Sunday, 24 January 2016

Quantum Entanglement Akimbo

Action from a distance? 
I consider myself highly rational and have no time for loose thinking when it comes to irrational bollocks in all its manifold manifestations. This, of course, is mainly due to my extensive scientific training. Science works; irrational stuff does not. What advances to mankind have been made by religious beliefs or a contemplation of the supernatural? I rest my case.

Science and rational thought describes our world exceedingly well. It provides a self-correcting mechanism which has proved accurate and useful for understanding a highly complex universe. It has wrenched certainty from religious authority and has allowed men to think unfettered by stultifying dogma. We in the West are highly privileged to think this way. To do so came after centuries of struggle with orthodox religious doctrine, and more importantly, religious power. We in the West forget, ensconced in our secular bubble, how powerful and all pervasive the influence of the Catholic religion had on all strands of society just a few centuries ago. The reformation and the burgeoning 'enlightenment' changed all this. The Catholic church is but a shadow of its former self and can only cast a baleful influence on the most primitive and impoverished of its brethren. Not all religions have been ground into the dust, yet. Mohammedism has not changed from its seventh-century credentials. At least, Christianity made an effort and acquired an intellectual gloss. Not so much Islam. We in the West should be justifiably worried.      

Anyway, this post is not about religion (perhaps) but quantum physics. As I said, science explains our world very well, but strangely falls down when we ponder the very large and the very small. The universe may well be infinite. How can our minds wrestle with this concept with all its implications? And when we recede to the quantum world, causation starts to unravel, at least from a rational perspective.

It doesn't come weirder than the phenomenon of 'Quantum Entanglement'. Consider a sub-atomic particle which decays into two particles with spin. According to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, these particles can exist in a variety of states as predicted by a consideration of 'quantum (im)probability'. Once you measure the state of a particle, that quantum state becomes fixed. Therefore, if one of our particles is found to have an 'anti-clockwise spin', then the separated partner will always have the contrary state, in this case, a 'clockwise spin'. It seems that once the particle's quantum state has been determined, by measurement, it somehow communicates this information to the separated partner, which acts accordingly. What is really interesting is that particles can be separated by very large distances and communicate  faster than the speed of light, indeed, it happens, 'at once'. When this phenomenon was first observed in the earlier part of the 20th century it caused a great deal of controversy and consternation amongst physicists, for obvious reasons.         

Einstein acknowledged, but never liked the phenomenon, as it was contrary to his theory of 'special relativity'. And let's face it, Einstein's relativity theories are strange enough without introducing this kind of madness into our 'reality'. The ultimate maximum speed limit of the universe is the speed of light (C). Nothing can travel faster than this velocity, well at least according to Einstein. As a digression, it is wrong to consider the speed of light as a velocity vector. 'Light speed' is best conceived as a limit to causality, a condition interwoven into the very fabric of the universe. This is why the measurement 'C' crops up in equations which supposedly have nothing to do with velocity. For instance, consider the famous equation of Einstein which equates energy and mass: E=MC2. Anyway, as mentioned above, quantum entanglement implies the transmission of information 'instantaneously' between two entangled particles, irrespective of spatial separation. Experiments have found that this 'transfer' must, at least, exceed the speed of light by several orders of magnitude.

Einstein and colleagues thought that information deciding a quantum state was fixed in the initial particle prior to disassociation, although a coherent mechanism was never proposed. Subsequent experimentation supports the causal connection or quantum entanglement hypothesis; poor Einstein was wrong. 

This paradoxical aspect of quantum entanglement is highly perplexing to a rationalist. A scientist trained in the way of causality can only scratch his/her head in wonderment at phenomena which appear to defy the 'rules' of established nature and introduces notions akin to the paranormal. I haven't given up on science just yet. I place 'quantum physics' in a drawer within my head, marked: 'Awaiting further enlightenment'. It is my hope that very clever minds will come up with a plausible explanation. However, there is always the possibility that no explanation is forthcoming. Mayhap our puny intellects are not up to solving this most vexed and impenetrable of questions. If this be the case my 'mind drawer' will gather much dust before disappearing into dust.

Strange, but true. As I was writing this post and as a means of torpid distraction, I quickly checked out my blog. One of my regular readers left a comment about 'Quantum Entanglement'. How spooky is that? Arse.

I don't think we are there, just yet


  1. ".......At least, Christianity made an effort and acquired an intellectual gloss. Not so much Islam. We in the West should be justifiably worried........"

    Islam was the zenith of human learning when The West was still firmly under the Jack-sandle of the Papacy. The Sack of Baghdad in 1258 by the Great Kh'an Hulagu and the pernicious 'Reconquista' of the Iberian Peninsula put an end to the intellectual flowering of Islam. The subsequent empires of the Ottoman Turks and the Mughals in South Asia were not able to provide for the intellectual recovery of Islam. The same happened to the West with the Sack of Rome in 410. It took The West 1200 years to recover and once again embrace 'learning'. It's been only 800 years since the Sack of Baghdad, let's give Islam a bit more time to experience their own 'reformation' and 'burgeoning enlightenment'. Innit?

    "......One of my regular readers left a comment about 'Quantum Entanglement'. How spooky is that?......"

    I only look at the pictures, your verbiage is rot.

    1. Thanks for the history lesson, which I don't need. You have got to admit that Sharia is not really a step in the right direction.

    2. As for looking at the piccys. Come on, admit it, you love it here and you love me, don't ya- you saucy exotic minx.

    3. ".....Thanks for the history lesson, which I don't need....."

      Perhaps not, but the lesson one should glean from that knowledge does not appear to have been learnt. Islam is young, and accordingly, its fanatical factions are also 'young'. What were the young fanatical factions of the christian West doing 600 years ago when the West was at the same age as is Islam now? I am not an Islamic Apologist - I hate Islamocunts as much as I hate Christocunts(1) - I merely wish to remind the righteous West that they are 'like in kind, just different in degree and temporal placement' with other cultures.

      "......You have got to admit that Sharia is not really a step in the right direction......"

      It can be cogently argued that the Witch burnings in the 16th and 17th centuries by the 'enlightened West' not to mention the "Magdelene Laundries" and the various equivalents of the like hither and thither in the West 'til the 20th century were not really a step in the right direction either. Shall we raise the construct of the 'Pogrom' and other various 'Final Solutions' perpetrated by the Enlightened West now and again up to the present day?

      (1) Self-professed atheists who were raised in the Judeo-christian West and accordingly hold that vile world-view (fundamental cognitive orientation) are also 'christocunts' in my definition.

      Part 1 of the 1.
      Arrgh, the horrors perpetuated in the name of religion. Horrors motivated by ideology are the worst of all. I make no excuses for the excesses of the West, driven by religion or otherwise. Interestingly, the Crusades, ostensibly undertaken to free the 'Holy Land' were no much than a free for all by barbarian Western knights and freebooters to obtain land and loot. The clerics leading the enterprise were also corrupt and money grabbing. Simple zeal and piety may have existed amongst some of the lowly peasants and monks, but they were the exception. Let us not delude ourselves. However historical pundits parcel up the motivation for conquest and war, and whether religion is invoked or not, the real reason, by any people, for conquest is for financial gain. Religion has always been about money. While the martyrs of Islam blow themselves up you can be assured that there is a cabal of 'leaders' enjoying the temporal delights of this life and profiting from the misery of others. And why is this case? It is because man has always been like this and to think the fundamental nature of mankind can change is a dream of 'Cloud Cockaigne Land'. As long as man exists on this earth he will be killing another man for profit.

      As for the true zealots of Islam: they are pawns, although dangerous pawns in this 'Great Game'. Luckily for the West they can't be reasoned with or bought off. Our only recourse is to kill them. And as you have got to agree, the West is very good at killing people and can do it in greater numbers and with greater efficiency than slavering maniacs with AK47s.

      Perhaps you think legitimate atheism can only arise from an esoteric Eastern perspective? Frankly I care not about the route only the destination, although rational contemplation necessarily leads to atheism. As you state yourself, you despise religion. Well, what does that make you- an atheist; a pantheist or an agnostic. Or do you have some special exclusive definition of your own? For all your cynicism you must have some belief on this fundamental matter- it can't be left undecided. Could it be that you lean towards Buddhism? Why not declare your stance and enlighten us with your great wisdom.

    5. BUGGER. PART 2 OF THE 1.
      Now I've got your attention, and I have got your attention, haven't I, M? We have known each other, off and on blog, for a couple of years now and you are well acquainted with my policy with regard to posting comments on this blog. Basically, there isn't one. As a believer in 'free speech' whatever that may mean, I don't delete comments. Other bloggers delete according to taste and of course that is their right on their blog. I do believe you have outstayed your welcome on some sites. On occasion I have received the attention of 'Trolls'. I put the word in inverted commas because at best they are pseudo-Trolls and simply spout obscenities and inanities and offer no great entertainment. I generally have a little sport before they bugger off to pastures new. And I'm a big boy and well able to look after myself. If you do continue to comment on this site, and I sincerely would like you to do so, I'm asking that you keep comments relevant and interesting. Abuse has its place but shouldn't be overdone as it loses its effectiveness and becomes trite and boring. If you feel that you must abuse me, then send me an email- my old email address still works. Otherwise, the comments section just becomes clogged with utter nonsense. Consider the escapade relating to my very sensible post on 'Nihilism'. As I recall I received 55 comments most of them the banal twitterings back and forth between your good self and that dozy red-head, Stephanie. I know you get bored, but come on, you are super-smart, engage me in cogent debate. Fascinate and intrigue me; I get bored also.

      You see what you made me do? I've spent valuable time on this rant when I could have been finishing off my paper on 'Hominid evolution'. You have been holding up the advancement and furtherance of knowledge and for that I cannot forgive.........

    6. "......As you state yourself, you despise religion......"

      You misread. I do not despise religion. Religion is the right philosophy; wrong species. I despise Islamocunts and chrsitocunts - Islam and christianity are fine. I despise Buddhists, but not Buddhism.

      ".....Well, what does that make you- an atheist; a pantheist or an agnostic......"

      Neither. I don't care! I just don't fucking care if there is or there isn't a god(s) I JUST DON'T CARE!

      You want me to 'engage', 'fascinate' and 'intrigue' you, but when I try to, you're either too thick or embedded too deep in The White Man's patronizing World View to glean my meanings. I do believe the latter rather than the former.


      Quit bitchin', it could have been worse. Google could have forced you to split it into three halves instead of two halves. Joke based on the redundant phrase 'two halves'.

  2. ".........If this be the case my 'mind drawer' will gather much dust before disappearing into dust......."

    Keep your threadbare socks, underwear and collection of 1970s Lad Magazines in it too. It's sure not to get dusty that way.

  3. How did you know about the magazines? I must admit they are a bit dusty and all the pages are stuck together, but they are still servicable: Spooky, spooky.

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  5. Dear Flaxen, I see your site has become infected with the "SR" virus. This is sad, because it will drive away your many intelligent readers, who will quickly tire of the juvenile ravings of this youngster. Also, I notice he/she is no longer being very polite. Oh dear.

    The quantum entanglement paradox may have a multi-dimensional solution which is impossible to visualise. All points in 4D might have "threads" to other dimensions, in which the assumption about C being constant does not hold true.

    1. An interesting hypothesis, Ed. As you say, n dimensions are impossible to conceptualise and belong to the realm of mathematics. Just goes to emphasise the weirdness of the quantum world and how puny our minds are when confronted with such paradoxes.

  6. I have encountered the SR virus and have concluded that it is benign. However it is very insecure and will soon seek a new host.

  7. Perhaps you could use your scientific knowledge to explain to Mrs D exactly what is Brownian Motion as I seem unable to do so?