"Spooky action at a distance" What did he mean?

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience' started by Quantum Quack, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Albert Einstein's reaction to QM's major prediction (1935) was that due to the nature of it's "spookiness" QM was therefore incomplete.
    What did he mean when he said:
    "Spooky action at a distance"

    Why use the word "spooky"?

    *(edit) I posted this in Pseudoscience because:
    1. It would no doubt be transferred to here, from Physics and Math Fora if posted there.
    2. That according to Einstein QM was pseudo science. ( As it's prediction of Quantum Entanglement was impossible)
     
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  3. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    Because it's as good a word as any other. . . ?
     
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  5. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    I think he meant 'spooky' as in the occult. When you don't know or can't actually see a cause that something moves (or is bound) and yet it moves, or is bound, it might as well be explained by means of superstition or spirits in lieu of science. Ordinarily, you can't tell there is any connection between gravity and what it attracts, and EM and what it attracts or repels, to say nothing of strong or weak nuclear forces which holds ordinary matter together. Somehow.

    Pretty much every physical force except for mechanical force or something like chemical binding energy would fall into this general category. Field theory works, but the answer to the question 'why?' is missing. Noticing that most such fields seem to be an extension of matter does little to describe the nature of any such extension. Patterns of force made visible by means of iron filings still don't explain what is it that is different about space filled with an electric or magnetic fields that is actually different from space far removed from such fields.

    The Ghostbusters had access to scientific instruments to detect and capture/confine 'ghosts' who were annoying enough to manifest. But it didn't make such apparitions any less 'spooky', particularly when they were invisible but moved things around. One doesn't expect such things, hence, 'spooky'.

    Get used to 'spooky'. It isn't going to get less spooky even when it is finally explained. Keep those proton packs charged.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015
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  7. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I guess for those who are believers in Einstein/Minkowski space time what you have written may very well hold true.

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    Instantaneous communication (action), potentially across vast distances, by mechanisms that are impossible, under Einstein/Minkowski space time, would have certainly appeared to be paranormal in the mid 1930's. IMO
     
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  8. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member

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    I think you will find that instantaneous communication is not what entanglement is about. Communication is something limited by the speed of light. The problem with understanding the notion of action at a distance is tied to this notion of communication of information.
    But quantum information is fundamentally different; we get half the amount of classical information (either position or momentum, never both) when we measure quantum states.
    Quantum theory is something that requires a precise definition of measurement, in a sense it has redefined what a physical measurement means. Classical devices can measure classical kinds of physical information, and nowadays we use classical devices to measure quantum information; one big difference is that we can always copy classical bits, but we can't copy quantum bits (particle states).

    Further, the notion of a particle has moved on since the 19th century. It's really only a convenient term for something that may not be like a solid object at all. It can be something that defines the number of degrees of freedom of an abstract vector space. Like they say when you study this stuff for real, you have to leave conventional ideas about waves and particles behind.
     
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  9. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Entanglement of, say an electron within the same atom works as advertised, possibly appearing to operate faster than light only by virtue of the Higgs mechanism. But the Higgs has mass also, so FTL is also strictly prohibited there. Electron spin derives of this. Without inertia (for electrons) it doesn't work.

    Entanglement is a favorite saw of anti-Einstein folk because they have an agenda and an obsession for proving that Einstein was wrong. Minkowski was not even wrong, and was consulted by the same folk for similar reasons.

    Dirac at one time believed that all electrons in the universe are the same one. If that were true, the first atom of positronium that self-annhialated would have taken out half or all of the universe with it. A single electron cannot be simultaneously spin up and spin down, you see? Strange, since Dirac was the one who predicted positrons in the first place. Was he a cheat? How could a genius not figure this out?

    Even if someone isn't willing to attribute Einstein with as many correct predictions as he is due, it wasn't as though he did so alone. Give Michaelson and Moreley a little credit, even if they didn't understand their result.

    E still equals m times c squared. Nothing goes faster than light that is composed of matter or energy. Hitler and the Nazis lost WWII. Get used to it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015
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  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    From what I understand and probably incorrectly too I might add, is that certainly, communication is happening at a "rate" of no faster than 'c'


    eg:

    A>>>>>>>>>>>>>>A'

    This rate normally occurs between two points say A and A' where A and A' and separating space exist within Einstein/Minkowski (EM)space time.

    However in QM's entanglement we may have a situation that whilst the rate of communication remains 'c' and the points A and A' exist in EM space time however the separating distance does not exist in EM space time.

    A>>>| |>>>A'
    Sorry if the above simple typo diagrams are confusing.

    Essentially what I tend to believe is that the separating space (distance) between A and A' is zero ( Not of EM space time)
    The rate of communication remains at c' but the distance of separation is zero, even though in EM space time it may be light years.

    Thus we have "spooky action at a distance"

    * for the sake of discussion maybe it would be beneficial to consider two space time paradigms (one of which in abstract only)
    EM (Einstein Minkowski ) space time [4 dimensional]
    QME (QM Entanglement) space time [0 dimensional]

    Both operating simultaneously ( one on top of each other)

    ...just a thought..
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
  11. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    This is interesting and I would add I wonder if others had the genius to fully understand what Dirac was attempting to describe.
    AE of Dirac "This balancing on the dizzying path between genius and madness is awful"

    One approach IMO:
    If you look at a simple spiral you will note that from one perspective say NORTH the spiral is anti-clockwise yet from a SOUTHERN perspective it is clock-wise, ie. same spiral but displaying both directions of rotation depending on perspective.

    Example:
    Use the equator of this planet and describe a spiral that ends at the planets center of mass.
    You will note that depending on which pole, North or South, you look from, you will see the same spiral, yet it's rotating direction will be opposite.

    (Cyclonic weather in the Northern hemisphere is anti clockwise and in the Southern hemisphere it is clockwise.)
    I wonder if this perspective aspect was a part of what Dirac was attempting to describe...when you suggest that an electron can not have both up and down spin simultaneously.

    Edit: btw I am totally out of my depth when reading Dirac and the above are merely naive observations that may be relevant but then again may not...
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015
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  12. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    What about a helix? Or just pull out the center of the duplicate spirals in opposite directions. Doesn't overlay the other one now, does it?

    Is this a clue to 'spooky' or not?
     
  13. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I am not totally sure of what you mean... can you explain further?
     
  14. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Right and left handed screw threads cannot be made congruent by flipping which end the head of the screw is on.
     
  15. Little Bang Registered Member

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    Suppose we have two entangled particles A and B. The particle A changes it's spin and sends the information of the change by a photon to B. With respect to the photon doesn't the information reach B instantly because the photon's clock never moves?
     
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  16. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    We're talking about entangled photons (not electrons) now. Photons have no mass and in empty space they always travel at the speed of light. And you are correct that they have "no clock", and by this we mean, time dilation stretches any time interval to infinity, and time therefore stops. If that is so, then either photon spins can't flip or else must flip instantaneously, as you say.

    Unlike W and Z bosons, which travel at speeds less than c and therefore have an additional element of polarization possible, photon spins mean polarization (left- or right- handed).

    Is this correct so far?
     
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  17. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    The Nobel prize in physics in 2012 was awarded to a French and American physicist from NIST for demonstrating how to monitor the quantum states of photons (tickling them) without destroying those states. After a large number of such experiments, it was concluded to a high degree of certainty that photons could be entangled and although separated, would instantly react when the other was monitored.
     
  18. Little Bang Registered Member

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    You are correct.
     
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  19. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, but how is this any different to typical photon info transfer in Einstein/Minkowski space-time?

    If we assume the perspective of a photon at any time we see this result not just with entangled particles but any particles.
     
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  20. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    This is kind of unique with respect to photons mainly because they do travel at the speed of light. Theoretically this means that if continuos streams of entangled photons were sent to opposite ends of the universe at the time of the Big Bang, it would be possible to communicate instantly literally from one end of the known universe to the other, just by tickling (modulating) one stream of entangled photons. This of course assumes that no one or nothing else modulated or changed the state of either stream in the last 13.8 billion years. Tricky.

    This makes perfect sense relativisticly, because from the point of view of those photons, the universe appears completely flat. We can also predict that for entangled particles possessing mass, such as electrons, the response might be a little sluggish or not even work at all, mainly because their respective and relative universes do NOT appear completely flat. The signal to noise ratios would be much higher, and the likelihood of dis-entanglement much greater. A little more work on entanglement is needed.

    Thanks, Little Bang. If this does not demonstrate that only time exists and space is emergent, I don't know what does. QQ: Nice question. This demonstrates once again relativity's supremacy over certain mathematical constructs of quantum mechanics.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  21. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    hee hee... so tickling a photon today would modulate a photon 13.8 billion years ago which in turn modulates the photon witnessed today.... eh?

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    Tricky no doubt about it...!
     
  22. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    QQ: Why is it we are discussing this in pseudoscience again? This is the greatest stuff...

    It would actually be DOUBLE the distance. 27. 6 billion light years.
     
  23. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    the answer I posted in another fora a few days ago:

    "I made the decision to post it in the pseudo science fora out of respect for the fear that some members have about threads in that forum misleading readers as to what is considered as mainstream and other wise. It appears to me, that the readers have great difficulty in recognizing the difference between opinion and fact a lot of the time. So asking for opinion in the Physics and Math fora is not a really good idea IMO."
     
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