Hermione’s Stone (according to my alternative plot) was now, it seemed, firmly stuck in some sort of time loop, being picked up, thrown, picked up and thrown ad infinitum. What struck me by the diagram I had constructed, was that for Hermione (and Harry) to undertake this time trick, the universe would comprise of not just two versions of them, but three – the third being themselves travelling back through time. Hermione & Harry (and stone) in reverse, if you will.
If that were so, surely the Universe would, for a period of time (t3+t2) have extra mass, or indeed energy, apparently from nowhere. Energy would not have been conserved.
Can the ‘extra energy’ be cancelled out ? Does the minus sign in front of the t2 and t3, to denote the direction of time travel, play a part ?
If the mass/energy of the Hermione, Harry and Stone travelling back in time was somehow negative, as well as the direction of time travel, that would cancel out the extra mass/energy of the pair now walking forwards in time. It would get round the conservation of energy problem, at least, and not necessitate the creation of a whole new parallel universe.
Is it possible that the act of travelling back in time would require that the object which is travelling becomes a ‘negative mass’ or have ‘negative energy’ (from the perspective of the Universe).
Note it is postulated (ref) that quantum particles can (sort of) travel back in time, borrowing energy from the future, as long as the Universe ‘doesn’t notice i.e. it is over a very short time. It’s related to the uncertainty principle. This gave me some hope and got me thinking beyond Harry Potter’s Universe.
Brain Storm. Random Questions.
Exploring my ignorance, now the brain starts to whir in all sorts of directions…
So what do we mean by ‘negative mass’.Does it have meaning ?
Is ‘negative mass’ linked to ‘negative time’.
Is ‘negative mass’ or ‘anti-mass’ in this context the same as anti-matter ?
If it’s similar to or the same as anti-matter, is it possible that the ‘missing anti-matter’ supposed to be created at the Big Bang has been sent off in the opposite direction, perhaps into a negative-time, into a ‘Negative Universe’ ? (cue Star Trek flashback)… (2)
Does anti-mass result in anti-gravity ?
Does negative mass (or antimatter ?) flow back in time(1) ? If so, how would we know ? Are negative-particles (or antimatter) subject to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics ? So far, we’ve only made a few sizeable atoms of antimatter for fractions of a second, right ? How does one test antimatter’s properties ?
Would a ‘Negative Universe’, shooting off along the negative time-axis, possess ‘negative gravity’ and push the ‘Positive Universe’ away from it ? (and vice-versa)… inflation, accelerating universe, dark energy, etc. etc. (3)
The Higgs Boson is supposed to be its own anti-particle – would that make it time-invariant ?
Is gravitation time-invariant ? Is time itself an emergent property of some initial conditions or state ?
Am I asking the right sort of questions or have I let my imagination run away with me ? Surely, someone has looked at some of these possibilities before. The answer is pleasingly, yes.
Curiously, ten minutes after the thought on ‘time as an emergent property’, Book of the Week ‘Reality is Not What It Seems’, by Carlo Rovelli, popped up on BBC Radio 4, citing research on this sort of thing and quantum gravity. Book promptly ordered for Christmas !
Update: Fascinating book, worth a read, though still leaves us with more questions (as it’s still an area for speculataion and conjecture)
Maybe I’ll look at these more deeply in another post.
Note: The excitement for me is trying to follow the consequences of a set of conditions (even from the realms of fantasy) and seeing were it takes me. What pops up. That in itself is fun. It sparks the brain. I’m even using maths again. The trick has been to be able to put thoughts to one side and come back to them when time and conditions permit. I use a pencil and paper. It’s also interesting to then see if and how my resultant ‘naive questions’ have played out in research – ‘am I barking up the right tree or just barking’.
Update: April 2017, ‘Scientists create effective negative mass’ e.g. The Guardian ‘under certain precise conditions, normal particles can be made to behave as though they had negative mass’
Update (01.o5.17) Refs: Wikipedia on Negative Mass
- In 1970, Jean-Marie Souriau demonstrated, through the complete Poincaré group of dynamic group theory, that reversing the energy of a particle (hence its mass, if the particle has one) is equal to reversing its arrow of time.
- Some bimetric theories of the universe propose that two parallel universes instead of one may exist with an opposite arrow of time, linked together by the Big Bang and interacting only through gravitation.
- The negative matter of the coupled metric, interacting with the matter of the other metric via gravity, could be an alternative candidate for the explanation of dark matter, dark energy, cosmic inflation and accelerating universe.
The upshot of research suggests that negative mass cannot coexist with positive mass as it would violate certain conditions. If this is the case, then it would seem that reverse-time-travel is also impossible in a positive universe, if there is a the necessity to create negative mass to achieve it.
I had also been toying with idea of a ‘negative universe’ and it’s effects on ours e.g. missing antimatter, universal acceleration. Some thoughts on this area were presented in the late 60s. More recent analysis (Petit & Agostini, 2014) of this field suggest that a ‘negative universe’ (at least from our perspective) could exist and also have a repelling effect on our ‘positive universe’ contributing to the recently observed ‘accelerating universe’ effect (from which the term ‘dark energy’) was derived. They also look at large scale voids possibly having negative matter at their centres, but this seems to contradict.
Let us say the questions remain open.
P.S. And all this from watching Harry Potter !