Einstein's "Spooky Action at a Distance" Proven
This bit of science is important for several reasons.
First, Einstein more or less created the field of quantum mechanics, even though he disparaged his own creation with comments like, "God doesn't play dice with the universe". Without getting into a field of science that I certainly don't understand, it's my understanding he said this because quantum mechanics is based on probabilities of happenings in the sum-atomic realm. This made the big guy uncomfortable. Well, Einstein was wrong. It turns out that God does play dice with the universe.
Second, his comment about "spooky action at a distance" wasn't meant as an explanation, it was disparaging, again mirroring his discomfort with the whole thing. Again, I don't pretend to understand the details, but the basic idea is that in some unexplained way if you do something to a particle here, the effects of the something show up on a linked particle over there despite no obvious physical connection between the two particles. Really weird stuff.
Well, researchers at Griffith University have devised an experiment that confirms Einstein's original idea. Basically, again, by twiddling a particle here and seeing an effect there.
All in all, this sort of work confirms the observation by J.B.S. Haldane that, "not only is the universe queerer than we know, it is queerer than we can know." Amen to that, brother.
Now that someone has figured out how to demonstrate spooky action, what are the implications of this technique into the future? That's where writers of fiction so often come into the story.
So here's the facts; do with them as you will.
* * * * *
Quantum experiment verifies
Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance'
An experiment devised in Griffith University's Centre for Quantum Dynamics has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein's original conception of "spooky action at a distance" using a single particle.
In a paper published in the journal Nature Communications, CQD Director Professor Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators at the University of Tokyo report their use of homodyne measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real, namely the non-local collapse of a particle's wave function.
According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over arbitrarily large distances, but is never detected in two or more places.
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Almost 90 years later, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors -- which measure wave-like properties -- to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect.
This phenomenon is the strongest yet proof of the entanglement of a single particle, an unusual form of quantum entanglement that is being increasingly explored for quantum communication and computation.
"Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle," says Professor Wiseman.
"Einstein's view was that the detection of the particle only ever at one point could be much better explained by the hypothesis that the particle is only ever at one point, without invoking the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to nothing at all other points.
"However, rather than simply detecting the presence or absence of the particle, we used homodyne measurements enabling one party to make different measurements and the other, using quantum tomography, to test the effect of those choices."
"Through these different measurements, you see the wave function collapse in different ways, thus proving its existence and showing that Einstein was wrong."
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* * * * *Story Source: Materials provided by Griffith University. Maria Fuwa, Shuntaro Takeda, Marcin Zwierz, Howard M. Wiseman, Akira Furusawa. Experimental proof of nonlocal wavefunction collapse for a single particle using homodyne measurements. Nature Communications, 2015.