Friday, May 3, 2013

Quantum Entanglement and a Babbling Lemming

"Loophole in spooky quantum entanglement theory closed"
Tia Ghose, LiveScience, via (April 22, 2013)

"The weird way entangled particles stay connected even when separated by large distances a phenomenon Albert Einstein called 'spooky' has been confirmed once again, this time with a key loophole in the experiment eliminated.

"The results from the new experiment confirm one of the wildest predictions of quantum mechanics: that a pair of 'entangled' particles, once measured, can somehow instantly communicate with each other so that their states always match...."

Quantum entanglement is really quite simple.

If two photons are entangled and Photon A is in an up-spin state, Photon B is in a down-spin state, unless Photon A is in a down-spin state and Photon B is in Montana, in which case it would be in an up-spin state: even if it was in Siberia, which isn't all that different from Montana. In terms of climate, anyway.

This isn't really so odd, since the state of one thing can affect another thing. It happens all the time. What's odd about quantum entanglement is that it happens fast. Really fast. Really, really fast.

Maybe instantly. Except that's not supposed to happen, because the speed of light is the fastest anything can go. Except for whatever happens in quantum entanglement: which may not be instant. It could be only 10,000 time faster than the speed of light.

That's still fast.

This infographic should make the basics of quantum entanglement slightly less turgid. Or, not.

(Karl Tate, via LiveScience)

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