â€“ antiparticles.
However, the only way to define how they interact with normal matter with the present interoperation of Einstein’s theories was to assume they move backwards in time even though no has ever observed it to move that way.
Yet Einstein gave us another way to understand the interaction between matter and antimatter when he defined the geometric properties of space-time in terms of the constant velocity of light because that provided a method of converting a unit of time in a space-time environment of unit of space in four *spatial* dimensions. In other words it gives us mathematical way to convert a universe composed of four dimensional space-time to one made up of four *spatial* dimensions. Additionally because the velocity of light is constant he also defined a one to one quantitative and qualitative correspondence between his space-time universe and one made up of four *spatial* dimensions.
The fact that one can use Einstein’s equations to qualitatively and quantitatively define the curvature in space-time he associated with energy in terms of four *spatial* dimensions is one bases for assuming as was done in the article “Defining energy?” Nov 27, 2007 that all forms of energy can be derived in terms of a spatial displacement in a "surface" of a three-dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension as well as one in a space-time environment.
Additionally it provides another possible way that antiparticle can interact with normal matter that is related to the spatial not of the time properties of the universe.
But why should we care if they give us the same numerical results.
Because understanding the true nature of interactions opens doors to new and more accurate understanding of how our universe works.
For example the caloric theory of heat assumed that it was an interaction of a self-repellent fluid called caloric that flows from hotter bodies to colder bodies. Caloric was also thought of as a weightless gas that could pass in and out of pores in solids and liquids.
However the realization heat is transferred by the interactions of particles allowed for the development of thermodynamics and for our modern understanding of entropy which serves one of the physical foundations of our modern understanding of the evolution of our universe.
In others words if we had held on to the caloric interpretation we would not have the in depth understanding of its physical evolution as we now have.
Similarly a correct interpretation of the interaction between matter and antimatter may provide us with a more in-depth understanding of the processes involved in the evolution of the subatomic world.
As mentioned earlier the article “Defining energy?” Nov 27, 2007 showed that all forms of energy can be derived in terms of a spatial displacement in a "surface" of a three-dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth *spatial* dimension However this means because Einstein’s mathematics allow one to qualitatively and quantitatively define energy associated with matter and antimatter in terms of four *spatial* dimensions as well one made up of four dimensional space-time. In other words a particle of antimatter could be defined as being the result of an oppositely directed spatial displacement with respect to a four *spatial* dimension in a "surface" of a three dimensional space manifold as well as one that was traveling in backwards in a space-time.
Unfortunately as mentioned earlier there is no way using Einstein’s mathematics to determine which one of them defines the true nature of their interactions because as mentioned earlier both interpretations yield the identical quantitative results.
However there is an experiment as describe in the New Scientist article "Antimatter mysteries 3: Does antimatter fall up?" Apr 29, 2009, that will verify which one of these different interpretations actually defines the physical interactions between matter and antimatter.
First it would require the building of highly unstable pairings of electrons and positrons, known as positronium, then excite them with lasers to prevent them annihilating too quickly. Clouds of antiprotons will rip these pairs apart, stealing their positrons to create neutral antihydrogen atoms.
Pulses of these anti-atoms shot horizontally through two grids of slits will create a fine pattern of impact and shadow on a detector screen. By measuring how the position of this pattern is displaced, the strength â€“ and direction â€“ of the gravitational force on antimatter can be measured.
However, if it is found that an antiparticle does posses negative gravitational energy Einstein’s mathematics tells us the reversal of time cannot be the explanation of its properties because all of his equations that define energy of mass such as E=mc^2, the time component is squared. There can be no other interpretation if one accepts the present interpretation of Einstein’s theories.
Yet, as mentioned earlier the fact that one can use Einstein”s equations to qualitatively and quantitatively redefine his space-time environment in terms of four *spatial* dimensions allows for an alternate explanation for the interaction between matter and antimatter in terms of a oppositely directed spatial displacements in a "surface" of a three-dimensional space manifold with respect to a fourth "spatial" dimension that is consistent with his theories, without involving reversing the arrow of time.
In other words if it is found that antimatter possess negative gravitational potential one may be able to integrated its quantum mechanical properties with Einstein’s mathematics by assuming that our universe is made up of four *spatial* dimensions instead of four dimensional space-time which as mentioned earlier makes it more consistent with the observed properties of time.
It should be remember Einstein’s genius allows us to choose to define our universe in either a space-time environment or one consisting of four *spatial* dimension when he defined its geometry in terms of the constant velocity of light. This interchangeability broadens the environment encompassed by his theories thereby giving us a new perspective on the how matter and energy interact.
Copyright 2018 Jeffrey O’Callaghan
The Road to Unifying
The Road to Unifying
The Road to Unifying