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The Strange World of Quantum Entanglement

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The Strange World of Quantum Entanglement

“Entanglement is a strange feature of quantum physics, the science of the very small. It’s possible to link together two quantum particles – photons of light or atoms, for example – in a special way that makes them effectively two parts of the same entity. You can then separate them as far as you like, and a change in one is instantly reflected in the other. This odd, faster than light link, is a fundamental aspect of quantum science…”

Brian Clegg

Brian Clegg received a physics degree from Cambridge University and is the author of numerous books and articles on the history of science. His most recent book is The God Effect: Quantum Entanglement, Science’s Strangest Phenomenon.

What you write in your book about entanglement is so startling, it’s hard to believe. Let’s start with a definition. What is quantum entanglement?
The Strange World of Quantum Entanglement 1
Entanglement is a strange feature of quantum physics, the science of the very small. It’s possible to link together two quantum particles — photons of light or atoms, for example — in a special way that makes them effectively two parts of the same entity. You can then separate them as far as you like, and a change in one is instantly reflected in the other. This odd, faster than light link, is a fundamental aspect of quantum science. Erwin Schrödinger, who came up with the name “entanglement,” called it “the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics.” Entanglement is fascinating in its own right, but what makes it really special are dramatic practical applications that have become apparent in the last few years.
Is it possible that entangled particles are not actually in immediate communication, but are simply programmed to behave in the same way? Much like twins separated at birth who live eerily similar lives — assume the same professions, marry similar spouses, etc.
This is an obvious possibility. John Bell, who devised a lot of the theory for testing the existence of entanglement, covered it in a paper called “Bertlmann’s Socks and the Nature of Reality.” Reinhold Bertlmann, a colleague of Bell’s, always wore socks of different colors. Bell pointed out that, if you saw one of Bertlmann’s feet coming around the corner of a building and it had a pink sock on, you would instantly know the other sock wasn’t pink, even though you had never seen it. The color difference was programmed in when Bertlmann put his socks on. But the quantum world is very different. If you take some property of a particle, the equivalent of color, say the spin of an electron, it doesn’t have the value pre-programmed. It has a range of probabilities as to what the answer might be, but until you actually measure it, there is no fixed value. What happens with a pair of entangled electrons is you measure the spin of one. Until that moment, neither of them had a spin with a fixed value. But the instant you take the measurement on one, the other immediately fixes its spin (say to the opposite value). These “quantum socks” were every possible color until you looked at one. Only then did it become pink, and the other instantly took on another color.
You write that Einstein, among other scientists, could not accept quantum entanglement. It seems to throw out the whole notion of cause and effect. How confident are physicists that quantum entanglement exists, and what are the implications for science and the scientific method?
Einstein had problems with the whole of quantum physics — which is ironic, as it was based on his Nobel Prize-winning paper on the photoelectric effect. What he didn’t like was the way quantum particles don’t have fixed values for their properties until they are observed — he couldn’t relate to a universe where probability ruled. That’s why he famously said that God doesn’t play dice. I think an even better quote, less well known, was when he wrote: “I find the idea quite intolerable that an electron exposed to radiation should choose of its own free will, not only its moment to jump off, but also its direction. In that case, I would rather be a cobbler, or even an employee in a gaming house, than a physicist.” Einstein believed that underneath these probabilities were fixed, hidden realities we just couldn’t see. That was why he dreamed up the idea of entanglement in 1935. It was to show that either quantum theory was incomplete because it said there was no hidden information, or it was possible to influence something at a distance instantly. As that seemed incredible, he thought it showed that quantum theory was wrong.
It did take a long time to prove that entanglement truly existed. It wasn’t until the 1980s that it was demonstrated. But it has been shown without doubt that this is the case. Entanglement exists and is being used in very practical ways.
Entanglement doesn’t throw away the concept of cause and effect. But it does underline the fact that quantum particles really do only have a range of probabilities on the values of their properties rather than fixed values. And while it seems to contradict Einstein’s special relativity, which says nothing can travel faster than light, it’s more likely that entanglement challenges our ideas of what distance and time really mean. Similarly, entanglement is no challenge to the scientific method. We need to use a different kind of math, but this is still the same science.
Where do you see the first practical applications of entanglement?
The first thing most people think of, including a report produced for the Department of Defense shortly after entanglement was proved real, is being able to use it to communicate faster than light. The link of entanglement works instantaneously at any distance. So it would be amazing if it could be used to send a signal. In fact, this isn’t possible. Although there is a real connection between two entangled particles, we don’t know what the information is that it’s going to send. If I measure the spin of an entangled electron, yes, it communicates the value somehow to its twin — but I can’t use it. I had no idea what the spin was going to be. This is just as well, as faster than light messages travel backward’s in time. If I could send a message instantly, it would be received in the past, and that really would disrupt cause and effect. However, there are still real and amazing applications of entanglement. It can be used to produce unbreakable encryption. If you send each half of a set of entangled pairs to either end of a communications link, then the randomly generated but linked properties can be used as a key to encrypt information. If anyone intercepts the information, it will break the entanglement, and the communication can be stopped before the eavesdropper picks up any data.
Then there are quantum computers. These are conceptual machines that can crack problems that would take an ordinary computer longer than the lifetime of the universe to solve. We already know how to program a quantum computer to do some amazing things. For instance, if I have an unsorted database with a million entries, I will typically have to try out 500,000 of these before hitting on the right one. (Try looking for a specific number, rather than a person, in the paper version of the New York telephone directory.) But using a quantum computer, it only takes 1,000 attempts. Unfortunately, though, Quantum computers are almost impossible to make.
Instead of storing information in bits on silicon chips, each of which can hold 0 or 1, a quantum computer uses quantum particles like photons or atoms as the information stores. Each particle can store infinitely large numbers, but if you look at the particle, it changes the value. Entanglement means you can’t interact with these quantum bits (qubits for short) without frying your quantum memory. There are several technologies being tried to build the first, basic quantum computers, but they all rely on entanglement to get information into and around the system.
Most dramatic of all is quantum teleportation.
And for those Trekkies out there, tell us about the possibility of teleportation.
It’s more than a possibility, it has been done, but only on a very small scale. What a Star Trek transporter is supposed to do is make an exact copy of an object or a person somewhere else. There’s a fundamental problem here. Because looking at a quantum, particle changes it. You can’t scan a particle, see what it looks like and make an exact copy. So it might seem that teleportation is impossible. Entanglement lets you get around this restriction. By interacting the particle with one half of an entangled pair, and then putting the other half of the pair through a special process, a bit like a logic gate in a computer, it’s possible to make an identical particle at a remote location. We can only do this because the entanglement transfers the quantum information without us ever knowing what it was. In the process, the original particle loses its properties. Teleportation isn’t copying, and it effectively destroys the original.
This doesn’t mean you’ll be able to rush out and buy a transporter at Radio Shack next week. This process has been done with large molecules, similar in size to a bacterium, so it’s possible that we could teleport something living. But it won’t work with something as big as a person. You would have to scan every single molecule in the body and reassemble at the other end, which doesn’t look like it’s ever going to be practical.
Maybe this isn’t so bad, though. Remember, the original is destroyed (something Star Trek glosses over). Okay, you get an identical copy, but would you be prepared to be vaporized if you knew an exact, indistinguishable copy was going to be created on the other side of the world? I’m not ecstatic about flying, but by comparison, it sounds a safe option.
Could entanglement prove to be the “Holy Grail” for merging scientific and mystical, religious thought?
There have certainly been people who have tried to draw this kind of conclusion, but I think they are mistaken. Entanglement is a wholly physical process. I called my book The God Effect because it has been suggested that entanglement is the working mechanism of the Higgs boson, an extraordinary particle that gives everything its mass, and has been called the God Particle because it’s so fundamental. But that’s just a label. It’s also true that Nobel Prize-winning physicist Brian Josephson has suggested that entanglement could explain telepathy (much to the irritation of paranormal debunker James Randi), but Josephson was saying if telepathy exists, then here’s a physical mechanism that could explain it — he wasn’t indulging in mystical navel-gazing.
What entanglement (and quantum theory in general) does do is remind us is that the real world is much stranger than we imagine. That’s because the way things are in the world of the very small is totally different from large scale objects like desks and pens. We can’t rely on experience and common sense to guide us on how things are going to work at this level. And that can make some of the effects of quantum physics seem mystical. In the end, this is something similar to science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s observation that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

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Mike is the Editor of the California Literary Review. FaceBook I also run a couple more sites. Net Worth Yoga Flaxseed Oil Quotes and Memes List of Banks Wordpress Tricks Steel Buildings, Structures, and Bridges



  1. Michael

    April 29, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    great article! this is the first thing i’ve found on quantum entanglement that i understound! :D im in 8th grade and doing a project on quantum physics and im using entanglement as a sub-topic. I feel like i’ve learned something valuable! ;P thx!

  2. salvador bali

    April 27, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    and/or Nagarjuna

  3. cvtutu

    April 25, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Check out bhuddist thought on emptyness similar arguements on the interconnectedness of all that exists or does anything really exsist by itself?

  4. salvador bali

    April 23, 2009 at 2:09 am

    why? because quantum p worked, and so they didnt care about the little mystery at thew center. and the term entanglement, tossed off casually, with no sense of the immportance it would gain. The use of the word entanglement, because as a dictionary word it belies the phenomen’s inaccessibiity to intuition.
    what i think it IS. we bserve the particles changing energy states in a quantum fashion, where they chnage ebergy states t is an abrubt cahnge, instantaneous, and we can’t see and know nothing at all about, and that is the crucial instant accounting fo movementg in the system. butg scientist mostly chose to say, oh well, what;s the differnce. we dobt really need to know to do our work.
    except for a few. David Bohme who led the the wunderkind of CERN, John S. Bell.
    the creator of Bells’ Inequality Therom, which is a simple elegant proof of QE.
    i’ll just finish with tghe current interest then tell you how i got so ed’ickated.

    quantum computation became real, and led to quantum cryptography, what interest the DoD of course was that the code could not be broken, aside from where yall discuss the method of the message, which you can find in Science News or Scientific Amercan. in order to decipher the code, crack it,you would necessarily change its quantum properties. just by looking at it. that is what has brought such great interest to the field.
    there’s lots more in what is for me the Most exciting history of the 20th century. called The Age Of Entanglement, by Louisa Guilder, i couldnt put it down. she brings teh great characters to life, Bohr, Einstein, Schrodinger, Pauli, Dirac, Ehrenfeld, the very creme of the brilliant generation of physicists. and she reconstructs their debates in which you watch how these great minds wrestgled with the nature of material structure.
    I do highly recommend it, and you will see how it will bring everyone here to the same excitin g page,

  5. salvador bali

    April 23, 2009 at 1:51 am

    we have a lot to do. i have only a little time right now:
    quantum physics rolled along nicely until now, because the question of entanglement was noted first in1935 in the most quoted paper of all called EPR, for Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen. The single line that generated the fuss was Einstein’s saying had trouble with this “spooky action-at-a-distance thing”. then Schrodinger named it entanglemnt. it could not be explained. Neils Bohr went metaphysical and relegated anything at all about it to his pet Theory of Complementarity, The Copenhagen Interpretation, and declared that no one shoukd waste time with it. those who did, onnly a few, wsere pushed out of center of the action, had difficulty gedtting jobs, etc.

  6. Daniel Wilkinson

    April 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    In the Small World all matter will exhibit two distinct natures. Electrons can behave as waves or particles, light can too, depending on how they are observed. Einstein was literally the father of Small Science but he didn’t like the way the kids turned out. Is there another nature of matter that would provide a perspective from which all the family could get along?

    In Dr. Stephen Hawking’s lecture The Beginning of Time he stated that at the germinal moment “…all matter in the universe would have been on top of itself.” He followed by saying that contemplating what proceeded the Big Bang as having “no observational consequence.”

    In our thought laboratory we can postulate that space and time began with the Big Bang. One model for this beginning would be that simplest of geometric elements known as the dimensionless point. Even though this point is beyond our understanding by observation or application of physical laws it doesn’t necessarily follow that it would play no role in the essential nature of matter.

    A third nature of matter may simply be that all matter remains superimposed within this point and the observation of this nature is likewise dependent on how we go about it.

    Instantaneous interaction over distance may be explained by eliminating the distance, thereby making instantaneous effects less spooky.

  7. Steve Schafer

    April 19, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Please can someone explain the following two concepts to me:

    1) “The link of entanglement works instantaneously at any distance.”(I am fine with this) “….as faster than light messages travel backwards in time” (Sorry but I cannot agree with this) ‘Instant’ does not mean ‘before’ so where does the travelling back in time come from? (Which cannot be done in my opinion)

    2)”Because looking at a quantum particle changes it” How does it ‘change’ it? Surely you only get a measurement or reading of its current state?

    Your input will be most interesting!
    Steve S From Johannesburg.

  8. IToo

    April 18, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    Just wait another 20 years and see what happens to this.

  9. C S Prasannakumar

    April 17, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Quantum entanglement is an experimentally verified fact. Human body comprises of billions and billions of such particles. There has got to be a bunch of entangled particles somewhere in the universe. Luck, intution, telepathy, sympathy, empathy, love, hate, ego are a result of quantum teleportation into our minds. Whether the distant bunch has life or not is beyond me to conject. What we see in our dreams is also an effect of quantum teleportation from a distant particle.

  10. F2sT

    April 8, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I’ve been working on a new theory. The ability to use quantum entanglement, to see the future and to leave my body. i almost understand how to harness it. i almost understand how to start it. its very weird and exciting, it actually saved my life one day.

  11. Dan W

    March 28, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Imagine meeting someone and together you decide to cretae a joint checking account. In effect you are co-mingling/entangling your funds.

    The spending by one will immediately affect the resources available to the other.

    If a universal system existed that tracked these transactions, then immediate knowledge of available funds does not require direct communication with the other party… just a PIN and access to the universal system.

    So what’s to say that the quantum world doesn’t rely on a 4th dimension to communicate. It would certainly makes communication between multiple entanglements a lot easier.

  12. jay

    March 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I think ideas are getting mixed up here.

    “Transmission” of information and “our ability to interpret” that information are not the same. Entangled particles do transmit information faster than light. Just because we did not/could not/can not know the initial status information and so can’t use that information, we can’t imply that the information did not get transferred. That is like saying, since I can not understand a Chinese talking, when some body talks to me in Chinese, the information was not transferred. Yes, information was transferred but was not interpreted.

    I find it ridiculous that some of the logic being extended to explain quantum phenomena is not logical at all. And think of it, this lack of logic is defended under the garb of weird quantum phenomena! I don’t think this approach can solve any problems.

  13. Colin den Ronden

    March 17, 2009 at 6:53 am

    There is always the possibility that scientists have deluded themselves with their own pea and thimble trick. Maybe the communicating particles don’t need some dimensions such as space and travel via some other dimension. Think of space as being reduced to a two dimensional sheet of paper that gets curved and folded over on itself. We tend to travel along the surface and think the universe is flat, but the particles short circuit across the gap. Anyway, what’s wrong with thinking the unthinkable. What if it was possible for things to go back in time? The idea appears just as ridiculous to some people as some of the other concepts in quantum physics. It opens up more possibilities.

  14. Tom Marx

    March 10, 2009 at 11:21 am

    Your article helped me overcome the incomprehension i felt when reading other accounts of entanglement. Thank you.

  15. John Hunter

    March 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I don’t trust “allness” statements as above; too limited.
    As for telepathy, my wife and I have done it.
    Can NOT do it deliberately and haven’t done it since; but we have done it.

  16. geoff harries

    February 27, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    If “telepathy” were possible it would have long been used by the CIA, MI6 and the KGB. It hasn’t so it isn’t.
    If “precognition” existed it would have long been used by some species somewhere, giving it an unbeatable evolutionary advantage. It hasn’t so it doesn’t.

  17. Arnold Rudolph

    January 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Knowing Dr.Rudolph’s family and background, I would say he has one of the most balanced outlooks on Faith and Science available to us. As a newcomer to U3A in Port Alfred, South Africa, thank youi for putting a mind-bending subject in layman’s terms!

  18. Zen Puppy

    January 27, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Here is a recent article from Scientific American ( titled:
    “Quantum weirdness wins again: Entanglement clocks in at 10,000+ times faster than light”

    No matter how many times researchers try, there’s just no getting around the weirdness of quantum mechanics.

    In the latest attempt, researchers at the University of Geneva in Switzerland tried to determine whether entanglement—the fact that measuring a property of one particle instantly determines the property of another—is actually transmitted by some wave-like signal that’s fast but not infinitely fast.

    Their test involved a series of measurements on pairs of entangled photons (particles of light) that were generated in Geneva (satellite view at left) and then split apart by optical fiber to two villages 18 kilometers (11 miles) apart where the team had set up photon detectors. (In 2007, researchers transmitted entangled light 144 kilometers between two of the Canary Islands.)

    The idea in the new experiment is that the photons in each entangled pair are hitting the distant detectors simultaneously, so there’s no time for them to exchange a signal. By comparing results from the two detectors, the researchers determined whether the photons were entangled or not, using a test known as Bell’s inequalities.

    The photons were indeed entangled, the group reports in Nature. But in reality, no experiment is perfect, so what they end up with is a lower limit on how fast the entanglement could be traveling: 10,000 times the speed of light.

    To appreciate the weirdness of entanglement, consider that the outcome of a single quantum measurement is random. By all tests, a photon *has* no definite polarization until it hits a detector capable of measuring it. So it’s like the entangled particles share one big quantum state.

    There’s one other subtlety to the experiment. If entanglement is traveling through space like some kind of faster-than-light wave, that would violate Einstein’s theory of special relativity, which says the laws of nature are the same no matter which way you’re moving with respect to anything else.

    So the group had to run their experiment repeatedly for more than 24 hours, counting on Earth’s rotation to sample all the different orientations relative to the stars. (Imagine a laser pointer shining into space along the direction of the optical fiber.)

    It’s always conceivable that quantum mechanics might break down (read: show some signs of everyday normalcy) if experimenters could test it the right way. In a 2007 study, researchers in Vienna tested the idea that maybe the instantaneous-ness of entanglement (called nonlocality) was consistent with hidden “variables” that can explain the randomness of quantum measurements. But no dice for that idea.

    Theoretical physicist Terence Rudolph of Imperial College London, author of a commentary on the new paper, says that putting bounds on faster-than-light entanglement is useful for researchers trying to imagine theories that might extend beyond quantum mechanics.

    What might such a theory look like? Rudolph says we’re probably stuck with instantaneous entanglement, which seems impossible to us because we’re stuck in everyday space and time. “We need to understand how quantum mechanics sees space and time,” he says. “I think there’s probably much deeper issues.”

  19. David Jackson

    January 19, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Paolo Manzelli’s comment (yesterday) prompts me to dive into this discussion. For 30 years I have tried to discern the meaning of Chemist Nabel Laureate Ilya Prigogene’s Theory of DIssipitave Structures, something that may be linked to entanglement but I would like to know how. The foregoing Theory has been expanded into the field of social science, which is where my education has been focused. Can anyone provide this link fo me?

  20. paolo manzelli

    January 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Paolo Manzelli , [email protected] , ,

    Erwin Schrödinger, a Nobel Prize in physics in 1935 wrotes about quantum entanglement:
    “When two systems … enter into temporary physical interaction due to known forces between them … they can no longer be described in the same manner as before … by the interaction the two representatives (or wave functions) have become entangled” ( What is Life p. 18).


    It’s possible to link together two quantum particles – photons of light or phonons of sound and also atoms or DNA’s genes , in an entanglig way , that makes them over the same space-time matrix . The entangling overposition carry out an Quantum state of dense coding, that become identical for all the particles remaining intrigued to the same resonant field. .
    Therefore Entanglement generates a no-local dense coding state that would be useful to undestand “entanglement -communication” (or telepathy) through the recent research quantum communication and teleportation. In fact in classical coding, a single photon will convey only one of two messages, or , one bit of information, while in dense coding, a single photon can convey one of four messages, or two Q.bits of information. Besides multi-photons and multi-photons entanglement can produce an new hyper- no-localized space-time and this complex procedure is producing a bidimensional “information energy” (1) ,(2),(3)
    Therefore telepathic communication between two separated particles, which is one of the fundamental concepts of entanglement in quantum bio-physics .
    Therefore in this line of reasoning it is possible to understand DNA’s telepathy (4)
    More in general “telepathy”, and “empathy” , respectively are derived from the Greek “tele = distant”, and “en = interior” , and “patheia = feeling or phatos” , and are the claimed innate ability of brains to communicate information and emotions from one individual to another in simultaneity, e.g. without the use of extra tools so that without consuming energy.
    Recent studies on mirror neurons discovered by Giacomo Rizzolatti of the University of Parma (It) , which confirm the hypothesis that empathy is born is part to an activity of coupling between genes .
    The possible application of telepathy as one kind on entangled mind communication find today the skepticism of the reductionistic mechamical science; in spite of this the ON—NS&A //EGOCREANET reseatch group ( would be discuss and investigate telepathy as a possible aspect of communication between members of animal social groups .

    NOW we are searching for partners Paolo Manzelli

    [email protected]


  21. Geoff Harries

    December 12, 2008 at 6:59 am

    Dear Paul Comstock,
    We are a group of retired electronic aerospace engineers and about 5 years ago decided to study “wave-particle duality” which seemed self-evident nonsense. We did lots of hardware experiments which showed the photoelectric effect, Compton effect and pair production could all be explained with emr as a wave. We used antenna theory and Shannon’s information theory, well known to engineers.
    The “photon” is therefore an unnecessary concept and so your above discussion is meaningless. There will be no parallel “photon” computer nor faster that light information transfere. Sorry. But Occam is usually right.
    Google our website “The phoney photon”.
    Buy a laser, a photomultiplier tube and a counter chain and
    repeat out experiments.

    Geoff Harries, Abteilungsleiter.

  22. Theron

    September 10, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Thank god this isn’t an English discussion, Steve. Scientists are notorious for their ignorance of grammar rules.

    I am a novice in Physics. I only studied for 1.5 years at UCSD and further studies were via juco and, lately, as my interest has grown and time has allowed. I am intrigued by entanglement and quantum theory, though. It doesn’t seem to me that Einstein’s rule has been broken, because the struggle has been trying to word quantum theory in relativistic terms. Speed is not being violated because we are not really referring to classical mechanics and motion. We seem to be referring to state-changes. Also, the concept that we have [only]2 discrete particles is suspect to me now. What we seem to really have is an infinitely expanding particle that can be “measured” only in one dimension, by our modern standards of measurement. Ugh, this is why q-theory is the stuff that makes one “dizzy”.

    I believed we have reached the metaphorical “edge of the Earth” and now we have to be brave enough to sail past it.


  23. Steve Koke

    August 3, 2008 at 3:56 am

    Interesting topic, very poor command of English and clarity of explanation. You guys should not appear in a Physics Review.

  24. Omer

    August 1, 2008 at 12:11 am

    What is the entangled pair of gravitons if quantum gravity exists?I want to say that how quantum entanglement is used to describe the gravity?

  25. Omer

    August 1, 2008 at 12:09 am

    I want to know how faster than light(FTL) information is mediated? and what particles can be used for it(may be tachyons)? How does the quantum entanglement explain in terms of particle and antiparticle entangled pair?

  26. Omer

    August 1, 2008 at 12:03 am

    When the photon strike the event horizon of black hole, pair production takes place, one particle goes into the black hole and the other goes in the opposite direction in the outward direction. I want to know that the quantum entanglement phenomenon may be used to determine the particle status which goes inside the black hole by altering the properties of the outside entangled particle and thus enabling us to get information of inside the black hole.

  27. Omer

    July 26, 2008 at 3:30 am

    What kind of particle properties depicts quantum entanglement?
    Also is it possible to determine exact position and momentum of particle (such as electron) through the quantum entanglement phenomenon?

  28. Geoff Harries

    July 8, 2008 at 5:33 am

    See my website which shows with simple, repeatable, intuitive experiment that there is no need for the concept of a “photon”. All can be explained with emr as a wave.

  29. geoff Harries

    July 3, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Examination of my website resolves the wave-particle duality paradox (light or emr is a wave and so removes the need for the “photon”. I use modern antenna and Sannon’s noise theory. As this is so desperately important I beg you to caste an eye on it and tell me where I am wrong. In particular criticize my classical explanations of the photoelectric effect and Compton effect. No one at the Max Planck Institut here (Munich) or my friend John Cramer “has the time”. Do you?

    Geoff Harries

  30. Jonathan Mueller

    June 11, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Can energy be transfered from one entangled particle to the other? If I entangle two particles, and then increase the energy of one, will this affect the energy of the other?


  31. Charles

    June 5, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    If so many people have said that they can create entangled pairs, then why haven’ they try to develop a way of inputing data, like binary to one of the pair and see what happens to the other.

    if one spins one way and the other spins opposite. like two gears spinning, why can’t we just “grab” the one gear and turn it to and fro, and the other one reacting to transmit information.

    maybe I’m just grossly simplifying the subject. But it seems to me like there is so much talk about what might happen and not enough physical experimentation and just find out what happens and observe it.

  32. tim

    June 4, 2008 at 4:48 am

    hey were can i start from scratch to learn EVERYTHING about this?

  33. Roger

    May 28, 2008 at 4:44 pm

    Well, looks like this happens due to the observer…

    I suggest that the spin can be predictable, but the tecnology of the observer must be newer, I dont know how the observers see those scales today, i believe they throw some kind of laser or any other kind of energy to the point of view that affects it and make it change.

    The Entangled effect seems very confuse, how they could find the entangled particles brothers and estimulated then considering that these brothers could be anywhere in all the universe?! this probability is for sure impossible… the entaglement effect must be created by the observer on the Lab not by Bigbang or any kind of born from far distances.

  34. doug

    December 18, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Well, now they’ve entangled five particles we can communicate. If one particle state is changed, the other 4 react to their entangled partners, and by reading two of them (for reliability/security?) you know the message without destroying them all.

  35. Mr. Shddd

    November 26, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    yea i never knew that you don’t know what way the proton will spin. can’t you specify it?

  36. laiden

    November 26, 2007 at 4:05 am

    Perhaps we are looking at what can be perceived as a unification of multiple governing forces. I am not a stick in the mud as far as the mathematical implications of the speed of light is concerned, so I have no reservations about believing that something could move faster. And indeed, the likely hood that this “entangled” effect is being misinterpreted is rather great,.. considering the most logical explanation would be that of a “programmed” consequence. ( Of course this means I don’t believe you when you say that particles can be teleported ) But perhaps this phenomena is observable evidence of the unification of governing forces. However, should this be accurate, or perhaps even embellished theoretically and philosophically, there is no stable platform from which it can be mathematically conceived, as is of course made very clear by the principles of relativity. How willing would you be, or your physics professor, for that matter, to throw away the fundamentals of physics for the postulation of a GUT?

  37. Cyberbian Perepatetic

    July 30, 2007 at 6:08 am

    Saying you cannot use it to communicate is simply myopic.
    You do not need to know what the value which you will set in order to communicate. You use the positional transition, like edge detection in electronics signal processing.

    Please let me demonstrate.

    I set up a four bit message as follows in binary.
    xy xy xy xy

    Each bit is actually two unrelated halves of entangled pairs. By changing the x of the duo I have a 0 by changing the y I have a 1.
    So if the values are scaled as follows
    8 4 2 1
    and I set all the pairs to represent 1, I have sent the number 16.
    So if you can tell that changing one of a pair has altered the other which is clearly stated that you can in the first paragraph, then you can communicate.

  38. chelsea

    May 28, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    brian clegg is the best i am chelsea clegg and i am his daughter he is the best daddy anyone could ask for so by his books cos i want new clothes lol only joking

  39. kurz

    May 28, 2007 at 5:21 pm

    What if you had a seperate quantum pair for each letter of the alphabet?
    Would there be anyway to know when one had been measured without measuring it yourself?

  40. josh

    May 28, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    Hey Matt,

    You forgot one thing, check it out…

    You have a “jar” with particle A and another “jar” with particle B in your home in the United States. I have the corresponding particles A and B in separate jars in England. I measure the spin of either particle A or B in attempt to communicate the signal to you using the entanglement of the two particles (A and A or B and B). But, the trick is that YOU have to measure the spins of BOTH of your particles in order to tell which one I measured in England.

    So after you measured both of your particles you’d need to get in touch with me in England and ask for my measurement, only then could you deduce which particle, A or B, that I measured originally (I guess it would be the particle with an opposite mathematical value for spin compared to yours, or something like that).

  41. matt

    May 28, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    You say that you cannot send information because you will not know the way it will be spinning, but I think the fact that you simply sent a signal of any kind (as opposed to not sending a signal) means that you did send information. Here is a simple illustration:

    I have a “jar” with one particle (or one half of particle A depending on how you think of entanglement), and another “jar” with particle B in my home in the United States. You have the corresponding particles A and B in England. You “measure” A if by land, or B if by sea. When the one you measured communicates to the one I have, causing it to have a specific spin, I have learned something based on which one you chose to measure. Thus you have communicated to me faster than light.

    Taking this a step further, if in response to your measuring A, I measure B to tell you that I got the signal, I do not see how there would be time travel in either of our frames of reference.

    Am I missing something, or is it just this simple, yet somehow nobody has figured it out?

  42. anonymous

    May 28, 2007 at 5:19 pm

    I guess the key words in all of these possiblilites such as QE commications, faster than light travel, etc., are “not yet”. 600 years ago the world was flat, now we’re on the verge of quantum computers. The great thing about physics is that it continues to grow.

  43. anonymous

    May 28, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    He did explain why we can’t send a signal. From the article:

    The first thing most people think of, including a report produced by for the Department of Defense shortly after entanglement was proved real, is being able to use it to communicate faster than light. The link of entanglement works instantaneously at any distance. So it would be amazing if it could be used to send a signal. In fact this isn?t possible. Although there is a real connection between two entangled particles, we don?t know what the information is that it?s going to send. If I measure the spin of an entangled electron, yes it communicates the value somehow to its twin ? but I can?t use it. I had no idea what the spin was going to be. This is just as well, as faster than light messages travel backwards in time. If I could send a message instantly it would be received in the past, and that really would disrupt cause and effect.

  44. Saravana Kumar

    May 28, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    Paul – Could you explain why entanglement can’t be used to send signals.

    This concept indeed makes our understanding of science stranger and makes us think that there are invisible variables that we need to discover b4 we could have a GUT.

  45. craig

    May 28, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Interviewee suggests that they have teleported a particle. This sounds like a deterministic transmission of . That is, they got what they expected out the other side. This sounds like the transmission of information.

  46. anonymous

    May 28, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    go Spidy; he da man!

  47. ray

    May 28, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Since the entanglement link is based upon probabilities, it may take some re-readings of the receiving spin to establish what the spin *isn’t* to get the spin of the sending particle. Unfortunately, this rather depends upon pre-syncing to establish the sending spin and that can’t be guaranteed to co-incide with the receiving spin.
    Suggestions about using a returning particle pairing may be useless for exactly the same reasons vice versa.

    The thought of being vaporised to be handed over to a twin scares things out of me, too. I have enough trouble coping with the fact that this could be used to duplicate my brain somewhere else let alone set it going on it’s own path over there (wherever there is), and then to trust to it and be vaporised? No way.

  48. Bill Lang

    May 28, 2007 at 5:14 pm

    I too have seriously considered the idea that we should be looking for entangled communications from outside worlds. When I originally asked about it on a physics blog 6 years ago, they told me that entanglement can’t extend great distances. That seems to be proven wrong now. What is the current excuse for the improbability of entangled communications?
    Wonderful article, thanks.

  49. Ulrich Mohrhoff

    May 28, 2007 at 5:14 pm

  50. Ulrich Mohrhoff

    May 28, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    See for an explanation of why entanglement can’t be used to send information.

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