My friend Phil pointed me towards a story of astonishing magnitude that, amid all the hurly-burly of stock market plunges and ex-Beatles divorces, seems to have slipped through the general consciousness: an experiment scheduled for this summer at CERN – the particle accelerator in Switzerland – will attempt to send an atom several thousand years into the future, in the first steps towards time-travel (story here). I’m not quite sure how they will verify that the experiment has succeeded, bar waiting around for a few millennia to catch up with their atom, but it opens up exciting possibilities.
According to the Daily Telegraph: "The debut in early summer could provide a landmark because travelling into the past is only possible - if it is possible at all - as far back as the point of creation of the first time machine." In other words, if this experiment does, ultimately, lead to the creation of a working time machine in the future, the resultant time travellers could be amongst us as soon as July.
So if you catch sight of a DeLorean leaving fiery-tracks in the road, it might not be the local joy-riders earning their next ASBOs. (And if you don’t understand that reference, the only time-machine you need is a beta-max video to take you back to 1985, when time-travelling was just about the coolest mischief a kid could get up to.)
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