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A Link Between Wormholes and Quantum Entanglement

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the and-maybe-a-trip-to-the-gamma-quadrant dept.

Science 186

sciencehabit writes "Theoretical physicists have forged a connection between the concept of entanglement — itself a mysterious quantum mechanical connection between two widely separated particles — and that of a wormhole — a hypothetical connection between black holes that serves as a shortcut through space (first abstract, second abstract). The insight could help physicists reconcile quantum mechanics and Einstein's general theory of relativity, perhaps the grandest goal in theoretical physics."

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So? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45589773)

So?

This is correct (0)

techtech (2016646) | about 10 months ago | (#45589805)

This is the direction. Thanks.

Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1, Interesting)

HateBreeder (656491) | about 10 months ago | (#45589845)

I am not a physicist.

But I keep hearing that there is actually nothing mysterious about entanglement at all... Something along the lines of:

You post 2 envelopes containing cards in opposite directions, one with a printed letter A, the other card with the letter B.

At one destination, the envelope is opened to reveal the letter A. ... then through some mysterious quantum mechanical connection.... you know that the envelope at the remote destination contains the letter B.

And that's about all there is to entanglement....

Can any physicist confirm?

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45589927)

I can confirm that it is weirder than that.

it's like that and that's the way it is (2)

goombah99 (560566) | about 10 months ago | (#45591983)

To expand on your reply, here's a different letter game.

you mail two letters with magic XY cards inside. When the first letter is sliced open the probability it shows and X or a Y is equal. If the first letter is sliced open left to right then the other letter will match the contents of this letter. If you open it right to left then the other letter will show the opposite letter.

There's no way the contents of the letters can predetermine the outcome. (i.e. No hidden variables can explain all the possible outcomes). Notice also that this can't be used to transmit information faster than the speed of light. But by doing the experiment we can confirm that the choice of which way to slice changed the outcome of the remote envelope.

Another way to think about QM and Waves (4, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | about 10 months ago | (#45592083)

Something that's a little bothersome is that when you are designing a video game that portrays a classical world, the physical limits of the computer end up imposing many of the physical laws we are used to.

for example, consider diffraction limited resolution. Basically the further away something is, the less resolved it becomes. The bigger the eye or telescope you look through the more you can resolve at a distance. In the real world we call this diffraction limited resolution. In a computer game we call it pixels, and the bigger the monitor (in pixels) the better the resolution.

To object oriented variables cannot simultaneously know each other's state. One of them has to be updated first. There's a finite limit on how fast the computer can alter the memory locations and it can't change both at the same time. So there's a kind of speed of light limit on how fast the world can change. If were doing this on distributed architectures or iterating serially over the objects then that limit actually shows up in the connectivity of objects with distance: nearer objects can influence each other sooner than remote objects.

Finally, there is an exception to that rule. Two objects can communicate instantly if they share the same class variables. This is spooky action at a distance. While it's often claimed that quantum mechanics does not allow hidden variable theories , this is a mis-interpretation of Bell's theorem. In fact it only disallows local hidden variable theories. Global hidden variable theories are what QM says do exist. That's exactly how you get entanglement.

So QM emerges because of the class variables, diffraction emerges because of memory limits and the speed of light comes out from serial processing at the CPU or memory access level.

Thus you can't actually create a simmulation of reality that didn't have the characteristics of our weird world even if you wanted to.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

bigfinger76 (2923613) | about 10 months ago | (#45589957)

I believe Einstein thought that the state was predetermined, much like you described. We've since found that he was wrong. But I ain't no physicist....

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (5, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | about 10 months ago | (#45589987)

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. In the scenario you're describing, there is hidden information inside the envelopes, as the direction of the cards has already been determined. The quantum mechanical analog is this is so-called "hidden variables", aspects of the state of a system that we simply can't see. But experiments have ruled out [wikipedia.org] this possibility, so quantum mechanics is actually much weirder than that.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

quax (19371) | about 10 months ago | (#45590019)

Please moderate this up, it's the correct answer (and yes, I hold a physics degree).

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 10 months ago | (#45590599)

I'm not a physicist, but I've played Portal and Portal 2, and I also concur. I plan to play Quantum Conundrum tonight, to make more detailed observations of the phenomenon. I will publish my findings.

My PhD is in Literary Theory, so I can likewise confirm the "weirder than that" part, because that was kinda my specialty.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591087)

that made milk come out my nose... and I'm not even drinking milk.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (3, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | about 10 months ago | (#45591397)

that made milk come out my nose... and I'm not even drinking milk.

That seems a good example of entanglement (quantum or not) weirdness.

Only ruled out local hidden variables. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591385)

Please moderate this up, it's the correct answer (and yes, I hold a physics degree).

Get a refund. They've only ruled out local hidden variables (which granted does apply to the envelope analogy). Non-local variables may still be needed to explain Quantum Mechanics. It wouldn't surprise me if it was a feature of any unified theory.

Re:Only ruled out local hidden variables. (1)

quax (19371) | about 10 months ago | (#45591429)

This was an answer to the envelope example, and my intent was mostly to not have this stand unrefuted at a certain filter level.

I am well aware that non-local hidden variables are not ruled out, nor do I find this idea particularly unattractive. But if they were in play QM would still be plenty strange.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590071)

Alternatively, superdeterminism.

But scientists HATE that because it raises questions about the validity of science - surely the universe can't be like that?

Of course, scientists also felt uneasy about rejecting the idea that FSM does not play dice.- surely the universe can't be like that?

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1, Informative)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#45590357)

Alternatively, superdeterminism.

Well, it doesn't match what we actually observe. And I'm not discounting here that there could be the possibility of an observer, say one external to our universe, for who superdeterminism is observed and for which there could be local hidden variables. But we're not in that chair and so that theory would not apply to us.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | about 10 months ago | (#45591331)

Maybe they just forgot to declare the random number object as static?

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591599)

Both superdeterminism and many-worlds are both local theories that do not contradict Bell's Inequality, because they deny counterfactual definiteness.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590859)

Clarification: only local hidden variable theories have been ruled out. Non-local hidden variable theories have not, even though they are unpopular.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

blue trane (110704) | about 10 months ago | (#45590931)

Non-locality is at least as weird.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591401)

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. In the scenario you're describing, there is hidden information inside the envelopes, as the direction of the cards has already been determined. The quantum mechanical analog is this is so-called "hidden variables", aspects of the state of a system that we simply can't see. But experiments have ruled out [wikipedia.org] this possibility, so quantum mechanics is actually much weirder than that.

They've only ruled out local hidden variables (which granted does apply to the envelope analogy). Non-local variables may still be needed to explain Quantum Mechanics. It wouldn't surprise me if it was a feature of any unified theory.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (5, Interesting)

dltaylor (7510) | about 10 months ago | (#45590035)

That's too simplified (as is this reply).

It is not that one is A and the other B when posted; rather that they are each an AB, which, when revealed, resolves to an A or B. That resolution then also resolves the other, but, that information must be communicated "faster than light", which is currently not supposed to be possible (if FTL information transfer really worked, all sorts of wierd stuff ensues, incuding the possible destruction of the universe).

By proposing a sort of "worm hole" which, in effect, creates a single particle string with just the endpoints noticable by us as distinct particles, the entangled endpoint-tunnel-endpoint can transfer information outside the four-dimensional universe' ligh-speed limitation.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (2)

jafac (1449) | about 10 months ago | (#45590413)

The key here, is "resolves to".

That phrase means: "when we're trying to compute the state (A or B), we can't work out the formula until it arrives. (because we don't have enough information) - and when they arrive, bam! do the math, and the result is, A or B."

Math works that way. It's a model for a physical process in nature. The actual mechanism for that physical process? We don't know. And all theories are impossible. (involve FTL travel).

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | about 10 months ago | (#45590485)

I'm 100 percent not a physicist but I thought it wasn't really that the state is determined at the destination, but upon observation. So if some being outside of normal space/time/whatever were to peek into the envelope in transit then the state gets set right then.

I'm Nnot sure all theories are impossible; the right one just hasn't been proven yet :)

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590687)

And all theories are impossible. (involve FTL travel).

That doesn't make them impossible, because they involve FTL actions in a way such that they don't break causality, or allow communication of information, or movement of mass.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about 10 months ago | (#45591443)

> And all theories are impossible.
Incorrect. If it the SAME photon being effected then that would explain Einstein's "Spooky Action at a Distance"

> (involve FTL travel).
That is a possibility; no one (yet) is able to confirm or deny that.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591797)

What is the difference between calling it "the same photon" and it being a system wavefunction? You can absorb one and continue to do things with the other one, although maybe you want to argue that it is only absorbing part of the one photon. I'm not sure if what you are suggesting is any different than how quantum mechanics already treats systems, other than wonkier wording. Doesn't change the spooky action at a distance though, as actions performed on one end (like measuring the polarization of the photon in certain ways) will have effects on the other half at a different place ,whether it is two different parts of "a single photon" wavefunction or two different parts of a wavefunction describing the system.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590961)

Ok, so we can't determine state by direct measurement.
How about this - is there a way to entangle such that A, B, and C are entangled, A can be observed, and B can be used to restore the entangled state of A? C would be used to restore B and the process would continue. A, B, and C would be used to represent the same stream of information.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591111)

You can't copy the quantum state of an unknown system. If you entangle a pair, changes to one half of the pair will uncontrollably change the state of the other half and/or break entanglement. The only schemes for transferring a state involve the destruction of the original (e.g. quantum teleportation), because you need a specific kind of measurement to finish the transfer.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about 10 months ago | (#45591105)

It is not that one is A and the other B when posted; rather that they are each an AB, which, when revealed, resolves to an A or B.

So if A is a live cat and B is a dead cat, then until resolved, both letters contain a cat which is both dead AND alive! Now, if anyone can give me Shroedingers address...! :)

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591127)

No FTL violation needed, we just need to understand how to manufacture tesseracts a bit better in order to make constructive use of their purposely shortened extra dimension(s). Just because it's not something readily observable in a common locality of relative space, it doesn't mean that property isn't there.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590053)

A more accurate analogy is:

You post 2 envelopes containing cards in opposite directions, both blank.

At one destination, the envelope is opened and the letter A printed on it. ... then through some mysterious quantum mechanical connection.... the envelope at the remote destination is opened and contains a card printed with the letter A.

good call (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45590411)

see, ^^^this is how you talk about physics in common language!

how many times do we scientists alienate people by trying to sound smart instead of making a connection to **their** a priori knowledge?

Re:good call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590729)

Except this example directly drives one of the bigger misconceptions about quantum entanglement: that you can chose what outcome you get at one end and force a particular outcome at the other end. This is one of the reasons people think it obviously leads to faster than light communication, because they think, "If the results are always the same or opposite, I just pick one to communicate a 0 and the other a 1, etc."

You might be slightly better off describing it like a Polaroid that when you shake it displays a specific letter (assuming non--hipster kids know what those are) , because you don't get to chose what it develops into. Although it misses a big part of entanglement still, where there are manipulations you can apply to one end, that do cause changes to both ends, but not in a way that is measurable at one end only.

tachyonic anti-telephone (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45591187)

yes, it indeed **does** mean that, if *non-locally* entangled, we could have **faster than light communications**

maybe you're the one who should read up...the layman has one up on you using their logic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachyonic_antitelephone [wikipedia.org]

read it and weep...you're wrong and the layman was right

Re:tachyonic anti-telephone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591353)

That seems completely unrelated to the parent post. I said nothing about FTL in general, only that people falsely draw the conclusion that quantum entanglement leads to a trivial FTL communication of classical information. Even if someone develops a complicated scheme to do so, that is not a counter point to what I said. Or are you trying to imply that quantum entanglement does imply a trivial FTL communication scheme? Quite a bit has been written about how that doesn't work, and with a bit of math background, it can be explained quite succinctly.

Anyway, the previous post was not making a point about FRL in general, but that when you make a measurement or perform other actions, you don't get to chose which outcome you get while maintaining the entanglement. Someone can't just say, "I decide to print an A on the paper," and have a B appear on the other piece of paper. There is an important point that whatever you do to one end, while it can change the system as a whole, still eaves both ends looking the same until you attempt to correlate the results from both ends. You don't get to choose if you get an A or B, preventing you from sending message to a person with the other piece of paper by having them watch for an A or B.

they have reason to think that (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45591715)

this is about a condescending phrase you tossed off about laymen and how analogies give them wild notions...

This is one of the reasons people think it obviously leads to faster than light communication, because they think, "If the results are always the same or opposite, I just pick one to communicate a 0 and the other a 1, etc."

and that is ***exactly*** how the tachyon anti-telephone works

someone with a fucking PhD saw the same behavior as the layman, and made a theoretical faster-than-light telephone design based on it

bottom line is that you're wrong in saying that analogies are bad because they give laymen wild ideas...in fact they have **pretty fucking cool ideas**

Re:they have reason to think that (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591825)

and that is ***exactly*** how the tachyon anti-telephone works

But that is not how quantum entanglement works.

You still have not said anything about quantum entanglement being used for faster than light communication, and have gone off on an unrelated direction. Saying quantum entanglement does not allow faster than light communication, as is derived from some simple math, is not the same as saying FTL is impossible in general. If someone was trying to talk about the equal transit time fallacy of how people commonly talk about how airplane wings work, and you try to counter with, "But airplanes exist!" You're completely missing the point, and aren't doing anything to help with the issue that one particular analogy teaches more wrong than right.

And are we supposed to teach things in general incorrectly because it might inspire people? Should we start teach the four elements as the current understanding in physics class because it might inspire someone's imagination? And I am not saying we shouldn't teach classical and previous ideas, they are actually quite useful in a physics class, but a distinction is made between failed ideas and current ideas.

saying that analogies are bad

I didn't say analogies are bad, I sad that particular analogy is bad.

they reason think that (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45591979)

If someone was trying to talk about the equal transit time fallacy of how people commonly talk about how airplane wings work, and you try to counter with, "But airplanes exist!" You're completely missing the point, and aren't doing anything to help with the issue that one particular analogy teaches more wrong than right.

that's like saying a person who makes a particular analogy that describes a real behavior theorized in reality is making harmful assumptions because your myopic understanding of physics terms and how they are used in conversation compared to in specific literature triggers your egotistical need to use jargon and your knowledge of the history of a certain research to counter updated understandings of how something like non-local quantum entangled particles are theorized to behave and thereby insult a layman AC who actually had the right idea all along

Re:they have reason to think that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45592135)

Read your own article, the whole point of the tachyon anti-telephone is that according to our current understanding, it is not possible. You make a great example of why honest "professionals" don't usually like to talk to "lay people" about their profession unless there's money involved. The more marketing driven professionals took note that "tachyon anti-telephone" wiped out all your memories of "not possible" and makes you want to buy into their popularized media, without even having to lie to you and lose credibility with their peers, cause you'll do that all by yourself.

Re:good call (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45592261)

how many times do we scientists alienate people by trying to sound smart instead of making a connection to **their** a priori knowledge?

I don't know how many do that, but I wouldn't be surprised when those that spend the time to discuss and propose improved analogies get chewed out by some arsehole. I am sure telling scientist that do try to communicate with people to piss off will encourage dialogue.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (5, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | about 10 months ago | (#45590069)

The observation effects the outcome. So in your example, the envelopes were sent with blank pieces of paper. You use scissors to open one letter, resulting in a nice snowflake design on the piece of paper. The other paper is now a dead cat, poisoned by the vial broken by your hubris.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#45590551)

I was about to complain about using "effects" instead of "affects", but I believe "effects" (brings about) actually works here, too.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591319)

OK, spooky action at a distance, we already knew that (probably).

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590113)

The mystery comes in at propagation of information. No matter how far the entangled particles are, the information about their state change is near instantaneous. If worm holes are involved it would certainly solve that problem but it's only moving the question on to how the wormholes can propagate information that fast. Using the usual explanation that a wormhole acts as a tunnel between two different positions in space-time is like describing a pot of boiling water as doing so because it's hot. Sure the concept is correct but it doesn't explain why the water is boiling like that, for that explanation you have to dive into what 'hot' is.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590933)

The mystery comes in at propagation of information. No matter how far the entangled particles are, the information about their state change is near instantaneous.

There is no "propagation" of "information" occurring in entanglement.

1. Nothing is propagating thru a medium.
2. No information is being conveyed.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (5, Interesting)

Uecker (1842596) | about 10 months ago | (#45590127)

No it is much more interesting. What you describe is just classical entanglement. Quantum entanglement is more interesting, because you can do things you can't do classically: To see this, try to solve this riddle: A team of three persons is brought to the city of Zuerich and given the following challenge: They are allowed to discuss and then they will be brought to Paris, Rom, and Berlin, an either all of them will be shown a card with an X on it, or else, only one of them will be shown a card with an X and the other two of them will be shown a card with a Y. Each of them will answer with '-1' or '1', but they are not allowed to communicate by phone (or in any other way). If they have been shown three Xs, the product of all answers must be '1'. Else, the product of the answers must be '-1'. If the product of the answer is wrong, they will get killed (because good riddles have to be gruesome). What strategy does allow them to survive this challenge with certainty? Hint: Only quantum physicists can do this.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590447)

I think the real riddle here is to parse your riddle.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

Uecker (1842596) | about 10 months ago | (#45591849)

My apologies. But if you try, you might actually learn something which apparently only very few people understand: Why QM is weird.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

peragrin (659227) | about 10 months ago | (#45590163)

a couple of others explained it closer to physics but lets take your example and run with it.

You have two cards one with an A the other with a B .
You insert each card into an envelope.
You mail each in separate directions.
at one destination you open to envelope and you have an A face up and facing towards you.
You know that there is a B in the other evenlope but you don't know which way the card is facing in regards to opening the even lope.(facing you, upside down, backwards or some combination of those traits.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590249)

Close... but it does get a bit weirder.

You open the envelope and see letter A in it, and conclude that letter B is in the remote envelope. Then, you close your envelope and re-open it, and find letter B in it - which means letter A is in the remote envelope.

If you are on the phone with the person who has the remote envelope, you will also discover that sometimes when both of you open the envelopes at the same time occasionally you both get letter A. In that case, what happened to the letter B? And how can letter A be in two places at once?

non-physicist non-confirmation (0)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45590391)

Can any physicist confirm?

call me cynical, but knowing academics (and those who pose as such) I'm sure that no matter how good your analogy is, they will take the areas where the analogy fails and tell you that you are wrong because of it...

all analogies have huge holes...the Scrodinger Cat analogy for example...

nitpicks aside, I agree that the idea that "Quantum" behavior is somehow mysterious, opaque and difficult for laymen to understand is bound in failings in academia (too much competition, not enough money).

to TFA, I myself came here to say that I honestly thought a link between "entanglement" and wormholes had already been established and was accepted.

I honestly feel like the problem is NOT with you, a layman, or your analogy, which is fine for understanding the concept of **non-locality** [wikipedia.org] which is core to undrestanding what makes quantum physics "quantum"

Academia has folded in on itself because of Lord of the Flies like competition. Just recently /. had an article on it...comparing getting Tenure to becoming a drug lord [slashdot.org] >

My experience in CS and IT Engineering has shown the same.

People must stake their *whole careers* on overly specific theories that are not their own...almost no PhD's, even in physics increasingly, do actual **new research** in the best areas. Because of the competition, older acadmecs see it as part of their job to entrench themselves and the theories **they** have devoted themselves into the DNA of the org.

It's how MBA types work...but it has spread to academia. Everyone wants to put their thumb in the big piece of cake to keep it for themselves.

What I'm saying is, your analogy is just fine, and its the fault of academia that the published research hasn't caught up with even **common understanding**

Re:non-physicist non-confirmation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590793)

I feel sorry for the fields of CS and IT Engineering then. I don't know anyone who go their PhD without doing new research, with about the worst you could say being it was menial or lacks general implications. I also know a large number of coworkers who put considerable effort in outreach, both related and unrelated to their particular research. This ranges from building demos so people can see and play with things first hand to teaching free seminars and courses on things.

I'm not even sure how it makes sense that keep people dumbfounded by quantum mechanics would help academics. It is much harder to sell something or get people to appreciate your work if they don't understand it. I've seen firsthand how people are more supportive of work they understand better, and are more willing to support funding for such work. And understanding the basic principles of quantum mechanics, or even everything covered in the undergrad and graduate level intro courses on the material, is a long way from the experience needed to compete in research in related fields. So helping people understand that is in no way a threat to their jobs. It is more of a threat to pseudoscience/new age scams that re-purpose words from quantum mechanics if anything.

I do agree that it is a failing of researchers to not come up with better analogies. But that doesn't mean all analogies and their holes are equal. Unfortunately, some common analogies don't make it clear what is actually the hole, and instead teach the hole as much as, if not more, than the actual principle trying to be conveyed. The result is only confusion when people are told they are wrong, even though their logic may be sound, but because they're premises were wrong to begin with due to faulty analogies.

it spans all disciplines (0)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45591169)

I feel sorry for the fields of CS and IT Engineering then.

ugh...**more** Lord of the Flies academia pissing-contest bullshit!

this problem spans disciplines...I commented based on my experience and I **assumed** a level of knowledge on my /. readers...I assumed they'd know that typically CS and especially engineering tend to be immune to this bullshit....

that's the problem...

theoretical physics (thanks Cambridge) and the engineering disciplines are becomming as bad as a fucking mail order Literature PhD

just because you know people who dont do this doesn't disprove my point, in fact, from reading your comment it seems you agree with the core of my criticism

why not just say you agree? why start off perpetuating the same pointeless academia pissing contest crap you admit is a problem???

Re:it spans all disciplines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591325)

commented based on my experience and I **assumed** a level of knowledge on my /. readers

As the AC that responded, I took what you said at face value, and assumed what you said is accurate of the CS and IT engineering fields. It quite clearly conflicts with what I've seen in astronomy, physics and electrical engineering fields. So either I give you the benefit of the doubt, and take your description to be accurate meaning those fields have bigger issues, or I assume that most fields are roughly the same, and then that means your perspective is out of whack. I choose in the previous post to assume you had some level of knowledge too.

And I don't see how it is some pissing contest or analogous to Lord of the Flies. How does seeing problems in another field help me in physics? If CS, or any other useful field has bigger issues, that would suggest it should get more resources to fix those issues. And CS and IT are much more relevant to most businesses and many people's daily lives than theoretical physics. Am I supposed to treat people as being so naive that I should expect problems with CS will make people not spend money on computers and related work and instead spend more on physics?

theoretical physics (thanks Cambridge) and the engineering disciplines are becomming as bad as a fucking mail order Literature PhD

I've seen nothing like this. Just as you say knowing a few counterexample people doesn't make a point, neither does knowing of a few that find the easy street on their PhD. The vast majority on the other hand, I have not seen this with my former fellow students, coworkers, or current students. While there is a need to always be vigilant for abuses of the system, your statement is such an exaggeration, your view is either disconnected from reality, or has so much misplaced hyperbole to be meaningless.

Also, when I say I know some coworkers, I'm not talking about the one or two guys I know. More than half of dozens of people I interact with daily in the physics department I work in have been involved in physics outreach projects. There are additionally many more outside of that circle in the department, some of which I only know because I see that regularly at such events. The top reason I see for people not getting involved are either because they are involved with something else and don't want to give up their free time, or because they are lazy. That is a long ways away from saying they doing so because it helps their career or from a need to be entrenched.

why not just say you agree? why start off perpetuating the same pointeless academia pissing contest crap you admit is a problem???

We seem to agree on one starting point, that people working on the details of a theory are large part responsible for how it is communicated. But that agreement ends rather quickly, and diverges even more in your reply. You seem to almost be borderline conspiracy theory about it, thinking it is the result of everyone being cut throat. At least from many years in the physics research community, I see the problem as part apathy, and part being a really hard problem. In many cases, it is not a problem because it is purposely ignored or rejected as important, but despite massive effort to try and solve or improve. And this seems like a situation where a fundamental misunderstanding of the source of the problem has a big impact on what you would do to try and solve it.

high off your own supply (0)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45591757)

you're being unreasonable...

It quite clearly conflicts with what I've seen in astronomy, physics and electrical engineering fields. So either I give you the benefit of the doubt, and take your description to be accurate meaning those fields have bigger issues, or I assume that most fields are roughly the same, and then that means your perspective is out of whack.

Or, your perception could be wrong!

Or, your collegues and students don't naturally talk to you, a seasoned professor, about the problems from seasoned professors!

It is clear you have already decided how you think about this, as most professors typically do, and are just competing with yourself to see if you can rhetorically "put me in my place"

You are part of the problem, even if it is in a small way.

Re:high off your own supply (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591843)

Who said I was a professor? For better or worse, you can work for decades in academia now without being tenure track or even in a teaching position. And while there is plenty of bitching and whining about professors and other positions in academia (while some may be afraid to saying thing, quite a few people are not) it doesn't align with what you're saying here. It sounds more like you took bits and pieces of actual issues and complaints, and remolded way out of context or applied them toward things with no connection.

then what makes you qualified... (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 10 months ago | (#45592009)

to speak on this topic if you don't have experience as an admin or teaching professor or researcher?

have you been a lab tech for 10 years?

either you are some kind of prof., be it adjunct, post-doc, research only, teaching, admin, etc or you've just been spitballing bullshit about academia this whole time from your imagination

either way...you just backtracked completely then tried to make a deformed version of the point you were trying to make before...

Re:it spans all disciplines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45592007)

"theoretical physics (thanks Cambridge) and the engineering disciplines are becomming as bad as a fucking mail order Literature PhD"

For someone complaining about pissing contests in academia, you have no problem pissing on literature majors...

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590571)

If you take the time to work through this it's all quite understandable.

http://lesswrong.com/lw/r6/an_intuitive_explanation_of_quantum_mechanics/

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (2)

Narcocide (102829) | about 10 months ago | (#45591195)

Note: I am not a physicist.

Analyzing conflicting reports from other physicists on the true nature of Quantum Entanglement, I can confirm for you that a good percentage of them really want it to be this simple, and for nothing "spooky" to be happening at a distance, and will just about always fucking wig out on you if you point out the other physicists' views that it is in fact much weirder than that, and spooky stuff IS in fact happening at a distance.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (4, Interesting)

CTachyon (412849) | about 10 months ago | (#45591269)

I am not a physicist.

But I keep hearing that there is actually nothing mysterious about entanglement at all... Something along the lines of:

You post 2 envelopes containing cards in opposite directions, one with a printed letter A, the other card with the letter B.

At one destination, the envelope is opened to reveal the letter A. ... then through some mysterious quantum mechanical connection.... you know that the envelope at the remote destination contains the letter B.

And that's about all there is to entanglement....

Can any physicist confirm?

I'm not a physicist, just a well-read layman, but...

It is more mysterious than that, but if you go with the Many Worlds interpretation it's not much more mysterious.

Basically, if you entangle letters A and B and send them in opposite directions, you're really creating two universes corresponding to the two possibilities: universe P (A here, B there) and universe Q (B here, A there). If you open the envelope to reveal A, for instance, then that copy of you in universe P now knows they exists in universe P, and likewise for B and Q. But unlike in classical physics, universe P is not completely separated from universe Q. P and Q still exist as a single mathematical object, P-plus-Q, and you can manipulate that mathematical object in ways that don't make sense from a classical standpoint.

Basically, it all comes down to one small thing with big consequences. The real world is NOT described by classical probability (real numbers in the range [0,1]). Instead, the real world is described by quantum probability [scottaaronson.com] (complex numbers obeying Re[x]^2 + Im[x]^2 = 1).

As it turns out, "system P-plus-Q has a 50% chance of P and a 50% chance of Q" is really saying "system P-plus-Q lies at a 45deg angle between the P axis and the Q axis". Starting from P-plus-Q, you can rotate 45deg in one direction to get orthogonal P (A always here), or you can rotate 45deg in the opposite direction to get orthogonal Q (B always here), thus deleting the history of whether A or B was "originally" here. (If P and Q were independent universes, this would decrease entropy and thus break the laws of physics.) Even more counterintuitively, you can even rotate P-plus-Q by 15deg to get a 75% chance A is here and a 25% chance B is here (or vice versa, depending on which quadrant the starting angle was in). Circular rotations in 2-dimensional probability space are the thing that makes quantum probability different from classical probability, and thus the thing that makes quantum physics from classical physics.

Classically, A is either definitely here or definitely there, and until we open the envelope and look we are merely ignorant of which is the case. Classical physics is time-symmetric, and it therefore forbids randomness from being created or destroyed; classical probability actually measures ignorance of starting conditions. In a classical world obeying classical rules, you can't start from "50% A-here, 50% B-here" and transform it into "75% A-here, 25% B-here" without cheating. The required operation would be "flip a coin; if B is here and the coin lands heads, swap envelopes", and you can't carry that out without opening the envelope to check if B is here or not. Quantum physics is also time-symmetric and also forbids the creation and destruction of randomness, but quantum probability (also called "amplitude") is not a mere measure of ignorance. In the Many Worlds way of thinking, physics makes many copies of each possible universe, and the quantum amplitude determines how many copies of each universe to make. At 30deg off the P axis, cos(30deg)^2 = 75% of the copies are copies of universe P, and you experience this as a 75% probability of finding yourself in a universe with "A here, B there".

(Or something like that. It'll probably make more sense once we eliminate time from the equations [amazon.com] . At the moment not even Many Worlds can help us wrap our heads around the fact that quantum entanglement works backward the same as it does forward. The equations as they stand today imply that many past-universes containing past-yous have precisely converged to become the present-universe containing present-you.)

One last complication. If the information of A's location spreads to more particles than A and B, then P and Q become more and more different, and as a consequence the quantum probability rules become harder and harder to distinguish from the classical ones. If you open the envelope and learn "A is here", for instance, then P now contains billions of particles that are different from Q (at the very least, the particles in your brain that make up your memory) and it now becomes impossible-ish to perform rotations on P-plus-Q, because you would need to find each particle that changed and rotate it individually. (Not truly impossible, but staggeringly impractical in the same sense that freezing a glass of room-temperature water by gripping each molecule individually to make it sit still is staggeringly impractical. And both are impractical for the same reason: entropy.)

When so many particles are involved that we can't merge the universes back together, we call the situation "decoherence", but it's really just "entanglement of too many things to keep track of". Entanglement itself isn't really that special; what's special is limiting the entanglement to a small group of particles that we can keep track of and manipulate as a group.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (1)

Bonobo_Unknown (925651) | about 10 months ago | (#45591323)

Is that not already weird?Now add the extra weirdness that you can't know what either envelope contains until you open it at which point whatever you find in the first envelope you will find the exact opposite in the other envelope. It's like if you had two dice, you can't tell what number is going to come up next just by looking at it. You roll the dice, which don't stop spinning until you focus your eyes on one die, at which point both stop spinning. You look at and note the result of the first die, then you look at the other die and it is always facing exactly the opposite of the first die. That's a bit weird.

Re:Mysterious quantum mechanical connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45592173)

You post 2 envelopes containing cards in opposite directions, one with a printed letter A, the other card with the letter B.

Implying that they aren't entangled.

Synonym fun (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 10 months ago | (#45589959)

If the work is 'forged' how can we trust it?

Since it is physics, perhaps we could trust it better if it was 'LaForged'.

Re:Synonym fun (3, Funny)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about 10 months ago | (#45592211)

If the work is 'forged' how can we trust it?

With an even temper.

Still won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590021)

Relativity at the very fundamental limits is absolutely broken simply because it is missing huge amounts of information. (namely dark matter and energy, hell, Higgs as well since we only just found it, maybe, and haven't been able to experiment with it much)

Anything that throws out infinities is inherently broken, infinities do not exist in the real world outside of concepts. (and if they do, then we will figure that out when we have exhausted every other possible route)

It is like trying to connect a themed jigsaw piece to a lego piece based on the same themed jigsaw. It will not work no matter how hard you force it. All it will do is break and result in many tears.
I don't even know how to turn this in to a car analogy, it is late.

Re:Still won't work. (5, Interesting)

boristhespider (1678416) | about 10 months ago | (#45590065)

Relativity has little to do with dark matter or dark energy -- the matter content is irrelevant, since relativity only really dictates the geometry; basically you have an equation G=T, where G is the geometry and T the matter; what that matter *is* is something for someone else to worry about. It has absolutely damn all to do with the Higgs. The Higgs field is a part of the standard model of particle physics that gives fundamental particles their mass. It has absolutely nothing to do with relativity at all; if it did, we would already have a quantum field theory that was general relativistic in nature, and we'd all be laughing. Or crying, since many of us would now be out of a job.

Quantum electrodynamics throws out infinities as a matter of course. This worried a lot of people, and then "renormalisation" was invented. It basically says "if you see a number multiplying an infinity, just write it as another number". The best example is the electron mass. What we see is actually m_electron * infinity. So we "renormalise it", and say that m_electron is actually m_bare electron * infinity.

It was either Feynman or Schwinger - probably both - who expressed serious doubts about the mathematical validity of renormalisation. Thing is, as they also acknowledged, it works. QED is the most accurate theory we currently possess, so despite the air of bullshit that surrounds renormalisation something's obviously working fine.

The issue comes when you have theories that are non-renormalisable, so you can't ditch the infinities this way. Quantising general relativity typically leads to a non-renormalisable theory. That's where all our problems have been for the last sixty years...

Re:Still won't work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591605)

Kadanoff groups gave mathematical footing to renormalization.

Re:Still won't work. (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 10 months ago | (#45591447)

Relativity at the very fundamental limits is absolutely broken simply because it is missing huge amounts of information. (namely dark matter and energy ...

Dark matter/energy are the consequence of assuming time/space being homogenous/isotropic - given that we haven't got out from the near neighborhood of the Sun (thus we haven't tested these assumption at larger scales), isn't it possible that these assumption don't hold true?

Spooky Action (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590099)

At a certain point quantum physics causes a spooky action in the space between my ears leading to a "Duh, what the heck/" experience.

Re:Spooky Action (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 10 months ago | (#45591265)

I am disappointed the above is the only "Spooky action at a distance post" --- W.T.F. this is Slashdot!!!

(Einstein coined the term "Spooky action at a distance" for any muggles who don't get the reference .... sigh ... Slashdot 2013 this is probably most people ... ugh).

the holographic principle, yet again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590233)

i'm really curious why more people havent been paying attention to mathur's idea of fuzzballs which resolve the singularity and information loss problems in a way that obviates the need for the holographic principle and therefore all of this work.... is theoretical physics too invested in all the time its spent on the information paradox the acknowledge that mathur's solution is porbably the correct (albeit boring) one?

Re:the holographic principle, yet again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45592275)

There are shit-loads of bespoke formulations that sort-of-kind-of explain QM and/or relativity. The question is, do they make different testable predictions from conventional theories. If not, they aren't useful.

You can express some variant of 2+2=4 in a whole bunch of different mathematical spaces, of varying complexity, but they are all just saying the same thing, merely in a transformed way. In physics, it's when you get something saying that 2+2 can equal 5 in a certain context, and then can do an experiment or ten than show this new formulation actually works in that context, that you see progress in understanding the actual phenomena.

Until you get that difference, you can't tell whether the new formations are saying anything useful, or are just a transformation of existing theories into a different kind of maths. (Ie, are they saying exactly the same thing in a different way, or are they really saying something different.)

Maybe it's the same particle (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590261)

It just looks like it's in 2 seperate places at once. This would solve the whole "faster than light speed communication" problem pretty easily if they could come up with a theory utilising extra dinensions to explain it.

Re:Maybe it's the same particle (2, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | about 10 months ago | (#45591465)

Ummm... [xkcd.com]

I'm the first to admit... (2)

istartedi (132515) | about 10 months ago | (#45590337)

I'm the first to admit that anything quantum blows a wormhole through my head. I struggle to find anything that will allow me to grasp it. I'm a programmer, dammit.

"God doesn't play dice with the Universe"

OK, whatever.

Maybe, just maybe, "God doesn't waste CPU cycles rendering windows that are trivially culled from the scene graph".

So. When you observe the particle its window comes to the top and The Program has to do all the rendering calculations.

Cue attempt by actual physicists to explain why this attempt to grasp the concept is totally inadequate or the more enjoyable funny bits about how the Universe is written in either Lisp or Perl.

Here... XKCD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590541)

http://xkcd.com/224/

That said, I have no fucking clue what you were trying to say.

Re:I'm the first to admit... (5, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 10 months ago | (#45590609)

I went to a local physics lecture a while back and a bunch of physicists tried to explain some things to people that were interested. They all took questions and such, it was a lot of fun. I asked one of them "But what do I have to do to 'get' relativity. I believe in it, I think it's been scientifically proven. I've read LOTS of books on the subject but I still just can't make my brain do it!" and he gave about the best reply I've ever gotten to a question. Paraphrasing he said "We don't get it either. I have study mathematics my entire life. I have 3 PhDs. I've designed machines that take advantage of many of Special relativities theories. I've proven those theories in hundreds of lab experiments. But I cannot make my brain understand it either. What I can do is prove it with math. Numbers cannot lie. We take very careful measurements, we use near savant like theories and prove them scientifically. In the whole of human history I'm willing to bet the number of people that could actually picture how relativity, special relativity, and higher level dimensions work in their mind could be counted on 2 hands. So don't feel bad, we're all in the same boat."

I guess he could have been just trying to make me feel better. But I believed him.

Re:I'm the first to admit... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591167)

Depends on what you mean by "get." If you meant understand well enough to apply and get things done with, then being able to crunch the numbers and algebra is all you need. If you mean have an intuitive sense of what is right, that is quite possible on some level with GR. There are plenty of visuals and analogies, some more exact than others, that as long as you understand the limits of, you can intuit the answer and be right for many situations, or have a sense of when you made a mistake in the math.

But there will always be a level where something is too messy to rely on intuition. Do people "get" algebra or calculus? But you can easily create a formula or integral that even skilled mathematicians will have little sense of what they do from just glancing at them. Doesn't even have to be math, you can take a social situation and add enough people or messes into it so that people lose sense of what is going on.

Re:I'm the first to admit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591531)

Sounds nice, but the problem is that numbers do lie - all the time. Mathematics is just another human invention, it is no more perfect than any other human invention which is one of the reasons paradoxes can exist in maths. People tend to think, "OK, I've got ten toes, I'm confident that fact is correct", and extrapolate from that to give maths far more relationship to reality than it deserves. You only have to be reminded that we count from zero, not one, to begin to see where the 'wiggle room' can enter the equation.

Re:I'm the first to admit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591685)

Math doesn't lie, people lie (or unintentionally mislead), either by saying the wrong things or by omitting something. It is like saying letters lie, because people lie using English. Math can at least convey things much more concisely than English for a broad category of situations though, and allows you at least to check if the reasoning is sound or if the premises contradict.

Re:I'm the first to admit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590903)

The Universe is actually a computer simulation?

Re:I'm the first to admit... (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 10 months ago | (#45591239)

I'm the first to admit that anything quantum blows a wormhole through my head. I struggle to find anything that will allow me to grasp it. I'm a programmer, dammit.

Perhaps a close mental computer analogue is the transaction.

s/entanglement/transaction/
s/collapse/commit/

Software is not allowed to peer into a transaction and act on details while open or consistency could not be guaranteed. Only outcomes are exposed to the system when transaction is committed. Various interactions force existing transactions to commit and resulting outcome to be known.

So. When you observe the particle its window comes to the top

In scalable systems "reading" or "observing" is often a liability to be carefully minimized. Anything read out stands a good chance of becoming stale and outdated the second it leaves the computer. In the real world "observing" is almost certainly an illusion.

What we see as "read" operations are emergent properties of layers of interaction. Our eyes only see by absorbing photons and similar disruptive explanations likely exist for all methods of "observation".

How exactly do they know it's not predetermined? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590345)

What if the act of entangling to objects "orients" them in such a way that their measured states will always be opposite?

If you separate two entangled objects by 1000 km and measure their states, how do we know that the result would have been different if we measured them when they were 1cm apart?

Re:How exactly do they know it's not predetermined (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591091)

By performing experiments that rotate the orientation of one half of the pair. If they were predetermined, nothing would happen to the other half when they are finally measured. But instead, we find that they maintain their opposite orientation, and you never see for example them having the same orientation. Whereas if you say just had two coins placed one heads up and one heads down, and randomly flipped them, you would occasionally get two heads and two tails.

Wormholes gopherholes and unicornholes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45590361)

imagined entangling the quantum states of two black holes. They then imagined pulling the black holes apart. When that happens, they argued, a bona fide wormhole forms between the two black holes.

Yet back in the real world we don't even know what the gravitational influence of a single photon propagating thru space looks like.

âoeThe wormhole and entangled pair don't live in the same space,â Karch says. But, he adds, mathematically they are equivalent.

Or could it be yet another instance of mathematicians fooling themselves into believing their own delusion? Or flying unicorns? Wake me up when you have made a useful testable prediction. Until then what is the point of advertising your work?

Wormholes are regions of less density than surrounding space. Entanglement is rules enabling coherent interaction of all that interacts.

I'll consider a connection and reevaluating my beliefs after useful, testable predictions are enumerated. Until such time I wish this cast of characters all the best in their endeavors.

This action at a distance (2)

jarek (2469) | about 10 months ago | (#45590549)

This action at a distance nonsense just has to end someday. This is no such thing implied by Bells theorem or entanglement experiments such as those by Aspect. Just let it go. Entanglement just explores the non-classical nature of quantum probability. The outcome of experiments with entangled particles is predicted by the standard Dirac notation and no mysterious action is needed.

Re:This action at a distance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591129)

The outcome of experiments with entangled particles is predicted by the standard Dirac notation and no mysterious action is needed.

Yes, basic bra ket notation makes entanglement easy to work with, but that doesn't mean it does away with action at a distance. It treats the system as a whole, and if you do something like project a polarization state onto another axis, it changes the whole system at once. That is still action at a distance, even if the notation makes figuring out the results of measurements really easy.

Bunk (-1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 10 months ago | (#45590553)

I don't know how many of you follow physics as a hobby like I do, but from someone that has a rudimentary understanding of these things I can tell you that this article is total bullshit. They got some basic principles or relativity wrong. The theory isn't a theory it's more of a thought exercise. Black-holes are not wormholes and wormholes are not black holes... Black-holes are a collection of phenomena that surround a singularity. The singularity is the real star of the show, the black-hole is just the dress it has on. A singularity could theoretically create a wormhole but from my understanding the likelihood of that happening is low enough to make them fairly rare.

Are short lived singularity common at the quantum level? Maybe, but there's a lot screwier shit going on down there that that. This seems again like someone trying to explain sub-atomic particles in the same old way. We've been trying to do it for decades and it just doesn't work. The best theory I've read on the subject, or maybe better to say, the theory I have the most faith in at the moment is that the reason sub-atomic partical behave so completely different that macro-level particles like atoms is because they are in fact NOT particles. They are something else that we don't quite understand yet. It's very hard to call them particles when they in no way behave like particles.

I lost a lot of respect for Science magazine after reading this. It's total rubbish.

Re:Bunk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591019)

Black-holes are not wormholes and wormholes are not black holes... Black-holes are a collection of phenomena that surround a singularity.

While they are not identical, in the sense there are versions of worm holes distinct from black holes and certainly black holes that are not worm holes, the two are still well connected concepts. One of the "phenomena" that is part of that collection related to singularities is trying to deal with coordinate problems instead of the event horizon when trying to solve the Einstein field equations, and there are versions that include world lines entering then leaving into a space-time distinct from that which surrounds the black hole. That involves a crap ton of assumptions, but nonetheless, there is a lot of overlap between black holes and worm holes, especially when looking at work in GR instead of scifi stuff.

Re:Bunk (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591059)

I have more faith in this "Science" magazine then I do in a somebody named "Charliemopps".

Re:Bunk (1)

HellCatF6 (1824178) | about 10 months ago | (#45591063)

Please mod this guy down a few points. It's one thing to do physics as a hobby, it's another to be a professional getting written up in Science.

Re:Bunk (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 10 months ago | (#45591293)

Seconded! Eyes bleeding ... please mod down. Physics isn't about opinion or what people think or analogies they understand --- that isn't the backbone of science. Who cares if you understand, that's your responsibility --- not others to explain it to you.

Re:Bunk (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 10 months ago | (#45591311)

Plus I dislike the idea of someone spelling "partical" wrong and also claiming to have an "idea" on the subject. You don't spell particle wrong and also have a good set of knowledge in physics.

Re:Bunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591297)

Atoms are also small enough that quantum effects are significant in understanding their behaviour, and they're not yet at a macro level. Basically anything whose de Broglie wavelength is large enough to be on the scale of the object itself exhibits clear particle behaviour. An object like a baseball (weighing 150 g) thrown in a fastball (approx 90 mph or about 40 m/s) has a momentum of 6 kg m/s. The de Broglie wavelength of the fastball is thus 7.36e-36 m, far smaller than the baseball, so quantum effects would be negligible and it would be just about as accurate to use the classical equations of motion to describe its behaviour rather than the Schrödinger equation. A hydrogen molecule has a mass of 3.35e-24 kg, and at a temperature of 298 K has a velocity of about 99 m/s from the kinetic theory of gases. It thus has a de Broglie wavelength of approximately 2 picometres, whereas the hydrogen molecule is something like 74 pm or so, not too far off, and quantum effects start to become significant. At lower temperatures (say 1 K), the molecular velocity goes down to 5.7 m/s, and the de Broglie wavelength becomes 34 pm, and quantum effects become really significant (e.g. Bose-Einstein condensation).

Re:Bunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591383)

The best theory I've read on the subject, or maybe better to say, the theory I have the most faith in at the moment is that the reason sub-atomic partical behave so completely different that macro-level particles like atoms is because they are in fact NOT particles. They are something else that we don't quite understand yet. It's very hard to call them particles when they in no way behave like particles.

Or we just found out that particles act differently than expected from day-to-day intuition. And it isn't that completely different, it is just a superset of behaviors, because you can re-derive classical behavior from quantum systems.

Re:Bunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45591623)

You could say the singularity is the star of the show in a black hole, but strictly speaking, the laws of physics outside of a black hole would not be affected if the space inside the black hole folowed completely different laws (modulo conditions at the event horizon).

The event horizon is the point at which you can't rely on observation to resolve your questions.

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