A group of physicists from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have conducted research that allegedly proves time travel is a scientific impossibility by demonstrating that nothing can move faster than the speed of light.
The experiment allowed scientists to observe single photon particles at their maximum speed for the first time and also confirmed that a single photon moves just as fast as the speed of light in vacuum, if not up to 500 nanoseconds slower in certain conditions, according to PC Magazine.
With photons being a basic unit of electromagnetic radiation, or light, the research proves that light cannot move faster than light itself, making it impossible for anything else to move faster than light and debunking the theory of time travel.
The research findings detail that photons obey the laws of physics laid out in the principle of causality in Einstein’s theory of relativity. This states an effect cannot occur before its cause. Only the violation of this law would allow the possibility of time travel.
“By showing that single photons cannot travel faster than the speed of light, our results bring a closure to the debate on the true speed of information carried by a single photon,” said Professor Shengwang Du, lead researcher on the team.
The theory of time travel became especially popular 10 years ago when scientists observed “superluminal” behavior in the photons of optical pulses that seemed to move faster than the light, according to BBC News.
Professor Du and his team explained the phenomenon is an optical illusion and cannot be replicated in a practical experiment.