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Human Eye Could Detect Spooky Action At a Distance

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the I-seen-things dept.

Science 255

KentuckyFC writes "The human eye is a good photon detector--it's sensitive enough to spot photons in handfuls. So what if you swapped a standard photon detector with a human eye in the ongoing experiments to measure spooky-action-at-a-distance? (That's the ability of entangled photons to influence each other, no matter how far apart they might be.) A team of physicists in Switzerland have worked out the details and say that in principle there is no reason why human eyes couldn't do this kind of experiment. That would be cool because it would ensure that the two human observers involved in the test would become entangled, albeit for a short period time. The team, led by Nic Gisin, a world leader on entanglement, says it is actively pursuing this goal (abstract) so we could have the first humans to experience entanglement within months."

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Entanglement? Sounds cool! (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924403)

I'm thinkin', me, and Halle Berry ... or maybe Famke Janssen.

Yeah, okay, so I just watched X-Men on cable.

Re:Entanglement? Sounds cool! (3, Funny)

MSZ (26307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924969)

In LAB COATS!1!

im entangled (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924405)

with a troll that did fp! I win!

First humans to experience entanglement? (2, Funny)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924407)

Hrmm. "The first humans to experience entanglement", huh? And how long before the experiment becomes the basis for a porn movie plot?

Re:First humans to experience entanglement? (2, Interesting)

Mr. Conrad (1461097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924489)

What makes you think that porn and quantum physics are not already entangled [theregister.co.uk] ?

Re:First humans to experience entanglement? (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924615)

No, it's more likely that one person takes on all the good qualities of the pair and the other takes on all the bad qualities of the pair, and they'll have to knock the bad one out to force them to go back through the entanglement experiment so they come out ok.

Re:First humans to experience entanglement? (2, Funny)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924859)

And how long before the experiment becomes the basis for a porn movie plot?

You'll be hearing from my lawyers in the morning.

uh oh ... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924409)

I sense a host of new bad pickup lines coming in the near future.

Re:uh oh ... (4, Funny)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924639)

And even worse posts in 3, 2, 1...

Re:uh oh ... (2, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925127)

Read me Dr. Memory?

Systat Uptime I have been awake for 9 hours 53 seconds.

Re:uh oh ... (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924985)

Baby, I feel so connected to you. Almost like we simultaneously (from the perspective of a fixed point midway between us) observed a set of photons with quantum properties amplified from the quantum properties of a single photon, that single photon being one of a pair of photons with linked quantum states, so that by observing the photons we caused their probabilities to collapse into a single observed state which was not predetermined but which was shared by both photons, a result which we later confirmed by comparing our observations using a conventional method of information sharing which propagated at less than the speed of light. Ya know, entangled. Don't you feel it?

Actually, I've heard of worse pickup lines.

Re:uh oh ... (5, Funny)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925387)

Bad pickup lines? They certainly worked well enough when I became entangled with your mom last night!

Also (2, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924411)

It can see sexy action at a distance.

It's better close up (4, Informative)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924485)

FYI.

wtb cautionary tale (1)

codeonezero (540302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924413)

...about unexpected side effects of Human entanglement...

Would it be a love story?

Kidding aside not sure if it makes any sense for a cautionary tale as my understanding of this is quite limited.

Ah, but once entangled... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924417)

...is one still an observer?

It takes two to tango (4, Funny)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924423)

It may be a first, but lets hope they keep it boy-girl. Same sex entanglement can't be much fun.

Re:It takes two to tango (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26925333)

Clearly, if god had intended same sex entanglement he wouldn't have created X and Y photons.

Re:It takes two to tango (2, Funny)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925417)

Leviticus 23:45

Thou shalt not entangeleth with another man as thou would quantum entangle thyself with another woman - this is an abomination.

He also goes on to talk about not getting quantumly entangled with beasts of the field.

In fact theres not very many Jewish physicists, because of the risk of accidently entangling yourself with a passing insect or even a flamboyantly gay bosun.

Re:It takes two to tango (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26925425)

Speak for yourself? I'm an Equal-Opportunity Pervert!

Frogs (3, Funny)

dachshund (300733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924427)

I've heard that frogs have the ability to detect single photons [iop.org] . This is from a cryptographer who jokingly proposed a frog-based system for quantum key distribution.
But on a more serious note, what does it really mean for two people to become entangled? And does it matter that the photons are detected by a human retina? Could the entanglement just as easily happen if the photons were fired into my left butt-cheek?

Re:Frogs (5, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924487)

I've heard that frogs have the ability to detect single photons [iop.org] . This is from a cryptographer who jokingly proposed a frog-based system for quantum key distribution.

So I'm guessing that the unit of measurement for frog-based quantum encryption is the "ribbet".

SI Units (5, Funny)

cizoozic (1196001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925487)

And eight of those would be a ribbyte?

I shudder at the thought of kibiribbits.

Re:Frogs (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924539)

Could the entanglement just as easily happen if the photons were fired into my left butt-cheek?

Don't think anybody knows / cares what happens to your left butt-cheek so there is no need (under many-worlds,thoughts are a collapsed state,etc theories) for your left butt-cheek to collapse to a state were it is certain if the photon hit it or not.

Re:Frogs (2, Funny)

Elder Entropist (788485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925123)

I don't know about you, but I'd certainly care if my left butt cheek collapsed.

Re:Frogs (1, Interesting)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924633)

But on a more serious note, what does it really mean for two people to become entangled?

I think perhaps we are constantly entangled, but that our "consciousness" (whatever that may be), resolves the entanglement to a specific, given state. The point of the experiment on this interpretation is simply to demonstate entanglement using the human eye, rather than the proxy of a detector mediating between the event and our conscious experience of it. I'm tempted to say "move along, nothing to see here", but (apart from an appalling pun), I'm somewhat intrigued by what the result will be.

Re:Frogs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924855)

I think perhaps you are confusing entanglement with superposition. And superposition doesn't need a "conscience" to colapse into a specific state, any interaction with the medium suffices.

Re:Frogs (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924923)

No, I don't think that is the case. The wave function does not collapse at some arbitrary point, it's free to continue to evolve, taking in the measuring aparatus and anything and everything inbetween. We intrepret it as having "collapsed" when we take a measurement.

Re:Frogs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26925077)

Indeed, sorry for misinterpreting you.

But I still disagree. From my knowledge, we are constantly entangled with everything, we just can't know with what to correlate our measures to, so all we can say with respect to these entanglements is the density matrix I/2, which isn't very helpful.

So we take the approximation of considering it an isolated state, and consider any unwanted interactions as noise.

Re:Frogs (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925061)


I think perhaps we are constantly entangled, but that our "consciousness"

Just because it's unusual to us doesn't mean it's mystical or magical. For your idea to actually be science and not philosophy you'd need a much better grasp of what you're actually saying. Saying something like "we're all constantly entangled" doesn't really mean a lot, since entanglement doesn't occur on a macro-scale.

People have tried to tie together mysticism, quantum mechanics, and consciousness before. At best it's an interesting exercise in thinking. At worst it's nonsense gibberish. To my knowledge it's never really produced anything approaching science.

Re:Frogs (2, Insightful)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924935)

I've heard that frogs have the ability to detect single photons [iop.org] . This is from a cryptographer who jokingly proposed a frog-based system for quantum key distribution. But on a more serious note, what does it really mean for two people to become entangled? And does it matter that the photons are detected by a human retina? Could the entanglement just as easily happen if the photons were fired into my left butt-cheek?

Furthermore, how does one "record" it such that the data can be retrieved? Yes, I know your dumb girlfriend "saw" the flash, and can report it, but it's still subjective. It's not like saying "hmm, that photon bumped the meter to 3.2eV"

Re:Frogs (1)

iris-n (1276146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925109)

It's not subjective. She saw the flash or she hasn't. That is all the matters here. Measuring the energy is futile, as it is already known. The idea of the experiment is correlating the flashs and non-flashes of person saw with the another. They can be dumb or smart, it does not matter.

Re:Frogs (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925501)

This makes me wonder why we can't lab-grow a retina for this purpose, or use one from a fresh cadaver.

You could find something 'better' than a human eye, this way.

Re:Frogs (5, Interesting)

iris-n (1276146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924975)

Well, your retina is a little more sensible to handfuls of photons than your left butt-cheek, but apart from that, it's no difference. By interacting with an entangled particle you acquire its entanglement.

In this experiment, the entanglement will happen only momentarily in a few cells of the people's retinas. Then the self-interactions of the eye will kill it. So it's not interesting in the consequences, but in the concept of having a micro-macro connection, a human measuring apparatus having quantum mechanical properties.

But what would it mean to people becoming entangled? Technically, their actions would be correlated. Practically, its completely impossible to do it. A person's nervous system is a very slow and noisy system. By the time it would take to the entanglement couple itself all the way from the eyes to the brain it would be long dead. And to spread to rest of the body, pft.

But I can make a car analogy. If those entangled people would be driving cars, the cars would become entangled to. And if Alice turned right, Bob will be turning left at the same time. And vice versa. Not as a result of their actions, just a correlation. But of course this is silly and impossible.

That said, it is one of the funniest articles I've ever read (yes, I RTFA. Sorry;). Filled with subtle jokes, and has some science juice. It appears that the eyes are a quite good detector indeed, very resistant to noise.

Re:Frogs (1)

finity (535067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925423)

Sorry, it looks like I lost my mod points. I wish they lasted a little longer in this case. Your post seems very informative.

Re:Frogs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26925523)

But on a more serious note, what does it really mean for two people to become entangled? And does it matter that the photons are detected by a human retina? Could the entanglement just as easily happen if the photons were fired into my left butt-cheek?

As long as my eye isn't on the other end

these guys don't get out much? (4, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924429)

so we could have the first humans to experience entanglement within months

I'm guessing the avalanche of crazy whacked out girlfriend stories is about to start...

Re:these guys don't get out much? (5, Funny)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924477)

Avalanche of crazy whacked out girlfriend stories? Sorry to disappoint, but this is Slashdot. We don't have the regular girlfriend stories!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to stalking this one chick....

Re:these guys don't get out much? (5, Funny)

karvind (833059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924559)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to stalking this one chick....

Sorry to disappoint you. That is a guy with female login-id.

No crazy wacked out girlfriend stories here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26925045)

No girlfriend stories, period. This is Slashdot, after all.

Physicists do anything to get some entanglement .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924591)

... somebody should tell them that a bar and lots of beer usually give the same result.

Re:Physicists do anything to get some entanglement (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924673)

ROFL I'm not sure that double vision simultaneously contracted with beer goggles is the same thing as photonic entanglement... though I'm certain that there is room for such a story somewhere [wikia.com]

Re:Physicists do anything to get some entanglement (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924703)

Damn, it's already there [wikia.com]

Re:these guys don't get out much? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925179)

so we could have the first humans to experience entanglement within months

I'm guessing the avalanche of crazy whacked out girlfriend stories is about to start...

Yes, and the first story will start out like this, "My girlfriend and I ..." and we'll all stop reading right there.

Re:these guys don't get out much? (2, Funny)

HartDev (1155203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925201)

Not here, I never saw my crazy (ex) girlfriend coming...

Re:these guys don't get out much? (5, Funny)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925555)

Not here, I never saw my crazy (ex) girlfriend coming...

For people who are about to post an immature, snide comment about this being the possible reason for HartDev and his girlfriend's estrangement (ostensibly due to HartDev's ineffectual sexual performance) or how they have personally witnessed the orgasmic pleasure of HartDev's ex-girlfriend (insinuating that they not only were able to locate the ex-girlfriend of a virtually anonymous poster, but have also succeeded in obtaining coitus with her and moreover had satisfied her pure animal lust one warm summer night with the moonlight playing upon her silken hair, her nipples erect on her firm heaving breasts, while every thrust of the throbbing manhood penetrated deep within her quivering quim bringing her ever closer to a screaming climax the likes of which only the mythical consorts of the Greek gods have ever experienced), please take note:

HartDev is blind, you insensitive clods!

Dear Human Race, (1)

Mr. Conrad (1461097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924449)

For any of you who do not follow politics, science wishes to inform you that your eyes are capable of spotting spooky action at a distance. Thank you and good night.

Re:Dear Human Race, (1)

BlackSabbath (118110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925161)

I'm trying to mod you but I can't find the "WTF?!" modifier.

> For any of you who do not follow politics,...

Can somebody please explain this to me? Its Friday afternoon here. After lunch. My brain is not working.

Re:Dear Human Race, (1)

finity (535067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925429)

He's saying that politics == spooky action. Maybe it's a "corruption in government" joke. As in, everyone who follows politics knows that it's easy to spot "spooky action." Kinda clever IMHO.

Well, there you are... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924455)

The EYES have it...

But, will they be HUMAN or remanufactured to spec eyes?

If these eyes become sentry features, then approaching enemies might fear "Hills have eyes"... signs posted around the perimeter...

What could possibly go wrong? They are just eyes. (1)

FingerDemon (638040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924475)

Yes, I'd love to have parts of my body involved with someone else's body parts on a subatomic level with impossible to predict effects. And I would like that body part to be both irreplaceable and in very close proximity to my brain.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? They are just eye (3, Interesting)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924689)

They're just chemicals. If they ever did achieve momentary entanglement, chances are that there would be no way of detecting or knowing such a thing had actually occurred. In the grand scheme of things, one person may register as having seen a tiny, dim flash of light that is identical to the tiny, dim flash of light that the other one saw.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? They are just eye (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924693)

Just this, what if, contrary to all expectations, that human beings cannot be quantum entangled.

keepin it real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924479)

keepin it real frosty

AC keepin slashdot frosty since 1999

This news .... (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924495)

is for NERDS....

And I don't get a lick of it. I started to RTFA but then I started to nod off and drool.

This sounds fascinating... sooooo anyone care to offer an explanation? Pictures are welcome... and metaphor encouraged!

Re:This news .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924791)

When a mommy and daddy really love each other...

Re:This news .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26925255)

You see its like these two cars......

What it'd be like to be entangled: (1)

teopatl (162615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924509)

Scientist 1: "Dude, I totally just got a jones for Chinese food."
Scientist 2: "Whoa, me too!"
Scientist 1: "Freaky!"

Re:What it'd be like to be entangled: (5, Funny)

MentlFlos (7345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924555)

no, that is Freaky action. This is about Spooky action.

Re:What it'd be like to be entangled: (1)

finity (535067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925437)

Scientist 1: "Dude, I totally just got a jones for some X-Files, especially Fox "Spooky" Mulder."
Scientist 2: "Whoa, me too!"
Scientist 1: "Spooky!"

We can hope (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924517)

I'd like to see more research in this direction. It might eventually have implications on the experimental testing of the microtubules-tapping-into-the-quantum-gravity bullshit that Roger Penrose has been peddling as an explanation for how the brain gets intelligence. It might not be great for Penrose's book sales in the long run but it will be good for science, or at least we can hope.

Re:We can hope (4, Informative)

MoellerPlesset2 (1419023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924929)

'Quantum consciousness' and all that is complete and utter bunk.

There are no quantum-entanglement phenomena going on in the body.
To put it in simple terms: It's too warm, and too wet.
Or in a bit more advanced terms: The decoherence times are FAR too short to have any chemical effect, much less a biological one. Almost nobody takes Penrose's ideas seriously, but just for the hell of it, the cosmologist Max Tegmark did the math a number of years ago to prove it.
Here's a link to an article about that paper that was in Science [mit.edu] .

Re:We can hope (2, Informative)

Sheafification (1205046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925563)

That's not to say that there's no promise in there. I'm not really in favor of the idea of quantum consciousness, but it is interesting to think about.

Not that long ago John H. Conway and Simon Kochen proved a theorem they call the "Strong Free Will Theorem" (which improves on past results; hence the "strong") that shows that if the quantum world satisfies a few axioms then the measured response of a particle is not a function of the past state of the universe. I.e. if we have free will then so do elementary particles, in a certain technical sense.

Of course, with the right axioms you can prove anything. But these particular axioms are testable, and so far the evidence seems to support them; in addition to the fact that they are already commonly believed by quantum physicists.

Here's a link [ams.org] to one exposition.

Re:We can hope (4, Informative)

joeyblades (785896) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925571)

>To put it in simple terms: It's too warm, and too wet.

Penrose never claimed that quantum computations were going on in the conscious brain. In fact, he specifically says "non-computational action". What he proposed is that quantum processes in collections of microtubules might manifest macro behaviors at the neuronal level. Tegmark is way off base when he starts ranting about quantum computing and doesn't seem to understand Penrose's theory. As to Tegmark's claims of to rapid decoherence... he doesn't have a clue how hot or how wet or what other factors might be in play at the microtubule level, so really it's just one guy's opinion...

> Almost nobody takes Penrose's ideas seriously...

Well, technically it's Hameroff's theory, but Penrose was a big and influential supporter. However, there are still a few advocates of the idea as evidenced by the large number of books on the subject from Mindell, Walker, Paster, Radin, Rosenblum, Kuttner, Talbot, Stapp, Barrett, Lockwood, Wolberg, Clayton, Stern, Jibu, Yasue, Tuszynski,...(I got tired of typing - I didn't run out of authors)... So "almost nobody" seems a bit of a mischaracterization...

BTW, for the record, I don't personally buy into the Hameroff-Penrose theory of quantum consciousness, but at least I understand it. I wonder if Tegmark ever read "The Emperor's New Mind" or "Shadows Of The Mind"...

Handfuls? (1)

v3lut (123906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924551)

Are these metric handfuls? or nautical?

Re:Handfuls? (1)

XDirtypunkX (1290358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924645)

Empirical handfuls.

Re:Handfuls? (2, Funny)

actionbastard (1206160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924675)

"Are these metric handfuls? or nautical?"

No. They are statute.

Re:Handfuls? (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924933)

The bigger question I have is how they managed to trap all these photons in someone's hand and who counted them all.

Besides, it seems like you could fit a lot of photons in your hand...surely our scientific instruments can detect less than a handful...

Not quite... (4, Informative)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924583)

(That's the ability of entangled photons to influence each other, no matter how far apart they might be.)

That's not what entanglement is. It's knowing "this is currently the same as that" or "this is currently the opposite of that" without knowing what "this" or "that" actually is. There is no "connection" or "influence", just a relation that says knowing what "this" is tells you about what "that" is (until it gets changed by interacting with the environment).

Re:Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924845)

You haven't got a clue what they are talking about, do you?

Re:Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26925531)

Probably more than you do...

Re:Not quite... (4, Informative)

bh_doc (930270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925053)

Emphasis on 'without knowing what "this" or "that" actually is'. Entanglement is "measuring these two things will give related results". Example, you can perform an experiment where you have two photons, which are entangled in their polarisations, and you cannot know beforehand what the results of a measurement of either photon will be. Either photon might turn out to be horizontally polarised (H), or vertically polarised (V), with 50% probability each way. But, the effect of entanglement is that there is a definite relationship between the two, such that if you detect H the other detection will always be V. And vice versa. This is why people often think of it as a "connection" between the two particles, because the result of a measurement of one, which is random, ensures that the measurement of the other is well defined. It's as if the two suddenly know what state each other is in.

Re:Not quite... (4, Interesting)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925163)

Bingo. It's saddening how quantum mechanics is made out to be so much more mysterious and spooky than it really is.

A non-quantum version of entanglement is this: I cut a coin through its side, so I have two pieces, one with the head, and one with the tail side. I put each one and in a separate envelope, and give one envelope to Alice, and the other two Bob.

I separate them by a jillion miles.

Now Alice opens her envelope and sees tails. So she knows Bob must have heads. Wow! So awesome and spooky and mysterious and wonderful! Not! They're not sending information to each other or influencing each other. Alice only has access to the information she *brought* with her when they separated.

And after she sees the half-coin, if she polishes the tail image off and inscribes another image ... no more entanglement! That is, by looking at her half-coin, you no longer are capable of learning what Bob had.

Ditto on the quantum level. When the particles are entangled, it simply means that learning one tells you something about the other ... but influence spread is still limited to the speed of light.

***

Now, with that in mind, can anyone clarify what exactly is meant by this paper? What do human eyes add, and what insight is gained by proposing or performing this experiment?

Re:Not quite... (3, Insightful)

BungaDunga (801391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925385)

The coins-in-envelope model is the same idea as the "hidden variable" theory, no? As I understand it, observations don't support the idea that the photons (or whatever) have a "heads" or "tails" hidden away somewhere that they synchronized when they were together- the probabilities are wrong.

Re:Not quite... (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925431)

The coins-in-envelope model is the same idea as the "hidden variable" theory, no? As I understand it, observations don't support the idea that the photons (or whatever) have a "heads" or "tails" hidden away somewhere that they synchronized when they were together- the probabilities are wrong.

No, the hidden variable theory is independent of explanation I gave. I didn't intend for the analogy to carry over so far to claim that "learning more information can increase your knowledge beyond probability assignment of the outcomes", which is what the hidden variable theory says. My point was just that entanglement of the particles means that -- until the entanglement is broken -- learning one tells you about the other, if only in a probabilistic sense. It is *not* a continual interaction that jumps the gap between the particles instantly.

(And there is no such thing as a particle really, just a factorisable component of the amplitude distribution, blah blah blah...)

Re:Not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26925443)

I don't think that your complaint is well-founded. The verb "influence" seems to be a good choice, a.k.a what a top quantum physicist would choose if he was forced to pick only one verb.

In my book "influence" means "change at least something about the other photon". It doesn't mean that you have full control over the other photon.

So feel free to post your rant when someone claims faster-than-light information transfer, but not when he says "influence".

not quite a first, guys (3, Interesting)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924659)

We live in the physical world and experience entanglement all the time. Physics doesn't stop outside the lab.

That's a cute gimmick, but that's all it is.

Re:not quite a first, guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924785)

I'm a virgin, you insensitive clod!

Re:not quite a first, guys (5, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924881)

We live in the physical world and experience entanglement all the time

Absolutely. This is just a PR stunt, and very bad science if you think that science involves not misleading naive people for the purposes of PR.

The claim that the two human observers would be entangled is problematic at best. Not only wouldn't any entanglement last longer than the coherence time of a human being (~10^27 particles in thermal equilibrium at 310 K!), it is difficult to understand how the researchers would fail to notice that in some reference frames one observer would detect their photons quite a bit sooner than the other observer. In those frames the entanglement of the observation systems never happens, which is why sensible people don't talk about such things.

The very notion of assigning "an instant" to an "event" that is by its nature nonlocal is simply incoherent. This is what makes the whole business spooky: it cannot be described using the relativistic physics that necessarily describes the world of human experience.

Re:not quite a first, guys (1)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925073)

well said.. mod this up please..

Re:not quite a first, guys (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925495)

Not only wouldn't any entanglement last longer than the coherence time of a human being (~10^27 particles in thermal equilibrium at 310 K!), it is difficult to understand how the researchers would fail to notice that in some reference frames one observer would detect their photons quite a bit sooner than the other observer.

Decoherence isn't a button that resets all entanglements at once. Otherwise, the experiment wouldn't work at all. It should be possible for the coherence time of the experiment to be much longer than the coherence time of the human brain. All you would need to do is insure that there's no entanglement between the quantum teleportation and the internal state of the human observer.

huh? Wha? (2, Funny)

dfm3 (830843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924773)

I know I'm not the only one who has no idea what this article is about. And yes, I read TFA. Just one link or two is all I'm asking for. I know this is News for Nerds, but the subject matter seems just a tad bit obscure.

I know, I know, I should do a Google search. Problem is, I suspect that I'd have to construct my search queries very carefully, as I worry about what kind of results I'd get...

Entanglement explainable by holographic universe? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924777)

Would the principle of entanglement be explainable by the holograhic universe theory?

If a hologram is essentially wavefronts - is it possible that these can become in phase, or sync, or somehow related?

It seems like this might explain:

- Why entanglement is difficult to achieve and not even fully understood how to reproduce consistently.

- Why electrons seemingly at random, or with time, or when we know they are "disturbed", will disentangle. Disturbing one wavefront will cause a knock-on effect (literally) on the wavefront it's in phase with, causing it to take on an opposite property.

- Why there's an inverse relationship between accuracy of measurement of speed and location - the more you interact with the wavefront, the more uncertain it becomes. Also why pinpointing the exact location of a particle makes it seem like its speed is impossible to measure (it seems to be able to move in any direction at any speed, because we're unable to predict how the causality of interaction of the parts of the hologram works). If you pinpoint its exact speed, then knowing its location is really knowing the point it moved away from an instant ago and the point it will move to, and that would also take predicting the interaction of the hologram wavefronts, which we can't do and so seems random.

- The whole 'spooky action at a distance' - because there actually is no distance. Once the waves interact in such a way that disturbing one causes it to take on form X, and the in-phase wave to take on the opposite form, they are really "at the same location" until they are disturbed.

If this IS the case, it should have some interesting implications - it might be possible one day to disturb an electron in such a way that the one on your side ALWAYS takes on property X, leading to transmission of information faster than light.

Yeouch. (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924787)

This is getting closer to a novel by Greg Egan called Quarantine, in which a girl escapes from a mental institution. How she escaped, nobody knows. Cameras show nothing. Security doors show no logs. The plastic sheet used for the window shows no anomalies of breaking and fixing.

Turns out her brain was "broken" in a most unusual sense: she cannot collapse her own view. Instead, her multiple worlds (from the MWI) combine and create a non-collapsed lifeform. All this comes about in finding a created device that selectively prevents the collapse, but allows the user to change it at will.

 

Re:Yeouch. (2, Informative)

horati0 (249977) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925067)

Thanks a lot, Ruiny McRuiner!

ESP = Quantum entanglement (1)

Renegade Iconoclast (1415775) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924797)

It may sound strange, but I've been doing my own garage experiments around these lines. We know that lots of particles are "entangled" all of the time. It seems to me to be a data storage mechanism. If the particles are all just different representations of an underlying particle, it's a way of representing a lot more than is actually "real".

I'm very interested in the results of this experiment, because, in a real way, it's human observers realizing the "same" thing, at the "same" time, which is what I have come to realize is the phenomenon known as ESP.

I don't think there's any such thing as reading another person's thoughts, but I can propose a real quantum and biological mechanism for people to think along the same lines, simultaneously, and it even has implications for neural AIs, which is what I'm working on.

I don't mind giving away my brilliant idea, because I figure someone else probably thought of it simultaneously, and plus, the devil is in the details, ain't it?

Re:ESP = Quantum entanglement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26924857)

Agreed, the entanglement is a data storage mechanism. Once an observer decodes the message it's like decompressing the entanglement sort of like a .zip archive into information. It's possible for two observers to witness the decompression at the same time, as it only takes one observer to do the decompression of that information. Knowing how that that particular observation resulted in the so called "gzip -d" command of reality is the key here.

It's sort of dimensional frequency that gets tuned in during observation/decompression of a compressed entanglement state, results vary hugely with different minds I have noticed in my experiments. Two alike minds will see the same thing, two different minds will not. This depends of the frequency the brain processes at. There is different speeds of thought, and something as simple as a cup of coffee can change frequency speed, hence reality observation can fluctuate with certain states of mind.

Why 2 people? (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924925)

I have 2 eyes, why not have 2 beams shoot into both eyes at the same time at different spots looking at a white background, or black background to detect?

Why do two people need to agree when one well educated physicist can agree with themselves? (cause all the best ones are crazy, oh wait, those are mathematicians)

c.f. "Stellerator: A Quantum Intimacy Machine" (1)

pfft (23845) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924991)

See this [quantumtantra.com] which achives the same goal using nothing more sophisticated than a cardboard tube. Quote:

"A speculative venture I call 'quantum tantra' aims to change all that. By taking advantage of the theoretical quantum inseparability of observer and observed, quantum tantra seeks a more direct unmediated union with nature than conventional measurements can provide. Perhaps such union will take place as a communion of human minds with heretofore undetectable minds inside inanimate objects." ...

Re:c.f. "Stellerator: A Quantum Intimacy Machine" (1)

finity (535067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925463)

Very interesting...

Many eyes more sensitive than humans. (3, Informative)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 5 years ago | (#26924999)

I would have thought they would be experimenting with cats, which Schrodinger demonstrated have strange quantum properties.

Hey we need more funding!!! (1)

SpazmodeusG (1334705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925017)

Doing experiments in a predictable and objective way using scientific instruments isn't allowing us to reveal anything new.
Instead we need to introduce a subjective element so that we can find whatever we want to find.

Are they for real? Its not April 1st yet... (4, Insightful)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925231)

Ok, so lets assume that you can get a burst of 'entangled' photons into your eye and someone else's eye at the same time. And the point is? Last time I checked the human eye was incapable of determining anything about a photon except whether it was received or not, and the color if in sufficient quantity for a long enough period of time. Polarization? Not a chance. So how would you know its been polarized the same as a photon that someone else received? You can't even ask them because they will be just as clueless as you. Of course they might just lie to you to play a joke. Its too early to be April 1st, so why are the 'scientists' saying all this?

the most exact apparatus... (1)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925391)

"The human being himself, to the extent that he makes sound use of his senses, is the most exact physical apparatus that can exist." (Goethe, Scientific Studies)

Observers would not become entangled (2, Insightful)

joeyblades (785896) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925399)

> the two human observers involved in the test would become entangled...

Not really. By definition, once "observed" the photons cease to be entangled (the wavefunction collapses)- and by "observed" we mean that one or the other photon is sensed by a rod or cone in one of the observers' eyes.

Stop it! (1)

aqk (844307) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925519)

Stop it, please.
This crazy talk about spookiness and entaglements is making me nervous.

.

I already have enough entanglement (1)

CptNerd (455084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26925521)

I live in the DC metro area, I already have all the entanglement anyone needs, just getting to work every day. Anyone who wants to research "strange matter" just needs to examine the so-called brains of Beltway drivers.
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