General relativity predicts the existence of closed timelike curves (CTCs), along which an object could travel to its own past. A consequence of CTCs is the failure of determinism, even for classical systems: one initial condition can result in multiple evolutions. Here we introduce a quantum formulation of a classic example, where a billiard ball can travel along two possible trajectories: one unperturbed and one, along a CTC, where it collides with its past self. Our model includes a vacuum state, allowing the ball to be present or absent on each trajectory, and a clock, which provides an operational way to distinguish the trajectories. We apply the two foremost quantum theories of CTCs to our model: Deutsch’s model (D-CTCs) and postselected teleportation (P-CTCs). We find that D-CTCs reproduce the classical solution multiplicity in the form of a mixed state, while P-CTCs predict an equal superposition of the two trajectories, supporting a conjecture by Friedman et al. [Phys. Rev. D 42, 1915 (1990)].
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