Vanderbilt physicist to be featured on ‘Through the Wormhole’

Chiu Man Ho (left) and Tom Weiler.
Chiu Man Ho (left) and Tom Weiler. (John Russell/Vanderbilt)

Four years ago, Professor of Physics Tom Weiler and graduate fellow Chiu Man Ho, now at Michigan State University, published a theory proposing that the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland could be creating a peculiar kind of particle that is capable of traveling forward and back in time.

At the time, the theory generated a lot of news coverage, and media interest has persisted through the intervening years. The latest example of that was Weiler’s invitation to participate in an upcoming episode of the television series Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. He is one of six physicists featured in the program, titled “Can Time Go Backwards?” that is scheduled to air on Discovery Science Channel at 9 p.m. Central on Wednesday, May 6.

Weiler was filmed for more than nine hours last fall while he was on sabbatical at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at UC Santa Barbara. Each of the physicists featured in the program will be given about six minutes of airtime to describe their ideas about time travel.

Despite how it may appear on screen, Weiler didn’t meet Freeman during the shoot. A series of producers asked him questions. He assumes that the questions that make the final cut will be given to Freeman as lines that he will read.