10 April 2005

The secret that spooked Einstein

It's called Quantum Entanglement, and it's one of the few scientific facts that truly spooked Einstein. What is it?

In 1935 Einstein and his colleagues identified a strange, magical quantum property buried deep in the calculations they were working on for their famous EPR paper. Apparently, portions of the theory of relativity apply at the subatomic level, causing some rather strange behaviors. What are some of these specifically strange and disturbing and potentially revolutionary aspects? How about one theory which states that, thanks to quantum entanglement, we are "forced to accept non-locality"? Or that, under this theory, even information itself cannot exceed the speed of light? And therefore, if distance (or the illusion of space) is to be maintained, then events can occur where the effect precedes the cause.

Although amazing and fascinating to read about, quantum physics is usually nothing more than a trifling curiosity, a fascinating theoretical exercise that bears just a tiny impact on our lives (is the gravity constant responsible for a 0.0004% change in the speed of a distant stellar probe?????). In my mind, however, Quantum Entanglement is one of the few facets of quantum physics which could truly revolutionize our lives. How, you ask? How about revolutionizing the way power reaches our homes?

Perhaps the most amazing potential use of Quantum Entanglement is the proposed "Teleportation Drive," which would herald a new and amazingly efficient way to send rocket ships to space. CHECK THIS LINK OUT! This is mind blowing. Check out this excerpt:

Applying quantum teleportation to a photon drive (to produce what I am dubbing the telephotonic drive) would remove the one great engineering obstacle (i.e., power generation) to producing a viable photon drive system. Recall from earlier in this article that laser beams (i.e., concentrated streams of photons) have been successfully teleported. Without knowing it, the researchers who accomplished this feat created a basic telephotonic drive in the course of their experiments. In the case of a telephotonic drive powerful enough to propel a spacecraft, earthbound electric plants (nuclear or otherwise) would generate the power for a laser beam which would then be teleported to a spacecraft.

The most amazing thing quantum physics is telling us, though, is that we have only begun to scratch the surface. This branch of science promises not just to improve or change the world around us, but it may be what a steppingstone to further understanding or even completely changing the universe we live in. For instance, a string of recent discoveries in astronomy has left scientists with an unsettling realization: The stuff we know and understand makes up less than 5 percent of the universe. The rest has to be yet-unknown forms of "dark matter" and "dark energy."

If you haven't already explored Quantum Entanglement, you should look into it!


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