Discipline: 
Physics
Status: 
Available
Level: 
Winter Project
Supervisor(s): 
Dr Fabio Costa

Suitable for:  Requires familiarity with first-year level calculus and linear algebra.  It is suitable for an applicant with a creative approach and a predisposition for abstract and speculative thinking.

Project description:  General relativity predicts the existence of closed time-like curves, which in principle could be exploited to travel back in time.  A problem raised by this possibility is whether it leads to logical paradoxes.  Recent studies have shown that it is in fact possible to construct scenarios where different parties can communicate to each other's past, perform arbitrary local operations, and yet no paradoxes arise.  There is, however, no clear understanding of what are the physical implications of such scenarios.  The aim of this project is to find further examples of logically-consistent time travels involving multiple parties.  Such examples will then be formulated as simple, possibly intuitive games that players having access to a time machine can play.  A more advanced aim of the project is to find general properties of multipartite time-travelling scenarios.

Expected outcomes:  The project will give the applicant knowledge of the logic and mechanisms behind one of the least understood topics in physics:  time travel.  The applicant will thus learn theoretical methods that are employed in cutting-edge research in the field.  Through the development of simple game-like representations of the results, the applicant will further learn to make theoretical results accessible and appealing to the public.  If successful, the project will enable the participant to generate publications.  Optionally, the applicant will have the opportunity to produce material for scientific divulgation, such as informal presentation of the time-travelling games.

Project duration:  6 weeks

Primary Supervisor:  Dr Fabio Costa     Further information:  Email f.costa@uq.edu.au about the project and to express interest.