Discussion Board

Topic: You asked for Science...

From: Roald Laurenson
Location: La Jolla
Date: 08/13/2008

Nature, actually ;) As in journals, for either.

But this is a good one, especially for Cassiea's friends.

I don't know if this is accessible outside universities, i.e. without a subscription, and don't believe it has an abstract, so will summarize here.

popular article:
http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080813/full/news.2008.1038.html
journal paper:
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v454/n7206/pdf/nature07121.pdf

In what is actually a very beautifully composed and beautifully described experiment, experimentalists at University of Geneva have sent entangled photons pairs down fiber optics lines to two villages 17km apart, and measured the correlation between their detection as the detection interaction is varied continuously for only one of the paths.

This seems to show very strongly that the photons are communicating, at something like 100,000 times the speed of light, although they are 17km apart at the time.

In particular, the experiment has been designed to compare quantum mechanical theory with 'spooky action at a distance' which Einstein described (hadn't known that had a formalism, but apparently). QM gets the right answer.

Bell equalities mentioned. Nobody can explain it either ;).

Greg, another place one of your wonderful, intricate yarns touches base with science developing further down a track, even if what you do in the art and science of individual experience and human-world deflections is the area that fascinates me -- and theory on its own. The setup from the science is the world-changing, and great; all our field of understanding comes in the relationships, don't you think?

The experimentalists want a theory to explain what they show. That's the old way, and interesting what will turn up in answer. Certainly many have tried before.

Best,
Roald



There's a lot in the exprime

Re: You asked for Science...

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/13/2008

There's a growing body of physics pointing to nearly instantaneous coordination (if not communication) between particles. This is an amazing paper. (Accessing the full .pdf file will require a subscription to NATURE, but the first precis is fine for most readers.) Thanks, Roald!

Re: You asked for Science...

From: Roald Laurenson
Location: La Jolla
Date: 08/13/2008

Yes, there's an important distinction, isn't there, in the motion-or-not-motion word. Coordination, Communication, Correlation. Correlation is the word they actually used, and I would like to think it doesn't necessarily imply motion (of anything), though it could.

I had the figure that leads to motion-thinking wrong by a factor of ten, having been in a great hurry to write first note before an appointment - it's the lower bound of speed for any distance transfer of information, and 10,000 times light speed, reading from the main paper now, and still not with free time this evening to digest it.

The thing I'm getting at here is about whether there's distance in a space-time fashion in quantum correlations. I think I'm on ground you were probing a little in Moving Mars again, just to say so for recognition's sake.

I wonder if it will turn out important that we know? Or more than some other things? I guess large sources of pollution-free power would be nice. But for me, the engine that drives the person towards power-seeking because there isn't enough meaningful, interesting that they feel worth for their life to do -- that we have a great motivation in becoming better able to answer. For us all, yes?

Best again,
Roald



Re: You asked for Science...

From: Mike Glosson
Location: San Diego, CA
Date: 08/14/2008

The item in the precis about frame of reference sharing makes me wonder if a planet might be too small a zone to get an accurate reading on this: as even Earth's small gravity well does induce some frame-dragging in the local space/time. But then we get stuck in a situaiton of finding a larger and flatter bit of space time, which may really only exist some where mid-off center between here and M31.

Which leads me to wonder how much gravity/curved space/time is influencing or localized view of the greater universe...the asymetry of the CMB being nearly parallel to the north/south aspects of the ecliptic comes to mind.

I wonder if as a species we are still missing something basic...as many of the major mysteries and fudge factors of modern theory reminds me far too much of the 19th Century quest for the "Aethyr"

Re: You asked for Science...

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/15/2008

Not sure how this translates into power, but no doubt someone will come up with a clever workaround--where's Robert Forward now that we need him?

Re: You asked for Science...

From: Greg Bear
Date: 08/15/2008

The difficulty making these judgments is that we don't yet know how to correlate QM with gravitation or general relativity.

Re: You asked for Science...

From: Roald Laurenson
Location: La Jolla
Date: 08/15/2008

My goodness, Greg. Let's hope that somehow Robert Forward is out there with Mirsky. He deserved it.

I am up in Geisel again, actually today for a little while to read some Solzhenitsyn. So I looked up Robert Forward, and found his autobiographical essay on-line easily. What a remarkable story; and that he could tell it this way while under treatment and clearing up his affairs. I must suspect it gave him great pleasure to do so, and so it feels as he goes farther and farther into what he had imagined over a life.

As far as Mirsky, I 'stole' an hour or two to read over much as remembered from your Eternity. What fine book that is, and the eternal wait for e-book rendering will be well worth it. I really appreciated and enjoyed the rendezvous.

On the power question itself, that was just a lazy moment of imagination, where I conflated several things a certain speculative fiction author had put into a story: if we did indeed find a timeless, distanceless accounting to underlie quantum entanglement; if there were variables in it that could affect energy-matter states; if by one of the means such as controlled antimatter conversion a lot of joules could be liberated from qualities of space...!

I think I read that in a book somewhere ;). While still being that much more interested where the speculation was so finely and transparently done, about what it could be like to be a person in experience of a world and worlds with such things becoming in them.

Thanks, Greg. Now the gum trees are wavig their slow, patient dance before what we may know is the sea beyond; and before that time of day when the fog appears as stealthy mists to weave another softness. The air is crisp for now, and had better make some further use of that.

Regards as you know,
Roald

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