All electrons and positrons in the universe could actually be a single entity moving back and forth through spacetime.

The One-Electron Universe

The one-electron universe theory postulates that all electrons and positrons are actually a single entity moving back and forth in time.[1][2]

In other words, this theory suggests that all the electrons and positrons that surround the nuclei of every atom in the universe, or that exist as electricity for example, are actually just one single electron-positron-type-thing (an entity with a dualistic nature we measure as electrons and positrons) that is moving backwards and forwards in spacetime.

So, not just one electron “moving really fast,” but actually moving back and forth in space and time, perhaps in an extra-dimensional reality in which our conception of time is essentially a static [forgive the pun] thing (where an extra dimensional being would see the world line of all electrons and positrons as a single world line of a single “entity”).

Thus in simple terms, assuming the electron and positron are two sides of single coin, the question can be phrased as, “are all the electrons in the universe are simply a single electron moving back and forth through time?”

The answer to that is very likely no, but that doesn’t mean the theory doesn’t have anything valuable to teach us.

According to Richard Feynman:[3][4]

“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!”…

… I did not take the idea that all the electrons were the same one from [Wheeler] as seriously as I took the observation that positrons could simply be represented as electrons going from the future to the past in a back section of their world lines. That, I stole!”

In other words, this line of thinking begs questions like: what if light speed is really just a limit of our universe, and in an extra dimension the world line of all photons is just a static thing? Now what if it is like that for electrons? What if this explains the common properties of some quanta like electrons? What if that explains why an electron can be an infinite distance from the nucleus of an atom? What if all quanta are the same thing? Is it all light? Is it all an electron? Is a positron just an electron going from the future to the past? Is electron–positron annihilation just electron-positrons changing directions in spacetime?

Lots of “ifs” and “?s” here… but that is sort of the point of theoretical physics meets cosmology.

The One-Electron Universe | Space Time.


One has to assume it would be easier to prove that all electrons and positrons aren’t a single entity than to prove that they are. With that in mind, there is nothing I found in my research that debunks this theory. In summary, we can’t confirm it one way or the other, and while it seems unlikely, the universe is a strange place. And of course, if nothing else, the concept is fun to think about from a metaphysical perspective.


  1. World Line
  2. One-Electron Universe
  3. Richard Feynman (11 December 1965). “Nobel Lecture”. Nobel Foundation.
  4. Feynman, Richard (1949). “The Theory of Positrons”. Physical Review.

"All Electrons and Positrons Could Be a Single Entity" is tagged with: Metaphysics, Theoretical Physics, Theories

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