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Do particles know their destination before setting out?

  1. May 10, 2009 #1
    Lets assume we want to calculate a path for a particle for a best path
    scenario from one place to another.

    Particle A can collide with nearby particles B or C - depending on where B and C are,
    but B and C may collide with D or E and, again D or E may collide with particles F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M.
    But particles F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M may collide with.........

    The routing calculation is a polynomial nightmare even for a large computer,
    - would need one bigger than the universe etc etc.

    If the quantum states of the particles involved in collisions knew their destinations before setting off
    (by FTL quantum state communication), would that help in solving this polynomial travelling salesman problem?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 10, 2009 #2


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    You may want to look into many-body physics. Such detailed knowledge is not necessary (or may not even be relevant) in various emergent phenomena. The many-body ground state doesn't care about such detailed in, say, arriving at superconductivity, for example.

  4. May 11, 2009 #3
    This view of particles moving like billiard balls and colliding from time to time is deeply mistaken. Quantum particles interact through long-range fields (at least in the EM-case). The particle always "know" about each other just like in the case of gravity.
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