29th Jun 2012
Quantum Mechanics: Entanglement
Richard Feyman once commented, “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t understand quantum mechanics”, and indeed, the phenomenon of quantum entanglement is strange to get your head around. The theory states that two particles can become entangled, and thereafter will always mirror each other’s properties instantly, even if they’re kilometres—or potentially lightyears—apart. This instantaneous coordination of information seems to rebel against common sense. Einstein dismissively called the theory “spooky action at a distance”, but it would be less spooky if the particles communicated information with high-speed signals, only giving the illusion of an instantaneous reaction. Physicist Daniel Salart tested this hypothesis in Geneva, passing entangled photon pairs through equal fibre-optical cables to villages 17.7 km apart. Identical of photon detectors revealed consistent entanglement—the particles exactly measured each other’s properties at exactly the same time. The high-speed communication hypothesis was disproved, because hidden signals would’ve had to travel at 10,000 times the speed of light, violating special relativity—no wonder Einstein rebelled against the theory. Physicists now favour the alternative theory of instantaneous communication, but it will be difficult to test and explain since we’re stuck in ordinary space and time. Dr Terence Rudolph describes the dilemma effectively: “Any theory that tries to explain quantum entanglement…will need to be very spooky—spookier, perhaps, than quantum mechanics itself.”
Read about recent advancements on Wired Science

Quantum Mechanics: Entanglement

Richard Feyman once commented, “If you think you understand quantum mechanics, then you don’t understand quantum mechanics”, and indeed, the phenomenon of quantum entanglement is strange to get your head around. The theory states that two particles can become entangled, and thereafter will always mirror each other’s properties instantly, even if they’re kilometres—or potentially lightyears—apart. This instantaneous coordination of information seems to rebel against common sense. Einstein dismissively called the theory “spooky action at a distance”, but it would be less spooky if the particles communicated information with high-speed signals, only giving the illusion of an instantaneous reaction. Physicist Daniel Salart tested this hypothesis in Geneva, passing entangled photon pairs through equal fibre-optical cables to villages 17.7 km apart. Identical of photon detectors revealed consistent entanglement—the particles exactly measured each other’s properties at exactly the same time. The high-speed communication hypothesis was disproved, because hidden signals would’ve had to travel at 10,000 times the speed of light, violating special relativity—no wonder Einstein rebelled against the theory. Physicists now favour the alternative theory of instantaneous communication, but it will be difficult to test and explain since we’re stuck in ordinary space and time. Dr Terence Rudolph describes the dilemma effectively: “Any theory that tries to explain quantum entanglement…will need to be very spooky—spookier, perhaps, than quantum mechanics itself.”

Read about recent advancements on Wired Science

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  1. fidelishaereticus reblogged this from vulturechow and added:
    this sort of thing is why i absolutely must learn physics and it infuriates me bc i have no time.
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    Very interesting!
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