Cosmic Log : Backward research goes forward


News of an experiment to test macroscopic evidence of entanglement:

“University of Washington physicist (and science-fiction author) John Cramer is moving forward with his experiment in backward causality, thanks in part to tens of thousands of dollars in contributions sent in by his fans. Although Cramer emphasizes that his lab is looking at ‘nonlocal quantum communication’ rather than backward time travel per se, the gadgetry he’s assembling could settle a controversy surrounding a seemingly faster-than-light effect that Albert Einstein thought was downright spooky.

Boiled down to its basics, the experiment involves splitting laser light into two beams, so that characteristics of one beam are reflected in the other beam as well. That’s an example of what physicists call quantum entanglement. Specifically, Cramer has been planning to fiddle with one of the entangled laser beams such that it takes on the property of waves or particles. If one beam behaves like particles, the entangled photons of light in the other beam should behave like particles, too.”

(The “spooky action at a distance” describes the way that information is imparted to an object without any apparent mechanism to do so. A standard example that I’ve used in classes is “How does a ball know which way is down? Why doesn’t it fall up? How does it know the direction to the center of the Earth?” Newton left the question alone. Einstein’s answer is that the ball automatically moves in the direction that time is slowest in. Which the ball is able to determine since it is immersed in the space-time manifold.)

Hopefully this experiment will help to determine whether or not we macro-scopic entities live in a quantum-style reality or a deterministic reality.

Read the rest here: Cosmic Log : Backward research goes forward

Note, blogging may be a little sporadic for me. I’m trying desperately to keep my head down online and avoid any Potter-spoilers. Spoilers are appearing all over the ‘net tonight and I’d rather not endanger my equanimity by reading one and thereby cursing and raging against the source.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...