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Spooky action at a distance

  1. Jan 5, 2004 #1
    Though I don't think anyone seriously believes matter can travelfaster than light its a known fact that information travels faster than that, and I'm not talking gossip.

    Its been found that you can arrange 2 electrons so they have opposite spins. There total spin in this case = 0. Now if you measure the spin of one of the electrons in a particular way then the electron will always measure, say, -1. When the other electron spin is measured, and it doesn't matter how, it will indicate 1. And it works opposite also. You can use the other method to measure the first electron and it will then measure 1. And no matter how you then measure the second electron it will measure -1. And the moment a person measures the first electron "instantly" the second measures the opposite

    Now it turns out you can then separate the two electrons any distance - it could be across the galaxy - and this effect will still occur. Instantly. A pretty neat trick to try and get your head around but its all been proven.

    My own theory of how this happens is this:
    Empty space is not empty at all. Every bit of it is filled with quantum energy just as the earliest quantum scientists postulated but could never quite believe. The reason we don't experience it is because we don't live at the quantum level. Everything we do and see equates to what we would call "drift" in a conductor. (This is just an analogy) In a conductor even though the signal sent though the front of the wire appears to come out the other end at near the speed of light it doesn't mean the electron is going very fast. Just the information is going that fast like the effect of falling dominoes. Individual dominoes, or electrons, are probably only moving centimeters per second. This is the "drift" speed.

    I think in our universe all matter is restricted to to a top drift speed which happens to be the speed of light. But at the quantum level, if you are able to actually isolate just 1 quantum of energy, then if you push on it, that quantum will propogate across the universe instantly rather than be restricted to the speed of light. In other words there is a chain of dominoe like quantums of energy between the two electrons under discussion that each get moved when the first electron's spin is measured. And that information travels instantly, not at the speed of light.

    Does anyone else see this phenomenon this way? In a way it seems like someone else must have thought of this before.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2004 #2
    Spooky action at a distance - II

    I should add another element to the thought experiment to complete the analogy to a conductor. In a conductor the path for information exchange not only requires electromotive force -voltage- but it needs the conductor itself.

    For this electron spin pair information exchange to happen requires not only a change in quantum level change on the one of the electrons but it also requires a low resistance path to the other electron in the pair. What is involved in the movement of the second electron away from the first is creation of a low resistance path for quantum level energy exchange. In other words, just the careful act of preserving the state of the second electron as it is moved a distance from the first electron provides a non random trail in the quantum field. This becomes the low resistance communication path in the quantum field between the two electrons. Its sort of like providing a trail of bread crumbs from the first electron to the second. - an unusual event in normal life.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2004
  4. Jan 5, 2004 #3


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    The notion of information in the sense of 'spooky action at a distance' and the notion of information in 'information cannot travel faster than the speed of light' are different.

    Moreover, 'spooky action at a distance' does not imply information exchange between entangled electrons.

    It's not particularly difficult to construct mathematical models for the electron that can 'violate' Bell's theorem beause Bell's theorem makes certain assumptions about the hidden variables that it 'proves' do not exist.

    The many worlds approach to this paradox calls for the universe to bifurcate whenever a measurement is made, and that only universes which are co-consistant can interact with each other.

    Finally, there have not yet been experiments that actually fully test 'spooky action at a distance', although every indication is that it does indeed occur.

    So, what you describe as 'known fact' is actually not accepted by mainstream physics, and has (technically) not been demonstrated in experiment.

    Moreover, your description of 'spooky action at a distance' is so poor that I reccomend that you research the topic a bit more. Quantum entangnlement of electrons makes AFAIK no predictions about the 'energy level' of the electron.

    Since the premise of your theory is problematic, I won't go into the particulars about your theory.

    I will however provide you with some general guidelines about scientific theories. Generally theories are popualr because they are either
    1. More accurate than other theories. E.g. The standard model.
    2. They are easier to apply than other theories. E.g. Newtonian mechanics.
    3. They are intelecutally simpler than other theories. E.g. String theory.

    So, whenever you want to talk about physics theories, you should be looking for something that will put you into one of the categories above.
  5. Jan 5, 2004 #4
    I described the theory in the classical sense just because its easier to describe not because I disagree with you about the conception of information.

    As far as the rest - I can see you have a lot invested in your own viewpoint -I wouldn't want to threaten it.

  6. Jan 5, 2004 #5


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    I'm not sure whether you're refering to the notion of strange action at a distance or to your own theory.

    Not really. I would love to see other theories that provide mechanisms for strange action at a distance.

    My criticism was intended to be constructive.

    A problem is that if your theory allows for strange action at a distance to provide for energy changes, then it allows for a type if information transmission that would be difficult to compensate for in modern physics, while the current theory has a type of information exchange that provides for an 'uneasy truce'.

    Since even 'drift' like interactions cannot travel at faster than the speed of light, you would need to describe an entirely seperate mechanism for the transfer. In order to provide for FTL communication the tunnel/trail of crumbs that you describe is most closely related to the notion of 'wormhole' in modern physics.

    A wormhole could allow FTL instantaeous interaction between paired electrons, and represents a different assumption about nonlocality that is violated. In order for the behavior to match experiments, the wormhole would only allow spin information to be transferred, and then collapse.

    A cursory search reveals http://www.iop.org/EJ/abstract/1464-4266/4/4/319
    which isn't 'hardcore' but may be related to your notions. (Sorry, I don't have access to the paper either.)
  7. Jan 5, 2004 #6
    I have no quarrel with your notion of information. What I like to do in explaining any theory of mine is to define it at its broadest level in order to get the major points across. Then I narrow the parameters in order to get a picture coming closer to reality. Its just my way of trying not to overwhelm people with the concepts. Not that these ideas are that difficult - only that they are "different" from normal.

    I understand the concept of probability and the lack of absolute certainty in quantum mechanics. Instead of 2 electrons making "instantaneous" changes think of them having a finite time in real life that is much slower. Think also when I say "2" electrons in reality I'm talking orders of magnitude higher and which one you're applying the spin measurement is vague. Finally think think there is only a higher probability than 50% that you'll be able to predict the statistical average of the second group that will be +1 or -1. Not 100% like I indicated.

    That's the quantum viewpoint but it doesn't change the validity of the thought experiment I provided. It still means there is a time limited path - not perfect and lasting forever- that makes the long term prediction level better than 50%, which means a speed faster than light speed. But perhaps only marginally in real life.

    Finally probably the easiest way of looking at the problem is to combine both the "quantum" statistical point of view and my "classical" description with just 2 electrons interacting instantly using my thought experiment involving the quantum vacuum. In other words there will always be at least 1 electron pair in any group that will act just as I've described and it will skew the statistics to a greater than 50$ prediction success.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2004
  8. Jan 9, 2004 #7
    There's one more aspect to my theory that clarifies the actual difference between the regular entangled pair theory and my theory. The regular entangled pair theory presupposes entangled identical electrons (could be any particle) for its effects. The entangled pair has identical quantum characteristics and a connection that mathematically exists even as the particles are separated in space. The effect can be mathematically proven and the physical effect in a group of electrons has also been proven. But there is no intuitive explanation for a medium through which the action takes place.

    My theory doesn't so much identify entangled particle pairs as much as it creates a quantum path through the quantum vacuum. In my theory the act of creating a path through the quantum vacuum simply is implemented MOST EASILY by having particles with equal quantum values. In other words, one isolates a single particle and identifies its quantum value. (This is all hypothetical as one can't do this in real life but is simply the classiscal explanation that explains the existance of certain effects within the quantum statistical spread.) Normally if one moves any particle from one particular coordinate space to another you change the quantum energy of that particle. This is because there is always a complex interchange between a particle and the quantum vacuum and this is especially true when a particle is moved, which implies acceleration. Now if instead you maintain the exact quantum energy of the particle as it is moved what happens instead is a change at the individual quantum level in the quantum vacuum that is non random. There is, in effect, a single quantum wide path that now has all its quantum energy lined up symmetrically along that path. Instead of a teaming broth of random energy it is now a teaming broth EXCEPT at the energy level equivalent to that particle's quantum energy level along that path.

    Now the easiest way to utilize that path is to create what we've been calling entangled particle pairs at the origin of that path. That's because when you create an entangled pair you KNOW the particle that remains at the origin of the path will be sensitive to the particular non-randomness of the path. But if my theory is correct it might be possible to use that path in other ways. First you create a non-random path through the quantum vacuum using the standard implementation of entangled pairs. That is, first you create entangled pairs "AB" at point X. Then one moves particle "B" to point Y. Now if my theory was right there is a non-random path through the vacuum between points X and Y that is sensitive to ANY particle with identical quantum energy to A or B. The trick would be to create that particle in a separate event from the one that created AB as entangled pairs. Here's a theory that might actually be possible to be proven right or wrong. Any ideas out there on how to implement this? It might be akin to how they originally constructed the Michaeson/Morley experiment where they divided light.

    [Actually after thinking about this question it may not be that difficult. In previous experiments a laser was used to entangle Cesium atoms so they'd all have similar spin. It may be possible to impart identical spins on a third group of Cesium atoms as long as you use the same laser.If the path through the quantum vacuum between the first entangled groups of Cesium is represented as "XY" it may be possible to use the same laser to impart identical entangles pairs where the path is between "ZX". My reasoning says that if you can do this it means that if you change an atom at "Z" it will change not only an atom a "X" but it will also change a Cesium atom at "Y". This will happen because the two quantum paths will now be joined to create a path "ZXY".

    I'd be interested in feedback as to whether this makes sense or whether I'm missing something. However, I don't want to it to be about the existance or nonexistance of the quantum vacuum. There are some things that just have to be accepted for reasonable conversation interchanges to occur. ]
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2004
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