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Video: How to use the Large Hadron Collider as a time machine

Could the intrepid scientists at CERN have created a machine that could be used to travel into the future? In this video we find out.

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With apparently no regard for the possibility of creating black holes in the middle of Switzerland, the Large Hadron Collider is at this very moment slamming sub-atomic particles into each other at close to the speed of light. No doubt this is fiddly business, and no doubt the scientists at CERN are some of the best and brightest.

In their lust for knowledge, however, could this intrepid bunch have also created a machine that could be used to travel into the future? In this video we look at the possibility of using the Large Hadron Collider as a time machine.

The newly discovered faster than light neutrinos, particles called Higgs Singlets and wormholes billionths of a centimetre across have all been put forward as possibilities of either traveling or sending messages back in time. However most scientists believe travelling to the past to be impossible, because of the potential for causality paradoxes. That whole 'what would happen if you went back in time and shot your great-great-grandpa?' type of thing.

But one thing that is certainly possible is to leap forward into the future. Or, to put it another way, reduce the speed at which someone travels through time.

Einstein said that the closer you get to the speed of light, the slower time moves for you. From the traveller's point of view, the rest of us move through time faster. And this effect has been observed at the Large Hadron Collider. When fired around the LHC, particles called Pi-Mesons exist 30 times longer than normal, due to the fact that they are travelling close to the speed of light and therefore slower through time.

In fact this effect requires satellites in the Earth's orbit to be corrected for a time shift build-up, otherwise the accuracy of our sat-navs would be thrown off by 6 miles per day.

This is where it's going to get a little less scientific. If you could build an LHC big enough to accommodate a human being, and then propel that brave little time chimp at close to the speed of light, the world around him would begin to speed up, from his point of view, and he would be thrown into the near future.

The very near future, in fact. As our time lord would only travel forwards by a tiny fraction of a second, and the experience would certainly cause his untimely demise. But we never said we would get him there alive.

Ah well, we guess we'll all have to wait a few more years before Android 9.9 Zabaglione rolls round and we can commute to work on our hoverboards.