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Testing Einstein's 'Spooky Action at a Distance'

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the this-worked-in-a-different-timeline dept.

Education 375

smooth wombat writes "Travelling to a time in the past is, as far as we know, not possible. However, Einstein postulated a faster-than-light effect known as 'spooky action at a distance'. The problem is, how do you test for such an effect? That test may now be here. If all goes well, hopefully by September 15th, John Cramer will have experimented with a beam of laser light which has been split in two to test Einstein's idea. While he is only testing the quantum entanglement portion, changing one light beam and having the same change made in the other beam, his experiment might show that a change made in one beam shows up in the other beam before he actually makes the change."

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Been there, Done that (4, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909609)

Didn't the Aspect Experiment [roxanne.org] back in the '80s demonstrate this effect?

Re:Been there, Done that (1, Informative)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909685)

No! Read MIT's Prof. Seth Lloyd's [randomhouse.com] excellent book Programming the Universe [nytimes.com] .

What this experiment will ostensibly prove is the EPR Paradox (if I recall my college Q physics), but I'm betting it won't work. It's always sounded great, but I've always strongly suspected it is based upon faulty math...

Re:Been there, Done that (5, Insightful)

target562 (623649) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909753)

Quantum teleportation and entanglement have been proven bunches of times. It's the basis for quantum computing, too -- I doubt folks would be wasting their time on THAT if it wasn't valid.

Re:Been there, Done that (2, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909773)

it's already been tested, and passed. years ago.

while we're wasting time, let's test relativity theory :-/

and einstein had little to nothing to do with it. he didnt even believe in it. "spooky action at a distance" was meant as a derogatory term.

Quit it (5, Informative)

missing000 (602285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909997)

Einstein formulated the theory with 2 colleagues, Podolsky and Rosen.

It's called the EPR Paradox in the scientific community.

Einstein was no fan of it, and he believed it was a way to point out how silly the idea of Quantum Mechanics was, but he was very much the discoverer of it.

This is as important to understanding Einstein as "God does not play at dice", his basic objection to the probability implications of QM and EPR.

Re:Been there, Done that (5, Funny)

mattmatt (855592) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910031)

Sure, we got the results years ago. But if this guy doesn't do the experiment, then we *won't* have got the results...

Re:Been there, Done that (4, Funny)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910279)

But he's already done the experiment. Didn't you read the dupe a few years ago?

Re:Been there, Done that (4, Informative)

MOBE2001 (263700) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909805)

Didn't the Aspect Experiment back in the '80s demonstrate this effect?

Of course. Slashdot is getting weird by the day. First off, it was not Einstein's idea. Eisntein was against it and this was made famous in a paper he wrote with two other physicists who agreed with him. It's called the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox [wikipedia.org] or EPR paradox for short.

Re:Been there, Done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909971)

It's always a good idea to try to replicate experiments, especially if it makes you famous like John Cramer [washington.edu] (l'chaim, John Cramer!) For example, I plan to revisit the well known "Baking Soda + Vinegar = Volcano" hypothesis and post the results on Slashdot. I hope it will make me famous like John Cramer [washington.edu] .

Re:Been there, Done that (5, Informative)

msevior (145103) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910055)

Actually no. This new experiment is VERY interesting. The new experiment proposed by John G. Cramer aims to test an idea that might allow quantum signaling.

See this:

http://www.analogsf.com/0612/altview.shtml [analogsf.com]

The idea is to see if an interference pattern will spontaneously change from a single slit to a double slit merely by moving the position of where entangled photons are destroyed.

I think there is a reasonable chance this will work. This is interesting as it in principle allows FTL communication.

After that his ideas get REALLY interesting.....

Re:Been there, Done that (2, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910221)

i knew [slashdot.org] that name sounded familiar.

dupe, sort of.

Re:Been there, Done that (4, Funny)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910117)

Didn't the Aspect Experiment back in the '80s demonstrate this effect?

Well, I looked it over, contemplated it, thought about it in depth for a while and I came to the conclusion that I have no fucking idea what that proves, and now I have a headache, thank you.

Banzai! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909617)

He better bloody watch out he doesn't end up stuck in the 8th dimension!

Causality (4, Interesting)

GWLlosa (800011) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909621)

Does this mean that once the effect shows up in the one light beam, before he does it in the other light beam, he is somehow locked in to his future actions? If not, what happens if he just turns off the device?

Re:Causality (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909657)

Does this mean that once the effect shows up in the one light beam, before he does it in the other light beam, he is somehow locked in to his future actions? If not, what happens if he just turns off the device?

Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies. Rivers and seas boiling.
Forty years of darkness. Earthquakes, volcanoes...
The dead rising from the grave.
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria.

Re:Causality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909705)

Actually, no.

If event B requires event A, and event B occurs before event A, then event A must happen, or else event B doesn't happen. So if you turn off the experiment, the result is that it failed, event B simply never happened, nore would there be any information left over indicating that it did happen, ever.

Re:Causality (4, Interesting)

BakaHoushi (786009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909823)

To me that sounds like changing the past.

As you said, event B requires event A. Event B precedes event A.

Let's say event A occurs when I press a button, just for the sake of simplicity. So if this formula is correct, event B will happen BEFORE I press the button. This is hurting my brain a little, but I think this would imply that event B could not happen unless I was truly planning on pressing the button. I can't "fake" the universe out by pretending to hit it, witness B, and then stop. Because if I were to do that, B would never happen. And... uhhh...

OW. See, as much as I support the fields of science and research into all things, I'm concerned about screwing with time. It makes my head hurt and the possible consequences scare me a little. Teleportation gives me similar worries.

Re:Causality (4, Insightful)

G-funk (22712) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910223)

If you can't fake the universe, and you can really see results before the action is taken, what happens if you decide wether or not to hit the button based on the flip of a coin? Does that make the coin flip result predicted by whichever result you see?

Re:Causality (3, Interesting)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910275)

Larry Niven wrote a short-story (surprise!) about how the universe protects causality. A clever man discovers that every civilization that has ever undertaken the task of building a time machine has vanished before they can finish it. He puts forth the idea that if plans for a working time machine were leaked to their current enemies, they would try to build it and therefore disappear as well. Before the plan can be put into action, though, the clever man's own (presumably stable yellow) star inexplicably goes nova, thus preventing the time machine plans from being leaked and protecting the nature of causality.

I sure hope Niven's wrong about that.

Re:Causality (1)

n dot l (1099033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910323)

You should read "What's Expected of Us" by Ted Chiang. It's about a future where this device has not only been built but has also been mass-marketed and sold as a toy - and a good half of humanity just shuts down and dies because the idea that they can't freely act against the universe is too depressing to live with. Very good read, and only 3-4 pages long.

Re:Causality (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19910333)

Its easy to understand, tho, thats probably because i spent enough time researching information to get thru the ensuing madness.

Think of it this way: Think of the universe as one big information computation machine. Everything is merely information, there is no real "current" state of said information, yet at the same time, there is the concept of a flowing time. Time moves as information becomes absolute, information thats processed becomes absolute. Its possible for information to exist in lots of states, absolute, unknown, or partially known (its defined in relation to other informations that have yet to get absolutely computed). In this way, given any point in "time" the future is ever changing, and any number of "time lines" (for lack of a better word) are created and destroyed based upon known information and its relation to other information. The past is always static however, its impossible to travel backwords in time (the computation of information prevents this, as all it does is compute).

Now, thats look at the B before A problem: If we know B must occur if A occurs, and it must happen before, time is not violated, as both of them exist in the future from out standpoint. This does impart two new time lines, in one, A happens, in the other, it doesn't. In each time line, B stays in perfect relation to A (it occurs, or doesn't). When our present lines up to when A happens, the machines partial information of the present becomes absolute, cementing on one of the two time lines, this preserves the relation B has to A, while appearing that B happens before A from our standpoint.

Hmm, come to think of it, this explanation might just confuse you more. Owell.

Re:Causality (4, Insightful)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909851)

Or, alternately, reality and causality conspire to ensure that event A does happen, irrespective of any efforts made to stop it. Refer to the experiments conducted on resublimated thiotimoline [wikipedia.org] . by I.A. et al.

Re:Causality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19910145)

What about the Twinkie?

Re:Causality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19910341)

Cheers for Ghostbusters..

Re:Causality (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909811)

This is just a completely uninformed gas, but I would guess it would be a case where it only happens briefly, after the experimenter has reached what amounts to a point of no return. In other words, perhaps the change occurs only after the action is already 'locked in' but hasn't actually occured. I'd suppose if this is true its probably on the order of femtoseconds, or something like that.

Anyway, I'm not particularly knowledgable on quantum stuff, as I'm sure this post shows, but that would be my guess.

Re:Causality (2, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910127)

If he turns off the device as soon as he sees a result, he would be transported to the realm of Q where he would be tortured and made to drink the soup of earth's first would be inhabitants.. He would only be released when he agrees that he would not turn off the switch thus Q would send him back one second before he turns off the switch thus he would not turn off the switch he turned off in the future... or something like that..

Re:Causality (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910149)

He won't :-)

Re:Causality (1)

pelrun (25021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910397)

There's an inherent fallacy in such a proposed experiment. Where is the case in which the experiment actually performs the action? As stated, the action can never be performed. If the action is never going to be performed, then the result is never going to be observed.

An equivalent experiment with normal causality would be something like "wait until the stone turns red before painting the stone red" - if the only thing which could turn the stone red is you painting it, then you'll sit there watching a non-red stone forever (or until you get fed up.) :D

Very neat and interesting! (5, Informative)

Kagura (843695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909625)

But we've already done it: Elitzur-Vaidman bomb-testing problem [wikipedia.org]

At the bottom, it says that the equivalent experiment has already been performed, and TFA sounds like it is nearly the same experiment.

Re:Very neat and interesting! (5, Interesting)

Kagura (843695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909641)

Also see the Renninger negative-result experiment [wikipedia.org] , in which it was postulated and proven that a particle need not be detected in order for a measurement to have occured.

Re:Very neat and interesting! (3, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910375)

But we've already done it...

Well there you go.

ugh (-1, Troll)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909639)

articles like this make me think slashdot should stick to things readers might have some knowledge about, like kneeling on a hardwood floor to eat out a girl's pussy.

Re:ugh (0, Offtopic)

gumpish (682245) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909755)

articles like this make me think slashdot should stick to things readers might have some knowledge about, like kneeling on a hardwood floor to eat out a girl's pussy.
I wish I knew something about that. ;_;

Re:ugh (1)

der'morat'aman (1076365) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909987)

On a hardwood floor? Nope, don't know anything about it I'm afraid...

Re:ugh (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910455)

no idea what you are talking about.

Wacking off to anime tentacle movies OTOH.........

I think it is already working!! (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909653)

Look, posting this article made this other article from June 12 [slashdot.org] with exactly the same content get posted!

The theory works!

Re:I think it is already working!! (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909687)

Does that mean 'spooky action at a distance' becomes 'slashdot dupe' in all the textbooks?
Personally, I prefer ballsy scientific names after people like Heisenberg and Avogadro.

Re:I think it is already working!! (1)

rir (632769) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910299)

mmm... avacado's number

Re:I think it is already working!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909769)

Is this officially dupe day or something?

Or maybe the Grid is Tired.

Re:I think it is already working!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909795)

This is First Post Day.
The dupes are all in the past.

Re:I think it is already working!! (1)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909985)

You get bonus points for your username.

(or you would if I had mod points right now :p)

but what if.... (0, Redundant)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909655)

he sees the change and it startles him to not make the change? therefore will a paradox be created that either consumes our local universe into a giant black hole created at the point of origin or will the researcher cease to exist?

Will Schrödinger's cat have the answer to the question?

To solve the time paradox... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909757)

This is a possibility: The effect will happen AFTER the change is triggered by the researchers, but it will simply show up in the untouched beam before it does in the "touched" beam. By a few nano or femtoseconds perhaps. Then it will show up in the "touched" beam.

But I can't be sure, I'm no Emmet Brown, and I didn't RTFA.

Re:but what if.... (2, Funny)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910227)

Well, the damage could in fact be limited to our own local galaxy. On the other hand, he could simply go into shock and pass out before Marty and Doc find him.

Isn't all time travel impossible? (0)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909689)

If time travel into the past is impossible, then surely that means that all time travel must be impossible. In other words, time travel into the future must be impossible too.

Consider if this was not the case... A and B start out together. A travels into the future (from B's perspective). Surely, from A's perspective that is the same as B travelling into the past. The only way to tell the difference is if you have a bunch of cues/landmarks that you use as a time reference. If we remove those cues then it is no longer easy to tell what is happening.

Lets suppose we make A = the whole universe - B. Then shifting A into the future is indistinguishable from shifting B into the past.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (2, Insightful)

OptimusPaul (940627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909763)

Don't be ridiculous! We are all practicing time travel into the future right now... it's just taking longer than anticipated, at any moment I will be in the future, reading this post.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (2, Funny)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909765)

You are absolutely correct, human, time travel is essentially impossible.

Sgt. Doom, Galactic Temporal Patrol

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (1)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909771)

A travels into the future (from B's perspective). Surely, from A's perspective that is the same as B travelling into the past.
We are constantly "traveling" into the future. Since we are in roughly the same relativistic frame, it appears that we are traveling at about the same rate.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? - NOT TRUE (1)

devaudio (596215) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909775)

I can travel through time, although it's only in one direction, and very slowly ;)

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (5, Funny)

FriendOfBagu (770778) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909777)

If time travel into the past is impossible, then surely that means that all time travel must be impossible. In other words, time travel into the future must be impossible too.
Nonsense!

I, myself, am a time traveler from the past. I've been journeying into the future at a rate of sixty seconds per minute.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19910147)

> I've been journeying into the future at a rate of sixty seconds per minute.

You need to upgrade your time machine, grandpa. I'm journeying into the future at a rate of 1000 milliseconds per second.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (4, Funny)

hmccabe (465882) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910317)

Relatively speaking, of course.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (4, Insightful)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909885)

As others have pointed out, we are in fact time travelling all of the time. However, to time travel as I'm sure you mean, significantly faster than our surroundings, Einsteins time dilation does the trick nicely, its just a matter of propulsion technology.

Note that also, too, we can observe the past due to the finite speed of light. Thus, given our current knowledge it is always possible to travel to the future and observe the past, but never the other way around (except maybe at quantum scales as discussed in TFA).

This, according to my random ponderings makes me think that if its possible to travel to the past, it will also be possible to observe the future, and in fact in some respects, they could be two aspects of the same thing.

Just for the record, I'm not a physicist, so beyond the first couple of facts this is all random amateur speculation.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (5, Interesting)

JaWiB (963739) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909901)

Suppose an astronaut travels away from the earth at 99.9% of the speed of light. According to relativity, if he ever returns then everyone on earth will have aged considerably more than he has. But he has to turn around at some point in order for this to happen, hence he has to accelerate. And it doesn't take any reference points to judge that acceleration, so you can in effect say that he has travelled into (Earth's) future, and that the entire Earth has not travelled into the past.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909915)

There is a whole school of thought that "time" is just our perception, much like we perceive motion by flipping a flip-book of images. The images are already there and we see the progression. (Similarly, humans perceive temperature differences, pressure differences, etc, and not the temperature or pressure itself?) It is a kind of scary concept in that it seems to mean that free will is an illusion. There was a great article on different proposals on the nature of time in Scientific American about 5 years back.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910433)

The images are already there and we see the progression. It is a kind of scary concept in that it seems to mean that free will is an illusion.

Only if you assume that their is only one set of ordered images. If every possible image is in the 'book' and every page is 'adjacently linked' to every other page that differed 'only a little', then free will may determine which adjacent page you (individually or perhaps your entire universes shared consciousness) go to at each step.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909929)

First up, no. 'Traveling into the future' at a faster rate than normal is possible by simply moving at relativistic speeds for any period of time. Read up on the twin paradox [wikipedia.org] for more info.

For your example, let A and B be ants on a ruler, both starting at 0cm and walking towards 30cm. At the 5cm mark A scoots ahead of B, until it has a lead of 10cm. That doesn't make B travel backwards, it merely means that B is still at 5cm while A is at 15cm. You can speed up or slow down the passage of time, but you can't reverse it... we think.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910143)

But I'm moving into the future right now.

I seem to remember Zeno thought it illogical. But that was in my past.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910257)

Let's say you have a rocket that lets you travel fast enough to time travel (relative to a fixed observer) into the future. Abe jumps in the rocket, Bea stays home. All that happens is both Abe and Bea are time traveling into the future, just at different rates relative to each other. So Bea is older than Abe upon his return , but she hasn't traveled into Abe's past. She's just gone a longer distance to get to the same point, while Abe took a shortcut.

There's still no going backwards into the past for either Bea or Abe, forward motion is the only one possible under Einstein's laws. Hear (links to mp3) [abc.net.au] Sir Roger Penrose and Dr. Kip Thorne discussing this on talkback radio, starting around the 4 minute mark.

Re:Isn't all time travel impossible? (1)

thanatos_x (1086171) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910371)

What you're describing is relativity. It is possible for one to speed up or slow down the perception of time for the outsider, based on relativistic speeds. In that sense, you could time travel into the future (assuming we somehow accelerate you to .xxxxxx C instantly, ignore the fact that your pinky outweighs the universe, and while we're at it, find a way to decelerate you instantly back to the standard speed (something like zero)) You will not have aged, and the place you're at will have experienced X years. In that sense, you can time travel forward, but not backward. (Because you can't travel at negative speed, if HS physics was right)

Time travel in the alternate universe sense implies that you can skip all that and simply pop in somewhere. This implies numerous things, but for starters implies that the universe has an infinite memory for everywhere it's been (and consequently, where it will be), and that this memory is not limited to the atom, particle or anything else, since it has to be remembered even if the atom/particle was destroyed or converted to energy.

Somehow this gets to that the universe has infinite memory (not just mindnumbingly huge) - it has to store continuous data of the coordinates of everything as well as the probability that any given atom decides to just disappear, etc.

Of course this all gets closer to the concept of God than probably anything else... and the idea that this universe may just be particle/atom in another, larger world...

So is time travel possible? Probably not within our current understanding of physics, certainly not anything that could be truely useful (unless we find a way to send data backwards, and particularly forward backwards - thus forming the ultimate computing system. "I computed Pi to a quadrillion places in -12.43 seconds")

Amazing (5, Funny)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909691)

Spooky Action at a Distance describes my sex life exactly.

Re:Amazing (5, Funny)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910011)

faster-than-light describes mine.

Re:Amazing (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910043)

if only I had modpoints and hadn't commented on this story. Nice!

Re:Amazing (4, Funny)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910129)

Don't worry, you'll get another chance yesterday.

Re:Amazing (5, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910131)

There once was a student named Frisk
Whose sex was exceedingly brisk.
So fast was his action
That the Lorentz Contraction
Reduced his tool to a disk.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19910165)

And my girlfriend complains that *I'M* fast!

Re:Amazing (4, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910267)

Ha, while you're stuck performing Spooky Action at Distance I'm doing the Double-Slit Experiment.

(No, not really. =\ )

Pseudo Time Travel (-1, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909701)

All you need to do is install a copy of RedHat Linux. If you are used to any other distribution, it immediately feels like going 3 years back in time.

Yellow journalism (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909707)

While he is only testing the quantum entanglement portion, changing one light beam and having the same change made in the other beam, his experiment might show that a change made in one beam shows up in the other beam before he actually makes the change.
Yeah, sorta like me doing an egg-drop experiment "might show that gravity has no effect on a free-falling egg". If, the egg were to somehow mysteriously not fall to the ground.

I'm not knocking scientific experimentation, but this looks like just another test for the finer details of a well-understood phenomenon: quantum entanglement. Wake me up if anything even slightly unexpected happens.

Re:Yellow journalism (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910077)

If, the egg were to somehow mysteriously not fall to the ground.

It wouldn't be a mystery why it didn't hit the ground. It would be flying. Why it was flying would be the mystery. The secret to flight is learning how to fall towards the ground and missing. --THHG2TG

A True Hacker (5, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909717)

John Cramer, the designer of the experiment, is really quite a colorful guy. He last got the attention of the press by simulating the sound of the big bang using Mathematica. Useless research of course, but who wouldn't laugh hearing that the big bang sounded like "large jet plane 100 feet off the ground flying over your house in the middle of the night?" At heart this guy is a physics hacker (in the true sense of the word hacker).

He also writes science fiction [wikipedia.org] , so you can tell he completely enjoys science. Betcha anything he's doing this experiment, not because he thinks it will work, but just 'cause he wants to see what will happen. I can totally agree with that. It's the right reason to do research.
--
Looking for a C/C++ job in Silicon Valley? [slashdot.org]

Re:A True Hacker (4, Informative)

xPsi (851544) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910251)

I worked with John on the STAR experiment at RHIC in the pion interferometry group. Your description of him as a physics hacker (in a good way) is right on. I do sometimes wonder about his sanity when I read about his latest projects (e.g. see TFA) -- but he is by no means a crank or crackpot. Oddly enough, he also does dog shows as an owner. His personality would fit right into Christopher Guest's movie Best in Show (I also mean that in a good way). So think of him as a dog trainer/quantum mechanic/science fiction author. He's basically a nerd renaissance man.

Re:A True Hacker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19910435)

I think that description applies to a whole lot of people at BNL :-)

So say this works. (1, Interesting)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909741)

This solves about every communication problem that man has ever come up. Long-distance space communication not only becomes trivial.. our future explorers will be playing WOW all the way to Alpha Centauri.

Re:So say this works. (0)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909883)

Nah. Spooky action at a distance can't be used to transmit information.

Re:So say this works. (0)

Cecil (37810) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910013)

But I doubt you have proof. Theories are malleable.

Re:So say this works. (1)

norton_I (64015) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910135)

No, we have evidence, though. Other scientists have done similar (and better) experiments, and they have all shown that entanglement cannot be used to non-locally transmit information. Entanglement correlations only show up "in coincidence" -- that is, when comparing the results of the two sides after the fact.

Re:So say this works. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19910037)

I'll be modding this (-1, Overrated) just because there's no (-1, Wrong) mod.

Re:So say this works. (1)

demeteloaf (865003) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910097)

No, there's no way to transmit information.

Glossing over a lot of details, what "spooky action at a distance" refers to is the fact that in certain situations, when something is measured in one place, you know exactly what is going to be measured at another place.

For instance, say an electron has two states, called up and down. And say it's possible to entangle two electrons so that they will always be in opposite states. You can then send them in two different directions. Before you measure the state of each individual electron, you have no idea whether you will measure its state as up or down. However, at the exact instant that you measure the state it in one location, because they are entangled, you know that the other electron will have the opposite state. Since you can't control what is measured at each location, there's no way to actually send information using "spooky action at a distance."

Re:So say this works. (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910187)

Naive here(and slightly drunk). Since every digital communication is based on true/false 1/0... why couldn't one of these "Spooky action at a distance" be used for one way communication. Set the value to true/false on 1 side... it is some expected value on the other side. Then all you need is 16 one-way spooky action streams to establish 8 bit communication in each way. This just seems obvious to me as the next step in delivering a true/false bit.

Re:So say this works. (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910185)

"our future explorers will be playing WOW all the way to Alpha Centauri"

Not me. I'll be playing Alpha Centauri all the way to . . . Alpha Centauri.

Dammit. If WOW were a solar system, that would have been a lot funnier.

Spooky? (Couldn't resist) (4, Funny)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909747)

Well.... he would be successful with his "spooky action", if not for those meddlesome kids!

einstein? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909751)

he was one crazy old jew.

Re:einstein? (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909961)

You mean he was born a 70 year old man?!?!

future doesn't exist? (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909889)

i've always had trouble with this idea. my primary reason, is that the future hasn't happened so how can it exist before the present?

Re:future doesn't exist? (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910069)

perhaps the future is pre-determined. You have no choice... That laser beam must be modified in x way.

Re:future doesn't exist? (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910407)

i've always had trouble with this idea. my primary reason, is that the future hasn't happened so how can it exist before the present?

When you say "hasn't happened", you're saying the future is not in the past. Your entire confusion is based on the intuition that the present must always follow causally from the past. The simplest resolution to this would simply be that your intuition is wrong. No contradictions are introduced by rejecting this assumption.

Just because something appears a certain way most of the time, or seems to match our everyday experience, that does not mean it must fundamentally and always be this way. Quantum mechanics is full of things that we must learn to accept at the expense of everyday intuition.

What happens when.... (4, Insightful)

ChronoFish (948067) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909897)

"...his experiment might show that a change made in one beam shows up in the other beam before he actually makes the change...."

What happens when he notices the change, before he makes the change, and changes his mind and doesn't make the change?

-CF

they must be out of flux capacitors at the store.. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909913)

as he would of just needed one to do the test in 1-5 min.ed

Makes my head spin (5, Funny)

Traf-O-Data-Hater (858971) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909937)

so I've just sat down and made myself a nice cup of instant tea. The list of ingredients on the teabag's packet say it contains 'Thiotimoline, resublimated, product of China.'

Re:Makes my head spin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19910139)

Over their heads.

Wish I had mod points (1)

IvyKing (732111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910335)

Funny and very on-topic as well.


BTW, wasn't Traf-O-Data the first foray of Gates and Allen into the biz world???

Transactional interpretation, Afshar experiment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19909959)

He also formulated the transactional interpretation of quantum mechanics. He claimed support for this interpretation in its ability to explain the results of the Afshar experiment. I have not seen any consensus concerning the experiment's setup, data, interpretation, or significance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_interpr etation [wikipedia.org]

recursion (2, Insightful)

Mr EdgEy (983285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19909965)

so, let's say Beam A and B are split from one beam.. you change beam A, B changes before you changed A so then B's change should change A before you changed it and it would recur ... so how would you be able to measure a change that would effectively be happening in an infinitely small amount of time?

Re:recursion (2, Informative)

Gregb05 (754217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910161)

Calculus.

What if the paradoxes did occur? (0)

Stoutlimb (143245) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910035)

What if the paradoxes occurred? They may seem like paradoxes to us, but it may mean that time is not just the 4th dimension, but rather, there's more than one dimension of time. This could be our first step into actually seeing ourselves as more than just 4 dimensional entities. If this discovery actually happens, I don't know about the rest of you, but I would definitely be calling it the first Singularity. A historic moment soon to happen!

Heh... I said historic... how quaint that word sounds now, this may be one of the last times it's used with quite the same meaning.

This has already happened (1)

i_wanna_be_a_scienti (1042298) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910041)

As mentioned before, this has already happened. if you don't believe me, check wikipedia or read a book about quantum physics/string theory such as 'fabric of the cosmos'

what if (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910083)

If I had a poltergeist in my house at the other side of the state. Would that be considered Spooky Action at a Distance too?

Just thinking... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19910193)

I have better things to do than argue with Louisiana Brain Death mother fuckers about Microsoft and linux and democrats and republicans, so eat a fat cock tricks. Who gives a shit what you bitches do with this bullshit you pretend is real.

Is this ... (1)

rnturn (11092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19910387)

the "Einstein's Bridge" John Cramer who's proposing this test?

Just wondering...

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