Looking to build a time machine but nervous about the classic grandfather paradox, aka the Marty McFly conundrum, aka the idea that you might unwittingly do something that causes you to never exist in the first place? An MIT professor and a few of his quantum quoting buddies have published a theory that allows for time travel while circumventing the grandfather paradox. All you need is a quantum teleportation device and a precise understanding of the idea of postselection--Flux Capacitor optional.
Postselection is one of the notions that makes quantum computing simultaneously so exciting and perplexing; the idea that for a super-complex problem riddled with variables, you solve by letting the variables take any value at random and postselect for the one combination that makes the problem true. Put another way, rather than solving all the possible combinations to the problem one at a time, you run all possible combinations simultaneously and extract the set of variables that make the problem true.
Quantum mechanics seems to allow for such simultaneous computations of all possible outcomes theoretically, though actually making it happen is another issue altogether (such quantum computing would blow conventional computing methods out of the water). But combined with quantum teleportation – using quantum entanglement to reproduce a quantum state in space that previously existed at another point in space – MIT’s Seth Lloyd and colleagues say you can theoretically teleport a particle back in time.