Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is light still the fastest?

  1. Aug 17, 2010 #1
    Forgive me for such a basic question, but recently I have been reading up on entangled particles. It seems that a lot of that information would lead one to believe that entangled particles don't operate on the principle that light is the fastest means of information transpiration. If what happens to one entangled particle instantaneously occurs to the other, wouldn't that pave the way for information travel that moved faster than light?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2010 #2
    The thing is when that happens to particles, the information is not traveling, it is simply at both places at once. The information being the way the particle is set up/existing. It has to do with the Time-Space continuum on the other side of the " universal spectrum" that isn't actually occupied by physical constructs. Potential Physical space/entities just exists as part of the fundamental nature of the Space-Time Continuum which we live in. Er a better way of putting it is that in Time-Space there is no such thing as physical location but the 2 entangled particles have a connection via Time-Space. Meaning the information of the particle isn't traveling at all, it simply is in both places because there is a connection via a non-physical continuum. Which may be an inaccurate way of describing it.
     
  4. Aug 18, 2010 #3
    Information transpiration?
     
  5. Aug 19, 2010 #4
    Prof. Susskind gives a really good comparison of entanglement with the situation where someone has a penny and a dime.
    Without looking which is which, you give one to a friend, who takes it to Alpha Proxima (or wherever).
    Then you look at the coin in your hand. If it's a penny, you know instantly that the other coin at Alpha Proxima is a dime - and vice versa.
    Spooky eh?
    The information about the dime has travelled all the way from AP instantly.
     
  6. Aug 19, 2010 #5

    Demystifier

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There are proofs (Bell and others) that entanglement CANNOT be explained in that way.
     
  7. Aug 19, 2010 #6
    Nobody said otherwise. In the context it's an adequate explanation of information transfer without violation of Special Relativity.
    If you don't agree take it up with LS. I'm just quoting.
     
  8. Aug 19, 2010 #7
    Of course, the information has not really travelled instantly. In fact, it has not traveled at all. In order for one to say that any information has traveled at all, much less instantly, one would have to define information as that knowledge or data which would otherwise not be available to the recipient. In the case of the coin, the information is already available to the holder of the coin, and it is only because the holder has not yet chosen to avail himself of the information that he does not yet "know" which coin he holds.

    Nevertheless, it is an interesting analogy to the original concept.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook