A simple question from his wife – Does physics really allow people to travel back in time? – propelled Berkeley physicist Richard Muller on a quest to resolve a fundamental problem that had puzzled him throughout his 45-year career: Why does the arrow of time flow inexorably toward the future, constantly creating new “nows”?
In the video, you’ll hear Muller propose a way to test his theory using LIGO. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) consists of two widely separated installations within the United States – one in Hanford Washington and the other in Livingston, Louisiana – operated in unison as a single observatory. The LIGO Scientific Collaboration is a group of scientists seeking to make the first direct detection of gravitational waves created by merging black holes, and use them to explore the fundamental physics of gravity.
Bottom line: Video explores the possibility of time travel, and the nature of time and space.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.