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Science, Spirituality, and Some Mismatched Socks
Wall Street Journal ^ | May 5, 2009 | GAUTAM NAIK

Posted on 05/12/2009 7:22:49 AM PDT by Squidpup

One of quantum physics' crazier notions is that two particles seem to communicate with each other instantly, even when they're billions of miles apart. Albert Einstein, arguing that nothing travels faster than light, dismissed this as impossible "spooky action at a distance."

The great man may have been wrong. A series of recent mind-bending laboratory experiments has given scientists an unprecedented peek behind the quantum veil, confirming that this realm is as mysterious as imagined.

Quantum physics is the study of the very small -- atoms, photons and other particles. Unlike the cause-and-effect of our everyday physical world, subatomic particles defy common sense and behave in wacky ways. That includes the fact that a photon, which is a particle of light, exists in a haze of multiple behaviors. They spin in many ways, such as "up" or "down," at the same time. Even trickier, it's only when you take a peek -- by measuring it -- that the photon fixes into a particular state of spin.

Stranger still is entanglement. When two photons get "entangled" they behave like a joint entity. Even when they're miles apart, if the spin of one particle is changed, the spin of the other instantly changes, too. This direct influence of one object on another distant one is called non-locality.

These peculiar properties have already been proven in a lab and tapped to improve data encryption. They could also one day be used to build much faster computers. Some philosophers see quantum phenomena as a sign of far greater unknown forces at work and it bolsters their view that a spiritual dimension exists. .....

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: einstein; quantum; science; stringtheory

1 posted on 05/12/2009 7:22:49 AM PDT by Squidpup
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To: Squidpup

Quantum mechanics is very strange. The best explanation I’ve run across is some of the string or invisible dimension theories. In these theories the entangled pairs would only appear to be unconnected, as they’re actually connected by mechanisms we can’t detect. At present.

If these theories are true, some of the more bizarre sci-fi concepts become conceivable, including instantaneous travel, FTL travel and even time travel.

Very interesting stuff.

2 posted on 05/12/2009 7:43:15 AM PDT by Sherman Logan (Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.)
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To: Squidpup

Very, very interesting! I haven’t absorbed the whole article yet, but it brings to mind something I read in Scientific American back when I was in high school back in the ‘60s, and may be somewhat related to this theory. The article was about tachyons. The theory, if I recall correctly, was that these sub atomics actually gained energy in collisions with other particles, and that they were FTL. Some, theoretically had had so many collisions, and had gained so much energy/speed that they were “everywhere, all the time! But that was very early on in this field, and I believe things have changed. Also interesting are tachyonic condensation, and tachyonic fields. From wiki; “ tachyon (pronounced /ˈtæki.É’n/; from the Greek ταχυόνιον, takhyónion, from ταχύς, takhýs, i.e. swift, fast) is any hypothetical particle that travels faster than light. The first description of tachyons is attributed to German physicist Arnold Sommerfeld; however, it was George Sudarshan, Olexa-Myron Bilaniuk[1][2], Vijay Deshpande[2] and Gerald Feinberg[3] (who originally coined the term in the 1960s) that advanced a theoretical framework for their study. Tachyonic fields have appeared theoretically in a variety of contexts, such as the Bosonic string theory. In the language of special relativity, a tachyon is a particle with space-like four-momentum and imaginary proper time. A tachyon is constrained to the space-like portion of the energy-momentum graph. Therefore, it cannot slow down to subluminal speeds. Even if tachyons were conventional, localizable particles, they would still preserve the basic tenets of causality in special relativity and not allow transmission of information faster than light,[3] contrary to what has been written in many works of science fiction. Today, in the framework of quantum field theory, tachyons are best understood as signifying an instability of the system and treated using tachyon condensation, rather than as real faster-than-light particles, and such instabilities are described by tachyonic fields. According to the contemporary and widely accepted understanding of the concept of a particle, tachyon particles are too unstable to be treated as existing.[4] By that theory, faster than light information transmission and causality violation with tachyons are impossible on both grounds: they are non-existent in the first place (by tachyon condensation)[4] and even if they existed (by Feinberg’s analysis[3]) they wouldn’t be able to transmit information (also by Feinberg’s analysis[3]). Despite the theoretical arguments against the existence of tachyon particles, experimental searches have been conducted to test the assumption against their existence; however, no experimental evidence for or against the existence of tachyon particles has been found.[5]

3 posted on 05/12/2009 7:47:49 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Squidpup

I wonder, like d’Espagnat, if we really have achieved just
about as much as we can using our investigational tools.
How do we know for instance, as in your graphic posted,
how fast “instantly” was in the case of spin mismatching of
entagled photons? Was there actually a delay we couldn’t
measure due to relativistic considerations, could one of
the photons been in a slightly different gravitational
field than the other, was it taken into account that the
earth and the equipment were moving under the photons?
Could other quantum effects be operating?

Just out of curiosity, how do they know they have the same
photon that was “shot” out originally?

Anyway, very fascinating, and clearly there is lots of
work to do. I recommend a government bailout to the quantum particles.
Hopefully some of the particles will show their faces at
the pay window and we can study them better.

4 posted on 05/12/2009 8:23:59 AM PDT by Getready (Wisdom is more valuable than gold and diamonds, and harder to find.)
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To: Sherman Logan

Sorry about the somewhat unreadable way my post came out. When I used Spellcheck to correct some typos, it, for some reason, re-formatted my original post!

5 posted on 05/12/2009 8:48:04 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Squidpup

The reason I brought up tachyon theory, was because, if the early suppositions were correct, it could explain a force that was “everywhere, all the time,” and thus might explain the “connectivity” discussed in the article you posted.

6 posted on 05/12/2009 3:52:02 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

I just thought you were being tachy...

7 posted on 05/12/2009 8:55:05 PM PDT by Squidpup ("Fight the Good Fight")
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To: AdmSmith; bvw; callisto; ckilmer; dandelion; ganeshpuri89; gobucks; KevinDavis; Las Vegas Dave; ...
May have been posted before, or perhaps it was a completely identical topic on a different forum that is indistinguishable from FR. ;')

· Google ·

8 posted on 05/13/2009 4:16:11 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ( Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Squidpup

IFF this implies higher dimensions, then it may be possible to exploit this to communicate instanteously ala subspace.

9 posted on 05/13/2009 4:44:04 PM PDT by Hoosier-Daddy ("It does no good to be a super power if you have to worry what the neighbors think." BuffaloJack)
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To: Squidpup; SunkenCiv

God certainly made the universe interesting.

Thanks for the ping as always, sc.

10 posted on 05/13/2009 7:22:02 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: Sherman Logan; Squidpup
Quantum mechanics is very strange.

"Might I say immediately, ... that we always have had (secret, secret, close.the doors!) we always have had a great deal of difficulty in understanding the world view that quantum mechanics represents. At least I do, because I'm an old enough man that I haven't got to the point that this stuff is obvious to me. Okay, I still get nervous with it. And therefore, some of the younger students ... you know how it always is, every new idea, it takes a generation or two until it becomes obvious that there's no real problem. It has not yet become obvious to me that there's no real problem. I cannot define the real problem, therefore I suspect there's no real problem, but I'm not sure there's no real problem. So that's why I like to investigate things." - Richard Feynman

Feynman actually came along after quantum mechanics was very much developed, yet even he admitted to having a problem developing an intuitive feel for it.

11 posted on 05/13/2009 7:38:36 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: wideminded

I have never spoken to or read anything by someone who claims they intuitively understand quantum mechanics.

I suspect it isn’t something that fits well with the way the human brain works.

12 posted on 05/13/2009 8:10:29 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.)
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