Unfortunately or not, the reality is much more incredible than anyone could ever imagine. Subjects like time travel, parallel Universes, particles that go through solid objects, wormholes, or particles that behave according to the position of the beholder have been scenarios for sci-fi movies. But the existence of all of them is possible, at least in theory.
But how about being just one single electron in the entire Universe, as he migrates somehow from one atom to another? There are around 10 to the 80 power atoms in the Universe, so that poor electron would have a lot of work to do. Although it sounds absolutely insane, it’s the theory first proposed by the theoretical physicist John Archibald Wheeler, the man who worked on the hydrogen bomb at Los Alamos.
How could it be possible
The One Electron Theory claims that every electron in the Universe is continually traveling backward and forward through time. One fact that the theory relies on is that each and every electron from the Universe looks exactly the same. Furthermore, they all have the same mass and electric charge. Considering that it’s impossible to tell electrons apart, you can already get the full picture. If all electrons look the same and behave the same, maybe it’s because they are all the same electron.
An electron can be bounced around in space when it’s getting hit with light, so the electron could also be able to bounce backward in time. The electrons moving backward in time are positrons, the antimatter version of electrons.
While he was a professor, Wheeler taught the physicist Richard Feynman. Feynman brought up Wheeler’s theory regarding the One Electron Theory:
I received a telephone call one day at the graduate college at Princeton from Professor Wheeler, in which he said, “Feynman, I know why all electrons have the same charge and the same mass.” “Why?” “Because, they are all the same electron!” And, then he explained on the telephone, “suppose that the world lines which we were ordinarily considering before in time and space – instead of only going up in time were a tremendous knot, and then, when we cut through the knot, by the plane corresponding to a fixed time, we would see many, many world lines and that would represent many electrons, except for one thing. If in one section this is an ordinary electron world line, in the section in which it reversed itself and is coming back from the future we have the wrong sign to the proper time – to the proper four velocities – and that’s equivalent to changing the sign of the charge, and, therefore, that part of a path would act like a positron.”
The math needed to explain the One Eletron Theory is pretty complicated, so there’s no need to bore you with it here.