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Response to Thor_MN (Reply #25)

Sat Mar 9, 2013, 03:15 PM

29. The double slit experiment with individual electrons suggests the marble is gray.

The entanglement of two particles is answered with "Red or Blue" in your analogy. Other experiments at this scale do not have simple "Red or Blue" answers. For example, the behavior of individual electrons passing through a double slit.

Here's how electrons sort out if they are launched one at a time through a double slit:


You end up with the same interference pattern you get with light.

It's a bit much to ask that all these electrons are impressed with some invisible state that predetermines their behavior if an experimenter should happen to place a double slit in their path. The more elegant explanation is that each electron is interfering with itself as it passes through both slits as a wave.

In a similar fashion it is the more elegant to say the state of each particle in an entangled pair is undetermined. Occam's razor isn't always the best tool to use, but in this case should you decide this state is already determined but hidden at the instant of entanglement you end up with an explanation of the cosmos where "it's turtles all the way down" or my favorite, that we live in a one electron universe, which makes it a very, very busy electron.

People are intuitively comfortable with light as waves, which is how we ended up with ether theory and such, but we are less comfortable with massive "particles" such as electrons, entire buckyball molecules, or even "solid" beings such as ourselves as waves. We don't want to see ourselves as tiny ripples of energy on the surface of an unimaginably large and highly energetic universe.

I'm a fan of John Cramer's work because it makes me think. Unlike myself, who can only spin analogies, he can do the math. If we are lucky his lines of experimentation will break some of the commonly accepted theories of everything.


Personally I don't think time travel or faster than light travel is possible simply because time itself does not exist except as an artifact of our own perception and physical state. We can say to ourselves, "Look, I won't sleep there because a bear might eat me" but we never say, "Look, I won't sleep there because a bear ate me." But it's possible those two statements have the same meaning. It seems likely to me the past isn't pinned down in place any more than the future is. If the past is as fluid as the future appears to be, how would we know? We only exist in the present.

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