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The Fifth Dimension

Lifted from the April 2011 Vanderbilt View:

Vanderbilt physicists propose time travel theory
If Tom Weiler and Chui Man Ho’s latest theory is right, the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest atom smasher – could be the first machine capable of causing matter to travel backward in time. “Our theory is a long shot, but it doesn’t violate any laws of physics or experimental constraints,” Weiler said. One of the major goals of the collider is to find the elusive Higgs boson, the particle that physicists invoke to explain why particles like protons, neutrons and electrons have mass. If the collider succeeds in producing the Higgs boson, some predict that it will create a second particle called the Higgs singlet at the same time. According to Weiler and Ho’s theory, these singlets should have the ability to jump into an extra, fifth dimension where they can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past. “Because time travel is limited to these special particles, it is not possible for a man to travel back in time,” Weiler said. “However, if scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets, they might be able to send messages to the past or future.” The theory is described in a paper posted on March 7 to

Time travel has always seemed such an adventurous, fanciful concept and I think it is not uncommon for someone to wish she could go back in time and change a few things around. But eventually I concluded it was ultimately counterintuitive; because if it wasn’t, where is everybody from the future?! This article is highly provoking, but far be it from me to suggest its all theoretical academic puffery. Because if so, then where are all the messages from the future?!! But, what the hell do I know?

I thought of this old song by Soul Asylum, for referencing the 5th dimension in its first line. I had to post it, as it is the only song I’ve ever heard with the lyric “Woe is me”

‘And there’s a place for us stuck inside this fleeting moment, tucked away where noone owns it, wrapped up in a haze, and by mistake got thrown away.’

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