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Curated by RSF Research Staff

Does the future influence the past? Physicists propose retrocausality must be valid

[Featured image credit -- Bill Domonkos for Quanta Magazine (Quantum Weirdness Now a Matter of Time)]


In their recent publication The Unified Spacememory Network (USN model), physicist Nassim Haramein and RSF researchers describe how seeming action-at-a-distance observed in quantum entanglement experiments -- one of the most remarkable results of quantum mechanics – can be explained with a unified physics model that incorporates spacetime geometry at the quantum scale. The result is a realist interpretation of quantum mechanics that is unified with general relativity.

Regarding non-realist interpretations of quantum mechanics, Haramein et alli state in the USN --

“…this question has resurfaced in the form of Schrödinger’s cat, posed in part to demonstrate the non-physical nature of the Heisenberg-Bohr model of quantum theory, also known as the Copenhagen Interpretation, which is the predominant quantum mechanical model. Such models arose from attempts to interpret the physical mechanisms of the famous double slit experiment, which were considered by some physicists to have no classical explanation. However recent experimental studies find a different interpretation of the double slit experiment, based on pilot waves in fluid dynamics of classical systems (Bush, 2015 [hydrodynamic quantum analogs]; Couder and Fort, 2006 [Yves Couder silicone oil droplets]; Borghesi et al., 2014).”

In the USN study, the RSF researchers go on to describe how micro-scale spacetime geometry is involved in information processes underlying cosmogenesis, baryogenesis, biogenesis, and several other “genesis” events including the holographic spacetime infodynamics underlying elements engendering awareness and sentience.

A key postulate of the study is the importance of integral information processes underlying and driving the formation of form, structure, and complex – sometimes intelligent – dynamics. For instance, the atomistic structure of spacetime means that it is comprised of innumerable bits of energy – and modern quantum field theory stipulates that these zero-point quantum harmonic oscillations are necessarily entangled, hence they are quantum entangled bits, or qubits.

The innumerable qubits comprising the energetic structure of the vacuum means that space has a kind of memory property, where information can be encoded and exchanged through the multiply-connected spacetime geometry of the Planck scale. In addition to the encoding of information, or memory, there is continual feedback of information into physical systems and processes – the same dynamic observed in algorithms that generate complex fractal patterns – which will be a key mechanism driving the formation of order, organizational synergy, evolution and development of physical systems.

A multiply-connected spacetime geometry means that not only will there be nonlocal interactions (interactions with reference frames that are not normally considered causally connected), but trans-temporal interactions as well – that is retrocausal interactions. These nonlocal and retrocausal interactions occur without violation of general relativity, as they are the result of spacetime geometry, and preserve the time-symmetry of quantum mechanics.

The postulation of retrocausal interactions is not generally well accepted among conventional scientists, and all the fundamental physics equations that describe “backwards” interactions in time have been largely neglected or ignored. Yet, in a recent report published in Proceedings of The Royal Society A, physicists Matthew S. Leifer at Chapman University and Matthew F. Pusey at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics lend new theoretical support to retrocausality, arguing that in order for a time-symmetric interpretation of quantum theory to be valid, it must admit retrocausal interactions.

Leifer told "The reason I think that retrocausality is worth investigating is that we now have a slew of no-go results about realist interpretations of quantum theory, including Bell's theorem, Kochen-Specker, and recent proofs of the reality of the quantum state," he said. "These say that any interpretation that fits into the standard framework for realist interpretations must have features that I would regard as undesirable. Therefore, the only options seem to be to abandon realism or to break out of the standard realist framework.

"Abandoning realism is quite popular, but I think that this robs science of much of its explanatory power and so it is better to find realist accounts where possible. The other option is to investigate more exotic realist possibilities, which include retrocausality, relationalism, and many-worlds. Aside from many-worlds, these have not been investigated much, so I think it is worth pursuing all of them in more detail. I am not personally committed to the retrocausal solution over and above the others, but it does seem possible to formulate it rigorously and investigate it, and I think that should be done for several of the more exotic possibilities."

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