

Quantum Effects and Distance
Name: John P.
Status: educator
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1/13/2004
Question:
How do we know that an event  pair formed quantum effect is
simultaneously changed over a distance? That can only occur fastest over a
light signaled sequence and hence by light speed. According to relativity there
is no simultaneity. So what does happen with quantum effects at a distance? Is there
a particle which transfers information?
Replies:
This effect is not "explained" to the satisfaction of many theoretical physicists. It
involves a concept called "entanglement" (there is a book by that title the discusses
the topic). When a pair of particles or photons are created and move away from one
another, each 'remembers' the quantum mechanical state from which it was formed. Since
the information is already imbeded in the wave function of the state no "new"
information that cannot be exchanged at speeds exceeding needs to occur.
I am not qualified to say much more, but I know that this interpretation in not
"bought" by a lot of people who understand the problem way better than I.
Vince Calder
John P.,
One difficulty in quantum mechanics is understanding waveparticle duality. When we get
down to quantum levels, i.e. single particles, the word "particle" starts to mean
something different. A particle has wave qualities. A wave has particle qualities.
Another difficulty is the effect of time. In the world as we see it, time passes to
allow things to happen. What happens now is not affected by the future. At the quantum
level, time is very different. The "wave function" of an object is defined over time as
well as position. If you know the wave function of an object now, you know it throughout
the future. Unfortunately, wave functions cannot be measured directly. We can only
measure mathematical averages that involve wave functions.
When two objects are created together, the properties and parameters of their wave
functions are linked for all time. As the wave functions progress through time, they
change together. There are no particles sending information back and forth.
Scientists have been able to join quantum physics with relativity is through string
theory. Doing so requires a much more complex universe than we can see. Time and
motion take on whole new meanings. I know of no scientist who claims complete
understanding of string theory. I do not understand it much at all.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Physics Professor
Illinois Central College
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Update: June 2012

