A group of scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology recently came a step closer to figuring out where the boundary lies between the quantum and classical physical worlds, and their discovery has big implications for the future of quantum computers— which would have much faster and more powerful processors than our computers do today.
The field of quantum mechanics deals with the behavior of atoms and subatomic particles. In this world, the rules of classical physics seem to go right out the window. Particles can be in two places at the same time (called superposition) and generally act in ways you'd never expect to see in our everyday world. One of the strangest phenomenon in quantum mechanics is called quantum entanglement, where two or more particles are "entangled" and an action performed on one effects the others. (This would be sort of like having an object on Earth and another on the moon, and if you did something to the one on earth it would instantly affect the one on the moon.) Once entangled, the two particles stay inextricably linked. Quantum entanglement is so strange, in fact, that Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance."
Until recently, physicists had only been able to demonstrate quantum entanglement through highly esoteric examples, such as entangling the spins of electrons in atoms. But the NIST group was able to entangle the mechanical motion of two sets of vibrating ions. "This experiment demonstrates entanglement in a system that everybody can relate to: Mechanical oscillators," says John Jost, a graduate student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who worked on the team of researchers. "Mechanical oscillators pervade our everyday life, from vibrating violin strings to the pendulum on a grandfather clock."
The NIST group, who published their findings in the June 4 issue of Nature, separated two pairs of ions in a container where the air had been removed. The pairs consisted of a beryllium and magnesium ion each. First they manipulated the four ions with laser beams to entangle an internal property in the two beryllium ions, then separated the pairs a quarter of a millimeter apart—which is a huge distance when it comes to atoms. As Jost explains, if the ions were the size of soccer balls (roughly 20 million times their size), you'd place one pair 88 meters apart at the penalty kick marks of a soccer field, and the other set of ions the same distance apart, but nearly 5 kilometers away. When the researchers changed the movement of one set of the ions, the other set immediately responded.
So what does this mean for the future of computers? Theoretically, quantum computers would harness the power of molecules and atoms for memory and processing. Although quantum computing is still only in a nascent stage, it could lead to vastly more powerful and sophisticated machines. Computer technology is improving all the time—you just need to take a walk through any electronics store to see that—and quantum computers could essentially be the next step after we've reached the boundary of where we can go with classical machines. While today's computers manipulate bits that exist in only two states— 0 or 1— quantum computers would also be able to encode information in qubits. These quantum bits can exist in superposition—so they'd be in two places at once. Of course this is a long ways off, but scientists can dream. "One of the most popular ideas for building a quantum computer with trapped ions would involve having many ions (thousands or millions), entangled and in superpositions, whizzing around and being manipulated by laser beams," says Jost. "This experiment should play an important role in building a quantum computer with trapped ions."
Want to know more about the NIST team's experiment? Check out an animation of what they did, here.
It is an interesting question though as to why we don't see quantum mechanics in everyday life. And imagine if in a few years (or centuries) we could use quantum mechanics. Data transfer at the speed of... well, instantaneous lol.
One of the more important applications of quantum entanglement would be its use as a potential for long distance communication. If you can affect one particle and have that effect be instantaneously apparent on the other, regardless of distance, it would alleviate many of the problems in communication with spacecraft that have left the reliable distance for radio communication. Imagine a probe that can be controlled at a distance of several light years, with instantaneous precision.
I wonder, how instantaneous is it? If the two entangled ion's were say, a light year apart (And still entangled) would it be possible to send information via oscillations in the two ions? And would the oscillations happen instantaneously enough to permit real time communication at those distances? Would you be able to create a closed circuit of those ions in a loop and defy space/time to talk a year into the past?
Well... the theory is that two entangled particles affect one another instantaneously, regardless of distance. That is, the time between an action performed on one particle and its effect being measured on the other is zero. I can't for the life of me imagine how you could jump to the conclusion that that would allow you to communicate into the past. Instantaneous is instantaneous... you can't pass information through time when the total time involved is zero.
The next followup experiment would be to separate one of the ions from the pair while still maintaining the entanglement and injecting into one of the particle accelerators and making it go around close to the speed of light. If that happens then the traveling particle will experience time dilatation compared to the stationary particle according to Einstein i.e. it will go backwards in time. If it is successfully extracted from the particle accelerator, we will have two particles which communicate instantaneously across different times periods. We can send messages back in time by sending them through the stationary particle or ask questions to people in future by sending questions through the traveling particle.
GraVix: We already use quantum mechanics. CD/DVD readers depend on the laws of quantum mechanics just to name an example.
Dudley22: You are incorrect. Entanglement does not operate "instantaneously, regardless of distance" - it operates at the speed of light (both entanglement and gravity are limited to the speed of light). Otherwise it would violate the laws of cause and effect. So if you separated the particles by several light years, it would take several years for the entangled particle to change its' twin state. Anything that goes faster than the speed of light means the the consequence of an action could occur before the action - if it was not limited to the speed of light then Pay the Piper would be correct, you on the other hand would be wrong - at any rate that is why it is limited to the speed of light.
"Anything that goes faster than the speed of light means the the consequence of an action could occur before the action"
Granted, I'm no expert in quantum physics, but this statement seems to break the laws of cause and effect more than the one you're using it as a counter-argument against. If it were possible to launch an object at twice the speed of light, and send it to a location two light years in the distance, common sense would dictate that the object will arrive at its destination in one year. One year later does not mean the consequences are occurring before the action... they are occurring one year later.
Now, the observable effect from the point of the destination would *appear* to happen in reverse, since from that perspective visible light from the object's arrival would reach the destination sooner than visible light from an earlier point in its travel. but that would be an observable effect, and not the actual events. Granted, if light is indeed the barrier for velocity, this example could never occur to begin with...
Either way, in a quantum entanglement example, it seems to me like this would be a moot point; even if the effect is instantaneous over a large distance, there are no particles, be they mater or energy, traveling faster than the speed of light. All particles involved stay in relatively fixed locations.
These are just my thoughts as best as I understand the theory. I think one of the two of us is confused about something, so I'd appreciate it if you could clarify your stance, maybe with source information... interesting discussion, though.
Hmm... I've reread your post a few times, and I think I see the point you were trying to make. Under the theory of general relativity, as an object approaches the speed of light, time slows for that object, and eventually comes to a stop at the speed of light itself. I suppose one could extend the theory to the assumption that, if you were able to push beyond the speed of light, time would "slow" even further for that object, and the object would then be experiencing time in reverse.
However, if this is what you meant when you said an action that occurs beyond the speed of light will have its consequences occur before the action, I think you may be misapplying the theory. Once again, in a quantum entanglement example, there are no particles traveling beyond the speed of light, and so both of the entangled particles are experiencing time in a normal, forward direction.
What is instantaneous? Instantaneous relative to what? If your definition of simultaneity is dependent on you movement through space (which it is) then what does instantaneous mean?
Also to 3DTOPO, Quantum physics does propose the ability to transfer information through space faster than the speed of light because it allows a single particle to occupy multiple spaces at once. Thats why Einstein hated it because he set the speed limit at C, but quantum physics broke that rule.
If it were an instantaneous closed loop, or circuit, with each end of the loop covering a distance of one light year, wouldn't the message itself experience time dilation? Wouldn't the message when traversing this loop, travel into the past according to Einstein's theory of relativity? And therefore violate causality? From what I understand time and space are more or less one and the same.
What you have to remember is that a message is really just information in its purest form. It's not traveling anywhere; it has no velocity, no mass, and no energy. Essentially, as far as the laws of physics are concerned, information doesn't even exist. So, even if you "send" a message faster than the speed of light via superposition or quantum entanglement, no laws are broken. All you really have is a particle in one location reacting to a particle in another; there is no "traveling" involved.
qlmmb2086: First of all, spin states are considered to be information, so if entanglement operated at greater than the speed of light, then you could in fact send information faster than the speed of light.
Look up "Quantum entanglement" at Wikipedia for more information, a quote:
"Even if information cannot be transmitted through entanglement alone, it is believed that it is possible to transmit information using a set of entangled states used in conjunction with a classical information channel. This process is known as quantum teleportation. Despite its name, quantum teleportation may still not permit information to be transmitted faster than light, because a classical information channel is required to complete the process."
Basically, you would still need something like light for the information channel.
You also might want to read up on "retrocausality" and "causality".
There now is a quantum computing company. D-Wave Systems is in production stage of the first ever quantum computing algorithms.
Enjoy the future...It's here.
This scientifc mystery is what is called the spiritual realm or 4th dimension. Everything is created in that dimension before it evolves to this 3rd dimension of tangibility. The Lord lead me to look up Quantum Physics and wow, it explained alot to me on how faith works and how He uses the unseen realm(the spookie action as its called) before things becomes come seen. Materail objectslive and are created in this realm, spirits, good and bad, thoughts words take action there and more stuff. Its like a birthing canal dimension. I tell you we forget its God the creator of all who knows the info first but man mind is very great and intellectual cause He made us in the image of him(not apes).
And the LORD said,.... and this is only the beginning of what they will do. now nothing they have imagined they can do wont be impossible for them.
1 Corinthians 2:7 (NKJV)
7 But we speak the wisdom of God
As I understand quantum entaglement is two particles thet have been linked so that if you change something in one of them then the other will change in the same way. So if you made a quantum computer out of entagled particles and made another one of the particles the first computer is linked to would you have instantaneous communication?
@ Pay The Piper:
Yes, theoretically the information transfer would be instantaneous no matter how far apart you are. The only problem is to communicate instantaneously light years away, you still have the travel time of setting up the receiving point that is light years away, unless we master faster than light speed travel.
As far as time machine communication goes, there's work already being down on one. ( you can look it up on youtube - i think by searching for first time machine discovery) Although, the catch is you can only communicate back to the day where the first time machine was actually turned on, and not beforehand.
In quantum entanglement, information doesn't travel faster than light. Some information still has to be transfered in order for the results at the other end to be understood. Thus, information still does not travel faster than light.
OK first a little "reality" check - most people's mindset on "time" is clock-based time, which is only a representation of DISTANCE - i.e. the distance the surface of the earth travels as the earth rotates, and/or the distance the earth travels in it's oval spiral around the sun. For example, if a rock or coffe cup sits out in deepest space away from ANY external influences, is "time" relevant? In QM, one understands that "time" is irrelevant and factored out. It's all about matter, energy, (which really are the same thing in different states), and distance. So two particles entangled but separeated by distance can communicate regardless of the "position" (read - current "time") of one of the particles. I always like to say the the time is "now" and when you read this, it will be "Now" and always will be. A static temporal continuum, a constant moment of Now, a singularity of present conscious experience.
So instantaneous communication will happen - but will appear to travel time in the event that the particles are farther apart than light can travel. So, if one particle is on Alpha Centari and the other here, the effect travels faster than light over the same distance and thus appears to travel through "time".
So the question really is, will one particle on a "future" earth (which will be farther away) be able to remain in contact with the present particle? Remains to be seen and probably only one way since in any one moment the second particle could be still next to the original ... anyway it's an interesting conundrum.
Bottom line is, will you get hit for roaming or long distance fees? and what will the coverage map look like then?
Guess what, it's still just "now". Things get recorded, because matter can move and be altered, but that doesn't prove that "time" exists. It's still now.
3DTOPO your actually not correct on this. We don't really understand exactly how the speed of light is apparently violated, at least not fully. But information, although not so useful at this time, can be transferred faster than a photon can propagate through space.
The wikipedia article you referred to has been updated because it is just flat out misleading.
I will try to explain quantum entanglement for something I know well. Photons.
Once we entangle two photons we can send them in opposite directions and then AFTER MANY MANY photons have been received at two different sites we can compare them (usually by polarization or momentum state) and see if entanglement occurred.
If it occurred then one has one state and the other has some other opposite or complementary state out of many possible other states it could have had.
Here is the part where people are confused. In an entagled state you don't have two classical particles you have just one. Because you don't have two wavefunctions, just one. These particles have only one wavefunction they exists in. The wavefunction can extend to infinity. So when you act on one particle you are acting on the set and naturally it affects both. You could say that for the entangled photons we created and sent in opposite directions the wavefunction grew at the speed of light in opposite directions
So to say that information traveled faster than light is correct if you assume some type of messenger particle went from one particle to its brother faster than light. But that's not what we scientists accept as the reason. We say that the wavefunction collapses into two wavefunctions instantly. And each sub-wavefunction has a different characteristic. That sub-wavefunction is what we measure.
Now you can think of the wavefunction as the space surrounding a particle where it can exist, however that space for all intents and purposes is the particle until it collapses. It can even interact with other forms of energy regardless of where the particle may be at the time. Even more wierd it can interact with itself just like a water wave in a pool can bounce of a corner and interfere with itself.
Inside this wavefunction I think it's fair to say we don't know what the hek is going on. But we have some cool math that helps us predict what will happen. That math however doesn't tell us things like why Gravity is non-existent at the particle level and why God chose the wavefunction as a means to propagate matter.
In summary yes information does appear to travel faster than light but we have yet to harness that because entanglement is not so easy to deal with. Entangle partners can become unentangled very easily by minute disturbances etc. So we wait for more progress.
Now I am not claiming the above is fully correct as I omitted a lot of things but I think it's a good first approximation of what we know to this day. Well of what I think we do know anyways.
Hope that helped.
a photon travels 3e8m in one second and 1 foot in one nanosecond, what do you have to say to that?
"Anything that goes faster than the speed of light means the the consequence of an action could occur before the action"
Not inside the wavefunction.
A photon is either in all places inside it's wavefunction at once or it travels faster than the speed of light inside its wavefunction, pick one.
Everyone is still thinking inside, "the box" i.e. a computer, or a spaceship, etc. Believe it or not, "arise_into_god_glory" is thinking along the right lines. Even the analogy example in the article is not very accurate with: two given objects, 1 on the earth & 1 on the moon experiencing something @ the same time. What they r failing 2 realize is that we r talking about the exact SAME object, not 2 different ones! In other words being able 2 be in more than one place @ the exact same time, no computers, or spaceships necessary!!! This my friends is not sci-fi, it is fact!
This could explain many things.
All people brains of our planet could be connected by using the same physics. We actually came from one source and it is possible that in our DNA some mechanism programmed to “entangle” some particles. This could explain thoughts transfer between some people, or when dogs feel owner at distance. Theoretically if such mechanism exist in our brains our thinking could be influenced by nature or God or some other more advanced civilization.
Charles Jordan- boy there is a lot of misspeak out there. It's more of a semantic problem than anything. Entanglement as I understand it is to prepare a state with a specific set of characteristics, a particular favorite is spin. For instance, take a spin zero neutral pion which decays into two photons. When the pi zero decays, the photons take off back to back. If you measure one of the photons spin at any distance from the decay point, the other photon will have the opposite spin, because the total spin has to be zero. However, you cannot force the value of the first photon to be +1, you have to take whatever it is, the relative probability of each is predictable by quantum mechanics. So therefore you know what the second photon's spin is(it's polarization), but you can't force it to be a particular value and therefore you haven't transmitted any information. There is no cause and effect, no force, nothing transmitted, nothing but conservation of angular momentum of a single system. Theoretically quantum teleportation would require setting up every atom or molecule in the human body into a well defined state so that a second body could be assembled on the other end by scanning with a well defined beam and depending on conservation of angular momentum for the reconstruction. You could either transport the atoms or the information. Check out Laurence Krauss's Physics of Star Trek. He shows that even if you could do it you couldn't because of the energy and time required to send that many atoms from one place to another. Right now the teleportation is limited to ridiculously simple systems like photons. It's child's play.
Transporting would be as simple as establishing a second location, superimpose the current state along a known wave, then reverse it.
Look up the term apport. People do this daily.( i guarantee you wont believe it until you see it )
If there were no way to go faster then light, then entanglement would not be possible. Likely there are many many ways to go much much faster, more then there has been written of in sci-fi. Belief structures limit how reality is percieved.
Space and time are the same thing, alter space , alter time. Some things wouldnt be able to be changed in time however. Certain events would have "mass", and couldnt be changed. That mass has been measured, with random number generators showing spikes for world greif events. Collective consciousness would also have a "mass" , certain events would be more or less likely depending on belief structures. In theory a teleporter would be able to time travel, trying to change an immutable event would be like crashing your car.
Time is circular, we only perceive it as a straight line. In communicating with "future earths" we could obtain information about potentials , but current decisions could change the outcome.(observation changes outcome)
DNA is extremely superconductive, and according to popular belief, much of it is junk. Likely we havent deciphered the quantum information. There are structures in our cells and DNA that allow people to affect matter (in a quantum state) , perceive probable futures, manipulate matter,and much more. Certain genotypes would have more activated "quantum" genetic states, in evolution if your ancestor had a funny feeling that there was a bear, and he was right , he would have had offspring. People without them, not so much.
New studies on Dna suggest that genes can be activated or inactivated (Bruce lipton, author) by foods, stresses, environment, and even conscious intention. Ie. meditation.
If my current theory holds up,quantum entanglement should be affected by gravitational lensing
I think what most of what I'm reading from this string is still stuck in general relativity, which does not apply to quantum theory. Why are we talking about the speed of light, breaking the speed of light constant . . etc.?
When it is theoretically proposed that a particle can be in two places at once, that's what needs to be understood. It's one particle. There is no transfer of information from one particle to itself. That's what's so mindbendingly "spooky" about the concept.
A question for you qmnut, if you overcame the problem of entangled particles becoming disentangled, couldn't you therefore make communication possible through the use of an accurate time keeper?
What I mean to say is this: imagine you sent out a spacecraft with an entangled particle with its brother here on earth. The craft and Earth base also have very accurate timekeepers synchronised to each other, they would have to deal with the time dilation associated with speedy travel, but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Now, the craft checks the state of the entangled atom every second. If its the same as the last second, no information was sent, a bitwise 0. If its state is different, that represents a bitwise 1. Now, scale this up to checking 10,000 times a second and you have quite usable communication.
Why wouldn't that be possible? I am sure it isn't, but why?