What If Every Electron Is the Same Electron?


Here’s a question you’ve probably never considered: Why are all electrons the same? Every electron in the universe has exactly the same mass, exactly the same charge, and if you think about it, there’s no reason why they’d have to be.

In 1940, physicist John Wheeler came up with a novel new theory that might explain why all electrons are identical. According to him, the reason that every electron is the same is because every electron is the same electron.

There’s a lot of complicated physics involved, but simply put: Ot might be possible that every electron in the universe is the same electron, bouncing backward and forward in time. Just as an electron can be bounced around in space when hit with light, there might be a way to bounce an electron backward in time.

If that’s the case, then there’s another consequence of this theory: Electrons moving backwards in time are positrons, the antimatter component of electrons. Not only are all electrons the same electron, but all positrons are also the same electron moving backward.

This is an interesting idea, but it’s far from proven. There are plenty of problems, such as why there are so many more electrons than positrons or why there are the number of electrons there are. After all, if a single electron can bounce backward and forward through time forever, why aren’t there an infinite number of electrons?

But if it is true, what else might it mean? Perhaps every other particle, from protons to neutrons to exotic particles like neutrinos, is all just one particle bouncing back and forth through time. That would mean that not only are we all made of the same kinds of stuff, but in fact each of us is made using just one proton, neutron, and electron.

Of course, it might not be true at all, but what if it is?