# How "spooky action...." may work?

• I
• Suppaman
In summary, as long as the particles are not disturbed by any external influence, the entanglement in all these cases persists due to conservation laws!

#### Suppaman

If we have two entangled particles that are separated by physical distance and show by test the "spooky action..." results is it possible they are still connected in time at the point when they were entangled and therefor are really still connected?

They are still "connected", in the sense that the two particles - even though spatially separated - form one entity described by one common wave function.

So, as I suggested, they are common in time?

Miss Anthrope
What does that mean?

Because I see there is some doubt about the concept of time that perhaps when the particles are entangled that they are linked to a specific instant in time and when separated and tested they are still connected to that point in time. An alternate way to say this is that they are not communicating at a distance faster than light but rather they communicate back to/from the instant in time they were entangled.

Suppaman said:
An alternate way to say this is that they are not communicating at a distance faster than light but rather they communicate back to/from the instant in time they were entangled.

They don't communicate at all, nor do they need to - entanglement is just a statistical correlation.

haael and bhobba
Suppaman said:
If we have two entangled particles that are separated by physical distance and show by test the "spooky action..." results is it possible they are still connected in time at the point when they were entangled and therefor are really still connected?
Yes, they are connected from the very beginning by being prepared in the entangled state. To be more precise you have to say, in which observables they are entangled.

The most famous example is the EPR example going back to a famous debate between Einstein and Bohr. Einstein, to his later regret with his coauthors Podolsky and Rosen, wrote a paper, asking the question, whether quantum mechanics can be considered complete, and Bohr answered with another article with the same title.

There the example was a particle, initially at rest, decaying into two other particles running with opposite momenta away. Then these particles are entangled with respect to their momenta. As often here the entanglement is due to a conservation law (here conservation of momentum).

Another example is the decay of a scalar particle into two particles of spin 1/2. Due to angular-momentum conservation the two particles' spins are entangled.

The most accurate Bell experiments are made with photons, because nowadays it's very easy to prepare two-photon states whose polarizations are entangled by a mechanism called "parametric down conversion". You shoot with a laser at a certain type of birefringent crystal and then a photon, picked up out of the laser field, becomes split into two photons that have opposite polarization ("horizontal" and "vertical" with respect to any arbitrarily chosen direction).

In all these examples the entanglement between the observables is due to the "preparation" of the corresponding quantum state. Another important point is that, as long as the so prepared quantum systems are not disturbed by any external influence, the entanglement in all these cases persists due to conservation laws! This means the particles or photons in all these examples can get very far apart of each other if you wait long enough, but the entanglement still persists, and thus, although being very far apart, the particles/photons still are one system.

Now, if Alice observes the entangled observable on one of the particles/photons, nothing happens instantaneously to the other particle according to our present understanding of this question, since all interactions of the particles with A's measurement apparatus obey themselves the rules of local relativistic quantum field theory, and this theory has built into its foundations the principle of microcausality and locality, i.e., there are only local interactions, and observables (like the energy density of the electromagnetic field, which describes the probability to find a photon in a detector put at a given place) which are separated by a space-like distance commute, i.e., the measurement at A's place cannot do anything at Bob's (perhaps far distant place).

Nevertheless, although the polarizations of each of the photons in the example with the two-photon polarization state, are maximally unknown, i.e., when Alice and Bob measure very many so prepared photons, they cannot predict in any way what they will find. Both A and B just have a stream of unpolarized photons. Nevertheless, if they keep the time of their measurement events carefully enough, so that after the measurement they can check on correlations between the polarizations of photons belonging always to a polarization-entangled two-photon state, they will find 100% correlation, i.e., when A has found a H-polarized photon B will have found a V-polarized one and vice versa.

Now taken these two statements, which both are fully consistent with relativistic local quantum field theory (here particularly Quandum Electrodynamics, describing the electromagnetic field and its interactions with matter), together can only lead to the conclusion that the 100% correlation must be due to the preparation in the entangled state, and that it is not caused on B's photon by A's measurement (or vice versa). This has also been verified with many very accurate measurements, where the choice of what was measured at A's and B's place was decided so short before the photon's registration that there cannot be any influence from the measurements at the other place.

This shows that local relativistic quantum field theory combines both the principles of locality of interactions and microcausality with the possibility of 100% correlations between separate parts of quantum systems, which are described by entanglement. As Einstein made clear later with another paper, his main concern was this inseparability of far-distant parts of quantum systems, not so much the "spooky action at a distance", which is an issue only if one assumes the socalled "collapse of the quantum state" due to measurement processes, but that's an unnecessary additional assumption on top of the quantum theoretical formalism. As the above example shows, you do not need to assume it anywhere to fully describe what's measured on such entangled systems! The demonstration of entanglement, however, shows that Nature is very different from a naive worldview based on classical (i.e., non-quantum) physics in the sense that the quantum states describe very strong correlations between far-distant parts of a quantum system, which cannot be explained with local deterministic hidden-variable models, i.e., they cannot be described with classical statistics within a deterministic local classical theory.

Dadface, Markus Hanke, didaho and 2 others
vanhees71 said:
As often here the entanglement is due to a conservation law (here conservation of momentum).

I thought it was always due to a conservation law, not just often, are there exceptions?

An article on this site "
NIST team proves 'spooky action at a distance' is really real"

So, reading vanhees71 and the above article I am convinced it is both real and not real. Did someone let a cat into the discussion?

ddd123 said:
I thought it was always due to a conservation law, not just often, are there exceptions?
I'm not sure. I've no counterexample in mind.

Suppaman said:
An article on this site "
NIST team proves 'spooky action at a distance' is really real"

So, reading vanhees71 and the above article I am convinced it is both real and not real. Did someone let a cat into the discussion?

It's a language issue. "Spooky action at a distance" in the article (and I think in the OP as well) is a violation of the Bell inequality. Vanhee didn't say that this is not real.

vanhees71 said:
The demonstration of entanglement, however, shows that Nature is very different from a naive worldview based on classical (i.e., non-quantum) physics in the sense that the quantum states describe very strong correlations between far-distant parts of a quantum system, which cannot be explained with local deterministic hidden-variable models, i.e., they cannot be described with classical statistics within a deterministic local classical theory.

So, if it is actually something observed and unexplained and my initial question/idea "Because I see there is some doubt about the concept of time that perhaps when the particles are entangled that they are linked to a specific instant in time and when separated and tested they are still connected to that point in time. An alternate way to say this is that they are not communicating at a distance faster than light but rather they communicate back to/from the instant in time they were entangled." is what I am looking for feedback on. Now if there are any explanations of how spooky action at a distance (since it exists?) actually works I would be very interested. My idea makes sense to me as I believe I read some place other phenomena could only be explained by sending something into the past. Not my idea, just an application for the concept.

Suppaman said:
"Because I see there is some doubt about the concept of time that perhaps when the particles are entangled that they are linked to a specific instant in time and when separated and tested they are still connected to that point in time. An alternate way to say this is that they are not communicating at a distance faster than light but rather they communicate back to/from the instant in time they were entangled."

There are interpretations of quantum theory that incorporates backward-in-time influences such as John Cramer's transactional interpretation and the two-state vector formalism by Yakir Aharonov and others. I'm not familiar with them so I can't say more about them. Perhaps others in this forum can. But IMO these "explanations" aren't any more palatable than having faster-than-light communication between particles.

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Faster then light seems to have a lot going that prohibits it. Sending something back in time is not prohibited like faster then light so is it not a better explanation?

I have to admit that I have always thought of faster-than-light signaling and going backward in time as more or less the same because the former leads to the latter in special relativity. But how does nonlocal hidden variable theory like Bohmian mechanics differ from retrocausal theories? (that is, how I might favor one over the other) You got me beat.

An alternate thought, If we have two entangled particles that when entangled are also connected to the fabric to each other and a point in the fabric of space which does not move when they are separated by physical distance. So, no FTL or SAAAD required. It would really be nice to have a textbook from the distant future so I could understand the universe better. xD

Markus Hanke said:
They don't communicate at all, nor do they need to - entanglement is just a statistical correlation.

Indeed. Nothing mysterious at all. Its just different to classical correlations.

Thanks
Bill

Markus Hanke
Suppaman said:
NIST team proves 'spooky action at a distance' is really real"

These and similar claims are simply misunderstandings of so called weak measurents as has been discussed here many times.

Thanks
Bill

Suppaman said:
Faster then light seems to have a lot going that prohibits it. Sending something back in time is not prohibited like faster then light so is it not a better explanation?

See this paper on conservation laws and entanglement : http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0407041.pdf

The phenomenon of entanglement means that our space is "smaller" than we think, in a sense. Measuring one particle gives us also a hint about other particles. In classical physics two particles are independent. One can be in a state A or B and other also may be in a state A or B. In quantum physics, one of the states is forbidden. We can have states AA, AB, BA, but not BB.

I like to think of the analogy that particles are "too big" in information sense. Our spacetime doesn't have enough information capacity to hold the full state of the particle, so we have to encode part of it in the space occupied by other particles. The consequence is that not all multi-particle states are allowed or (direct equivalence from probability theory) the states of individual particles are correlated.

If you like Matrix-like interpretations, it may mean that our universe is compressed, i.e. the computer that simulates us uses some compression algorithm.

GhostLoveScore
Truecrimson said:
It's a language issue. "Spooky action at a distance" in the article (and I think in the OP as well) is a violation of the Bell inequality. Vanhee didn't say that this is not real.
Of course, the violation of the Bell inequality is one of the best checked features of QT. I only deny the necessity of a collapse and I deny that one has to assume something else than Born's Rule to give meaning to the quantum mechanical state (statistical operator, ray in Hilbert space). This means that there's no necessity to assume any "spooky action at a distance" at all, which is only a necessary conclusion if you introduce the collapse hypothesis, which thus is violating causality in the relativsitic context. This view of the meaning of the state (minimal statistical interpretation) implies that the observed correlations, responsible for the violation of the Bell inequality, are due to the state preparation and not due to the measurement of A causing something relevant for the measurement at B (and vice versa).

Jilang, Truecrimson and bhobba
morrobay said:
See this paper on conservation laws and entanglement : http://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0407041.pdf

The same author has published this: https://arxiv.org/abs/1102.1187 , from the text "We have discovered local variables that are quantum compatible that allow coding the shared information without violating Einstein locality or the requirements arising from quantum superposition". Isn't this a controversial claim? I'd like to have some opinions.

Since nothing in local microcausal quantum field theory violates Einstein causality and the locality of interactions by construction (!) I don't see what's so sensational about this claim. Of course, I'd have to read the paper for the details to see what the author is after. It already starts with the expression "local variables that are quantum compatible". What should that be? I guess, one has to struggle through a lot of strange terminology with very little relevance...

bhobba
I am a bit confused about the mechanics of splitting a photon and the process of parametric down-conversion. My searches only show that the photon passes through a NLO crystal, which seems to be always graphically represented by a box. I am aware of Compton and Thomson scattering in which a photon interacts with a charged particle, but what is happening within the NLO crystal to cause the split? Is it possible that the EM wave is split into its electric and magnetic components and then reacquiring their complimentary components after the split to create two photons of lower energy? But my real interest is in the mechanics of the split in some graphic form similar to how the Compton scattering can be illustrated. Thank you.

Markus Hanke said:
They don't communicate at all, nor do they need to - entanglement is just a statistical correlation.
A statistical correlation which one cannot explain with a common cause in the past. This is Bell's theorem.

So you have the choice: Or to accept that one measurement has a direct causal influence on the other one, which would violate Einstein causality.

Or to give up the very idea that it is the job of science to find causal explanations of observed correlations. This choice would be preferred by astrologs and the tobacco industry, for obvious reasons. But why scientists prefer this choice is beyond me.

Ilja said:
...to accept that one measurement has a direct causal influence on the other one, which would violate Einstein causality...

But why violate Einstein? Before those two measurements, there is the quantum superposition of potential spacetime worlds - in each world, all the observed/observable events are in the most perfect agreement with Einstein causality. The two measurements together make the choice of the one actual world, one measurement just reducing the choice for another.

(That's all actually explained by Heisenberg in his philosophic writings.)

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vanhees71 said:
The most famous example is the EPR example going back to a famous debate between Einstein and Bohr. Einstein, to his later regret with his coauthors Podolsky and Rosen, wrote a paper, asking the question, whether quantum mechanics can be considered complete, and Bohr answered with another article with the same title.
Do you have a reference where Einstein expresses his regret?

bhobba said:

Indeed. Nothing mysterious at all. Its just different to classical correlations.

Thanks
Bill
Indeed there is nothing mysterious in how to calculate the correlations for an entangled pair, QM gives a clear recipe. Nonetheless, I find that nature is in accord with those correlations extremely mysterious and I am in good company. Don't you find that masses experience gravitational attraction mysterious in spite of knowing how to calculate the force.

vanhees71 said:
The demonstration of entanglement, however, shows that Nature is very different from a naive worldview based on classical (i.e., non-quantum) physics in the sense that the quantum states describe very strong correlations between far-distant parts of a quantum system, which cannot be explained with local deterministic hidden-variable models, i.e., they cannot be described with classical statistics within a deterministic local classical theory.
However, you do give the false impression that the 100% anti-correlation results (e.g. H vs V) are sufficient to undermine local hidden variables.

Zafa Pi said:
Indeed there is nothing mysterious in how to calculate the correlations for an entangled pair, QM gives a clear recipe. Nonetheless, I find that nature is in accord with those correlations extremely mysterious and I am in good company. Don't you find that masses experience gravitational attraction mysterious in spite of knowing how to calculate the force.

I think before making statements like that a bit of thought needs to be put into the nature of explanation. An explanation assumes some things to explain others. Every explanation, every single one, has that 'mysterious' aspect to it. Its how you react to it that determines your attitude - its very personal and not science.

Regarding gravity - GR explains that attraction as the result of space-time curvature which in modern times is known to be more or less implied by the very intuitive principle of no prior geometry - why should nature single out one geometry over another? Still its an assumption and how you react to it determines if its mysterious or not - personally for me its not mysterious - but that's just me - although I suspect the vast majority would feel that way as well.

I post this a lot because I think its very important (those that have seen before just ignore it - its purely to make a point):
https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0101012.pdf

QM can be presented in such a way, like the principle of no prior geometry, so its not 'mysterious'. From that the different kinds of statistical correlations follow. In particular as the above paper shows its the requirement of continuous transformations between pure states that takes the place of no prior geometry. It turns out that is equivalent to having entanglement:
https://arxiv.org/abs/0911.0695

Its entirely how you view and react to it - 'mysterious' is a human reaction - nature doesn't care a hoot and certainly science doesn't.

Thanks
Bill

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AlexCaledin said:
But why violate Einstein?
Because else you can prove Bell's inequality. All we need for this is the EPR criterion of reality: "If, without in any way disturbing a system, we can predict with certainty the value of a physical quantity, then there exists an element of physical reality corresponding to this physical quantity. " And Einstein causality to show that the measurement by Alice does not in any way disturb Bobs part of the system.

AlexCaledin said:
But why violate Einstein? Before those two measurements, there is the quantum superposition of potential spacetime worlds - in each world, all the observed/observable events are in the most perfect agreement with Einstein causality. The two measurements together make the choice of the one actual world, one measurement just reducing the choice for another.

Virtually all of that is interpretive supposition. The QM formalisn says nothing about potential space time worlds etc etc.

Take on board the writings of the early pioneers with caution - things have moved on a lot since then.

Before forming any views on QM study a good modern text like Ballentine.

Thanks
Bill

bhobba said:
I think before making statements like that a bit of thought needs to be put into the nature of explanation. An explanation assumes some things to explain others. Every explanation, every single one, has that 'mysterious' aspect to it. Its how you react to it that determines your attitude - its very personal and not science.

Regarding gravity - GR explains that attraction as the result of space-time curvature which in modern times is known to be more or less implied by the very intuitive principle of no prior geometry - why should nature single out one geometry over another? Still its an assumption and how you react to it determines if its mysterious or not - personally for me its not mysterious - but that's just me - although I suspect the vast majority would feel that way as well.

I post this a lot because I think its very important (those that have seen before just ignore it - its purely to make a point):
https://arxiv.org/pdf/quant-ph/0101012.pdf

QM can be presented in such a way, like the principle of no prior geometry, so its not 'mysterious'. From that the different kinds of statistical correlations follow. In particular as the above paper shows its the requirement of continuous transformations between pure states that takes the place of no prior geometry. It turns out that is equivalent to having entanglement:
https://arxiv.org/abs/0911.0695

Its entirely how you view and react to it - 'mysterious' is a human reaction - nature doesn't care a hoot and certainly science doesn't.

Thanks
Bill
How does mass pull off the warping of space?
The Hardy "axioms" to mathematicians are incomprehensible fluff, at least all the ones I've showed them to.
As far as we know nature doesn't give a hoot, nor does a specific theory/ model. But science as a human endeavor does care.
Is there any scientific result you find mysterious?

Zafa Pi said:
How does mass pull off the warping of space?

If you examine a simple model of dust and assume a pseudo-riemannian geometry (that's the no prior geometry idea) then the equations of GR pretty much follow. Most books on GR explains it, at least the ones I have read, but here is not the place to discuss it - the relativity subsection is.

Zafa Pi said:
The Hardy "axioms" to mathematicians are incomprehensible fluff, at least all the ones I've showed them to.

Well my background is math as well and that's not my view. But obviously its a matter of opinion.

Zafa Pi said:
As far as we know nature doesn't give a hoot, nor does a specific theory/ model. But science as a human endeavor does care. Is there any scientific result you find mysterious?

Of course eg the Feynman sum over history approach explains the principle of least action in classical physics, but why can QFT also be put into that form. That's just one example of course.

Thanks
Bill