Skip to comments.Quantum Trickery: Testing Einstein's Strangest Theory
Posted on 12/28/2005 1:42:38 PM PST by snarks_when_bored
Einstein said there would be days like this.
This fall scientists announced that they had put a half dozen beryllium atoms into a "cat state."
No, they were not sprawled along a sunny windowsill. To a physicist, a "cat state" is the condition of being two diametrically opposed conditions at once, like black and white, up and down, or dead and alive.
These atoms were each spinning clockwise and counterclockwise at the same time. Moreover, like miniature Rockettes they were all doing whatever it was they were doing together, in perfect synchrony. Should one of them realize, like the cartoon character who runs off a cliff and doesn't fall until he looks down, that it is in a metaphysically untenable situation and decide to spin only one way, the rest would instantly fall in line, whether they were across a test tube or across the galaxy.
The idea that measuring the properties of one particle could instantaneously change the properties of another one (or a whole bunch) far away is strange to say the least - almost as strange as the notion of particles spinning in two directions at once. The team that pulled off the beryllium feat, led by Dietrich Leibfried at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in Boulder, Colo., hailed it as another step toward computers that would use quantum magic to perform calculations.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
First I convince myself that you're kidding...then I convince myself that you're not kidding...I call 'cat state'!!
I suppose it depends on whether you observe them from above or below.
I mean, the Earth rotates clockwise and counter-clockwise simultaneously...depending on whether the observer is looking down from above the North pole or the South pole.
Once a reference frame is fixed, clockwise and counterclockwise are well-defined.
When I read this my nose is both bleeding and not bleeding at the same time.
Big deal. John Kerry already achieved this state more than a year ago. Maybe we should start calling it the DemoCAT party.
I wonder if that man even HAD a cat.
Einstein never reconciled himself to quantum mechanics in the Copenhagen mold. The EPR paper was his attempt to show that either quantum mechanics is incomplete (which he thought to be the case) or that quantum mechanics (and so reality) is non-local (which he didn't think was the case). Bell's inequalities gave physicists hope of finding out experimentally which of the these two options was the case; Aspect's experiments showed that it was the latter, that is, that quantum mechanics (and so reality) has a non-local aspect (so to speak!). These results post-dated Einstein's death, of course, so he wasn't forced to confront the consequences.
John Stuart Bell proved such superluminal communication was not possible.
I can't keep up! I'm still confused by tachyons.
Portions of this entry contributed by Leonardo Motta
Portions of this entry contributed by Waldyr A. Rodrigues, Jr.
Tachyons are a putative class of particles which able to travel faster than the speed of light. Tachyons were first proposed by physicist Arnold Sommerfeld, and named by Gerald Feinberg. The word tachyon derives from the Greek (tachus), meaning "speedy." Tachyons have the strange properties that, when they lose energy, they gain speed. Consequently, when tachyons gain energy, they slow down. The slowest speed possible for tachyons is the speed of light.
Tachyons appear to violate causality (the so-called causality problem), since they could be sent to the past under the assumption that the principle of special relativity is a true law of nature, thus generating a real unavoidable time paradox (Maiorino and Rodrigues 1999). Therefore, it seems unavoidable that if tachyons exist, the principle of special relativity must be false, and there exists a unique time order for all observers in the universe independent of their state of motion.
Tachyons can be assigned properties of normal matter such as spin, as well as an antiparticle (the antitachyon). And amazingly, modern presentations of tachyon theory actually allow tachyons to actually have real mass (Recami 1996).
It has been proposed that tachyons could be produced from high-energy particle collisions, and tachyon searches have been undertaken in cosmic rays. Cosmic rays hit the Earth's atmosphere with high energy (some of them with speed almost 99.99% of the speed of light) making several collisions with the molecules in the atmosphere. The particles made by this collision interact with the air, creating even more particles in a phenomenon known as a cosmic ray shower. In 1973, using a large collection of particle detectors, Philip Crough and Roger Clay identified a putative superluminal particle in an air shower, although this result has never been reproduced.
The article doesn't claim that superluminal communication (in the sense of relativity-violating information transfer) is taking place.
Your "of course" is tantalizing!
Are you implyinng that Einstein's life was quantumly entangled with Aspect's experiments? That had the experiment showed the opposite that Einstein would have lived?
Your theory, if it is such, is macabre. Yet it fits the general weirdness of QT.
In as much, as "already" is a meaningful-term QT-wise, the information is "already" at the other place. Or rather, "was" at. Was and is, that is. Or was. So be it.
"Quantum Leap" bump.