The quantum world operates by different rules than the classical one we buzz around in, allowing the fantastical to the bizarrely normal. Now, a team of physicists has used quantum entanglement to simulate a closed timelike curve—in layman’s terms, time travel.

Before we proceed, I’ll stress that this was simulated; no quantum particles went back in time. The research was a Gedankenexperiment, a term popularized by Einstein to describe conceptual studies conducted in lieu of real tests—a useful thing when one is testing physics at its limits, like particles moving at the speed of light. But “effective time travel” was achieved in the simulation, according to the team’s recent paper in Physical Review Letters, thanks to a famously strange way that quantum particles can interact.

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