Sure enough the proof has come along. Just the other day Brendan (a friend of the family, a graduate student biologist), came along and pointed out that scientists had recently proven that the future can not only effect but actually determine the past! The proof comes in the form of a recent quantum experiment. The recent quantum experiment is based on a classic Double Slit Experiment. In this experiment, a light is pointed at a card with two slits, and a photographic plate at the back records the photons that make it through. The idea of this experiment is to determine whether a photon is a particle or a wave.If the photon is a particle is should pass through and hit the plate like two bowling balls traveling down a lane. If the photon is a wave, then you should get an interference pattern at the back. An illustration of the experimental setup is provided in the image below.
So what do scientists find when they conduct this experiment? Well, scientists always find that when they fire photons, electrons, and even atoms at a double-slit screen, they get the type of interference pattern you get when you are working with waves, just like the image below.
Simple right. This classic double-slit experiment proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that photons waves, but not really. The problem is, when you looked at the photographic plate at the back, it was marked by little points just as if it had been hit by particles The fact that particles where hitting the plate was confirmed when the experiment was modified so that the light source would shoot only single particles. When scientists shot single particles, the pattern was exactly like what you see in the the image to the right. Little particles hit the screen. This variation of the experiment proved that light/electrons/etc. where particles, but not really. When scientists continued to fire particles over a period of time, they hit the back of the screen and showed up as an interference patterns, just as if they were waves.
So what did physicists make of this? Well, they were confused. A proton behaved like a particle, and like a wave. But how could that be? How could a proton be both a particle and a wave? They eventually explained it by suggesting that a proton was not a proton, it was a probability wave. According to scientists, the probability wave “collapsed” and became a proton at some point between when the proton left the gun (where it was fired as a particle) and the time it hit the screen (also as a particle). Somewhere in between it was a probability wave with no determinate existence. Presumably, the point in the “wave function” where the “probability of a proton” became an actual proton determined where the proton would eventually hit. In the mind’s of the physicists, this “explained” what they were observing. But it didn’t really. First of all, the proton exited the gun as a proton. Why, between the point where it left the gun and the time it hit the screen, did it suddenly become a probability wave. Second, their “probability wave” explanation didn’t explain the really weird thing going on which was the fact that simply observing the proton (or the atom, for that matter) could force it to be a particle. This strange reality is well explained by Jim Al-Khalili in this youtube video, so I won’t review it here. Watch the video and then come back.
So, after watching the video you will know that the act of “observing” a proton (or an electron, or any other particle for that matter) forces that proton, electron, or molecule to be a particle. If you are not directly observing it, it acts like a wave. It is very important you understand this. A proton can be a wave or a particle. If you look at it, it is a particle. If you don’t, it is a wave. The very act of observation determines whether a probability wave is a particle or not.
The idea that a proton can be either a wave or a particle depending on whether or not it is being observed is, quite frankly, confusing; physicists have gone through quite a few intellectual contortions in an attempt to figure it out (e.g. they have come up with an ensemble interpretation, a many-worlds interpretation, and a Copenhagen interpretation). One of the contortions has been provided by a physicist name of Wheeler. He came up with a bunch of variations on the double slit experiment designed to help scientists sort it all out. One of the variations was the so called delayed choice experiment. In this experiment the path of the particle is measured in one of two ways. On the one hand, there is a screen that captures the particle hitting it just like in the double slit experiment. On the other hand, there are two individual detectors. These detectors function just like the regular detectors in regular double-slit experiment. The expectation is that when the screen is in place and the proton is not being “observed” by the detectors, the proton will act like a wave. On the other hand, if the screen is absent and the proton is being observed, it will act like a particle.
This can get a bit complicated to sort out here, so let’s run this experiment in our mind. Say we are the scientists conducting the experiment. For our first try, we fire the photon without the screen in place. Since we are observing the proton, we expect it to act like a particle, pick a path, and hit either the left (green) or the right (red) detector. We do that and the photon behaves as it should. It passes through the screen in only one location (like all good particles should do) and hits the detector half of the time on the left, and the other half of the time on the right. The proton is a particle. So far so good.
Now let’s say that after we have conducted our first experiment we try a second one. In this second experiment, we fire a photon in the same initial condition (i.e. with screen absent and both detectors in place) but then, just after the photon passes the slit, we put the screen in place. What does the photon do? Logically you would think that since it passed the slits with only the detectors visible, it would have already have picked a path so that when it hits the screen it will show up as a particle on either the left or the right, but, it doesn’t. A recent experiment using helium atoms instead of photons demonstrated that if you fire a particle with only the detectors in place, but then insert the screen after the atom has passed the screen (and therefore after a point in time when the helium atom should have already decided it was a particle), it appears at the end as a wave even though it should already have passed through one or the other like a particle. In other words, the helium atoms seems to know what its future is going to be. If the future has a screen, it passes through the slits as a wave. If the future is a detector, it passes through as a particle. What is more, there is no random change. The behavior of the helium atom is always coincident with the future state of the experimental apparatus! This is a mind boggling result clearly shows that the future determines the past.
As Jay Juo of Second Nexus explains.
What they found is weirder than anything seen to date: Every time the two grates were in place, the helium atom passed through, on many paths in many forms, just like a wave. But whenever the second grate was not present, the atom invariably passed through the first grate like a particle. The fascinating part was, the second grate’s very existence in the path was random. And what’s more, it hadn’t happened yet. In other words, it was as if the helium particle “knew” whether there would be a second grate at the time it passed through the first. The possible future presence of that second grate appeared to be determining the past state of the atom as it passed through grate #1. Whether it continued as a particle or changed into a wave depended on something that might happen in the future.
[su_note note_color=”#adadad” text_color=”#000″]Download and Read the Article – Experimental realization of Wheeler’s delayed-choice Gedanken Experiment[/su_note]
So how do you explain that? How do you explain how a particle’s action can be determined by an even that happens in the future? The truth it, with extant conceptualizations of creation, you can’t. You can engage in all sorts of intellectual contortions, and come up with all sorts of EPMO that can make it look like you have an explanation, but nothing that the physicists can offer even comes close to providing an intuitive and logical explanation. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t one available. In The Book of Life, I gave a visual and verbal representation of the universe as a simultaneously unfolding 4D space-time tube. In The Book of Light, I situated that 4D tube inside the Consciousness of God (i.e. inside The Fabric of Consciousness). Take the representation of creation as a 4D tube situated as a dream inside the mind of God and you have no trouble understanding and explaining what is happening. Stick with your increasingly cobbled up materialist view, and contortions are all you’ll receive.
Until next time I am Michael Sharp
 You can read the popular summary of the experiment, or the actual scientific article. For the popular summary see Jay Kuo, “Physicists Demonstrate How Time Can Seem to Run Backward, and the Future Can Affect the Past,” Second Nexus June 8 2015. For the scientific experiment see A. G. Manning, R. I. Khakimov, R. G. Dall and A. G. Truscott, ”
Experimental realization of Wheeler’s delayed-choice GedankenExperiment” Nat Phys 11.7 (2015).
 The time is coming when even helium atoms will be required to sign consent forms before they participate in scientific experiments.