Backward Evolving Quantum States Tel-Aviv In quant-ph 0606208, Vaidman outlines the theoretical limitations on possible manipulations of a backward-evolving quantum state. "The basic concept of the two-state vector formalism, which is the time symmetric approach to quantum mechanics, is the backward evolving quantum state. However, due to the asymmetry of the memory's arrow of time, the possible ways to manipulate a backward evolving quantum state differ from those for a standard, forward evolving quantum state. The similarities and the differences between forward and backward evolving quantum states regarding the no-cloning theorem, nonlocal measurements, and teleportation are discussed. The results are relevant not only in the framework of the two-state vector formalism, but also in the framework of retrodictive quantum theory."
Retrocausation: Experiment and Theory AAAS Causality – the notion that earlier events can affect later events but not vice-versa – undergirds our experience of reality and physical law. Causality is predicated on the forward unidirectionality of time. However, most physical laws are time symmetric; that is, they formally and equally admit both time-forward and time-reverse solutions. Time-reverse solutions are distressing because they would allow the future to influence the past, i.e., reverse causation. Why time-forward solutions are preferentially observed in nature remains an unresolved problem in physics. While the most convincing explanations invoke the second law of thermodynamics, wavefunction collapse or the expansion of the universe, in the end, purely forward causation is an ad-hoc physical assumption. This symposium will explore recent experiments, theory, and philosophical issues connected with reverse causation. In particular, it is hoped that this meeting will help: 1) generate better theoretical models by which established experimental results can be understood; 2) devise new experiments by which the underlying physics may be more clearly exposed; and 3) establish fruitful research collaborations.
Quantum Cosmology From Future to Past CERN, Cambridge In Phys Rev D and concurrent Physics Web overview, Hawking and Hertog apply Feynman's path integral formalism to quantum cosmology. "In this framework, amplitudes for alternative histories for the universe are calculated with final boundary conditions only. This leads to a top-down approach to cosmology, in which the histories of the universe depend on the precise question asked. We study the observational consequences of no boundary initial conditions on the landscape, and outline a scheme to test the theory."