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Topic: Einstein's "Spooky Action At A Distance"  (Read 2894 times)
ROM-DOS
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« on: January 07, 2006, 12:24:44 AM »

                                     Einstein's "Spooky Action At A Distance"

"Of the six beryllium atoms we have entangled, you take five of the atoms
and put them into a spaceship and send them to the moon.
If you now measure on earth the one that remains, you find it's spinning clockwise.
Then you know that the five other ones on the moon will also spin clockwise,
but there's no physical interaction between them."

    ~ Dietrich Leibfried, Ph.D., NIST

In this New Year, time and events will seem to hurdle forward faster and faster, ­ while new advanced computers will become smaller and smaller. Some physicists think by mid-21st Century, there could be quantum computers in which each bit would be an atom. A quantum computer would use one of the strangest properties of our universe to calculate mathematical problems quickly that might take billions of years for classical computers to solve.
 
I'm talking about the high strangeness of quantum mechanics in which atoms are observed to be spinning both clockwise and counter-clockwise at the same time. That simultaneous spinning in two directions at once is called "superposition." Physicists have repeatedly confirmed that the position in time and space for atoms and subatomic particles is always uncertain until an observer tries to measure where the atom or particle is. Then instantly, the simultaneous spinning in opposite directions "collapses" its wave-like state into a measured particle that either spins clockwise or counter-clockwise on a 50/50 random chance like the toss of a coin.

Only in the past ten years has laser technology advanced to become a tool that can precisely interact with atom spin directions. It's a new field in quantum physics called "precision laser spectroscopy." Physicists who use lasers are studying one of quantum mechanic's many mysteries. Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance" and it always bothered the great physicist who wanted the atomic world to conform to his General Theory of Relativity that predicts strict order in the large macro worlds of suns and planets.

But Einstein's orderly relativity theory does not work at the randomly uncertain atomic level where particles can be waves spinning in two directions all at the same time and effect each other at a distance without any physical connection. This high strangeness is what provoked the famous Austrian physicist, Erwin Schroedinger, to question whether a cat placed in a box was both dead and alive until someone opened the box to look. The cat's state, Schroedinger wondered, might be as uncertain as the spin and position of an atom until it's observed.

In the past decade, no physicist had been able to measure more than one or two atoms at a time. But when they did, there was always confirmation of "spookiness at a distance." That means scientists discovered that measurement of only one atom's spin direction caused another atom to match that spin direction. Physicists began calling this phenomenon "entanglement."

Now for the first time, a scientist from Germany working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, has made a major breakthrough in quantum entanglement. Dr. Dietrich Leibfried earned his Ph.D.-equivalent in physics from Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich and did post-doctoral studies under the supervision of 2005 Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Dr. Ted Hench.

Dr. Leibfried wanted to use lasers on beryllium atoms and see how many he could entangle at once to spin the same direction no matter when observed. The answer so far is six ­ six beryllium atoms prodded by a precision laser in a vacuum.

                                             Entangle6AtomsLaserGraphic.jpg
NIST physicists coaxed six beryllium atoms with one electron removed (ions),
so they would carry one positive charge which could be trapped and held with
electromagnetic fields in a vacuum. The blue light is the precision laser spectroscopy
used to artificially affect the nucleus spin on one which affected the other five nuclei
so that all six "are collectively spinning clockwise and counter-clockwise
at the same time." Image credit: Bill Pietsch, Astronaut 3 Media Group, Inc.

                              EntangleBerylliumIonString.jpg
Actual photomicrograph of the six beryllium ions held by an electromagnetic field
and laser cooled to about 1/1000 of a degree above absolute zero in a vacuum.
Dr. Leibfried: "To produce the picture, we can scatter light from a laser on the ions
into a CCD camera. The inside ions are roughly spaced by 2 micrometers,
the spacing is a little larger for the outside ions, so we have to use magnifying
optics to create the image." Image courtesy NIST.


Once entangled, those six atoms are always going to spin the same direction no matter how far the atoms are separated from each other.

Dr. Leibfried also wonders how many atoms must be entangled to reach a threshold where Einstein's General Theory of Relativity takes over on the macro scale. Is Schroedinger's cat always big enough for humans to tell if it's alive or dead when the box is opened?

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compuworm
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2006, 05:04:44 PM »

Makes one wonder if spinning is necessary for gravity interactions.  Does black holes spin given their gravitational strength?   . 
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2006, 06:10:07 PM »

Way back in uni  Razz, I remember learning about an experiment where a physicist (I can't remember who for the life of me and google is not helping) was able to shoot a single photon in a vacuum, and chart the path the photon took.  What the scientist discovered was that the photon never charted the same path twice, even in such a controlled environment.  His analysis led him to the conclusion that the photon was being affected by variables in the numerous other physical demensions of this world which we cannot perceive (common theories are that there are as many as 26 physical dimensions).  He also said that there are a number of layers or dimensions of time, where photons and various other particles are playing an effect (attraction and repulsion) on the single photon in our time dimension.

That was about the time when I dropped the course (j/j).
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2006, 06:29:32 PM »

Perhaps, but gravitational effects and position in time/space probabley had a say in the Photons path.
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2006, 06:47:11 PM »

You're probably right, but gravity is so vague, and it's relative, and there are too many bodies to factor in, and all bodies are in motion, and is there an ultimate gravitational centre to the universe?
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resopalrabotnick
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2006, 03:57:55 AM »

and how would one plot a photon's path? that would mean measuring it in some manner, which means either passing it through a detector, which alters its path, or bouncing something off it to measure it, in both cases invoking the heisenberg uncertainty principle that states you can not know the position and vector of something at the same time. you cannot 'see' the photon in the vacuum (not to mention there is no such thing as a perfect vacuum, regardless of what the orek and dyson salespeople tell you on tv) since it is a particle that while being a bit of 'light' would hae to emit photons to 'shine' and that seems highly unlikely. as for physically detecting it, that will of course change its path. too bad you don't remember the guy doing the experiment.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2006, 09:56:53 AM »

I believe the term, "Relative", has been taken out of context for too long.  I think, of course you can correct me if I am wrong (I often am), but what is absolute and reliable despite the apparent confusions, illusions, and contradictions produced by RELATIVE motions or the actions of gravity; relatively only serves to remind us that the, "Observer", is an unavoidable a participant in the system under study. 

In fact, Einstein never said all things are relative.  In fact he thought, "Relativity", was a very bad name for his theory and thought about calling it the, "Invariance Theory", instead. 

4resopalrabotnick, I think the HUP is for subatomic particles, such as an electron, are photons even associated with having mass?

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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2006, 05:10:01 PM »

and how would one plot a photon's path? that would mean measuring it in some manner, which means either passing it through a detector, which alters its path, or bouncing something off it to measure it, in both cases invoking the heisenberg uncertainty principle that states you can not know the position and vector of something at the same time. you cannot 'see' the photon in the vacuum (not to mention there is no such thing as a perfect vacuum, regardless of what the orek and dyson salespeople tell you on tv) since it is a particle that while being a bit of 'light' would hae to emit photons to 'shine' and that seems highly unlikely. as for physically detecting it, that will of course change its path. too bad you don't remember the guy doing the experiment.

To the best of my memory, the photons were projected against a material that would change (colour I believe) when exposed to light, which through monitoring they were able to map each photon's path from the point of release.  Yeah, I can't remember the guy, I know it wasn't Thomas Young but somebody who studied after him.   ROM-DOS' post reminded me of the experiment. 

Oh, and there is such thing as a perfect vacuum (Hoover...no jj) its called "space."
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ROM-DOS
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2006, 07:12:59 PM »

                                        Quantum Computers?

The 'state' of the computer is determined by the orientation of the bits inside the computer. Each of these bits can be in one of two states, which we associate with either a 0 or a 1. 

Quantum Computers use qubits instead of bits. These qubits can be in both states simultaneously. Hence a quantum computer's algorithm can act on all states of the computer at once.

               qubits.jpg

These qubits have states analogous to the classical situation of 0 or 1, as well as being able to represent intermediate states simultaneously. This is achieved by the wavelike nature of the qubits superimposing themselves upon one another. This property of qubits allows the Quantum Computer to represent all internal states of the computer simultaneously. Hence upon an algorithmic input, the Quantum Computer can run all possible variations at once, rather than having to repeat the process for each possibility.

Classical Computers operate by using binary logic. Statements such as 'and' and 'or' are represented symbolically and generate a single output bit. For example: if two bits are the same, generate a 1; if they are different, generate a 0. Quantum Computers have an expanded set of logic gates. While theoretically being able to represent all Classical Logic Gates, Quantum Logic Gates are also able to generate a superposition of states as their output. This expanded set of logic gates gives us the potential to generate far greater processing power in Quantum Computers.

Coupled with this vast increase in potential information processing power of the Quantum Computer is the fact that it is impossible to ever know exactly what state the computer is in at a given time. Because the Quantum Computer is in a delicate superposition of all states, to determine what state it is in will collapse the superposition and force the computer into one particular state, thus losing all the information about the other states. All we can hope to achieve is to extract some of the information contained inside the Quantum Computer. Designing algorithms for Quantum Computers is thus always a delicate balance of utilizing the vast increase in processing ability, while dealing with the restricted amount of extractable information.

Although Classical Computers are amazingly powerful, and their processing ability appears to be on a steady increase (for the next few decades at least) there are some problems which it seems unlikely they will ever be able to solve. The vast number of variations in combinations of states in problems such as Genome Sequencing, or Quantum Mechanical Simulations would require Classical Computers to run algorithms for a very long time. In some cases this timeframe is longer then the age of the universe! As Quantum Computers can represent all states simultaneously, it is in situations such as this that their processing potential becomes particularly exciting.

Quantum Computers would also possess the ability to 'crack' any of the 'uncrackable' codes of today's encryption techniques. These codes are secure due to the use of extremely large prime numbers in their encryption. Factorization of large numbers is, however, one of the few Quantum Algorithms currently known. Thus, in an age where information and its security is of paramount importance, Quantum Computers hold the keys to all the locks. Fortunately Quantum Computers also have the potential for new locks, by utilizing such things as 'entanglement' and 'transportation'.

The superposition of atoms spinning simultaneously clockwise and counter-clockwise would be like many "parallel universes" of zeros and ones at work. For example, to search for, and find, one phone number out of a billion phone numbers could be done by a quantum computer in a fraction of a second, while the classic computer might take hours.

Entanglement also opens up the future possibility of instantaneous communication across light-years without radio waves. Perhaps such superposition technology is why SETI never gets radio signals?

All this is especially incredible given the fact that no human even knew electrons existed until J. J. Thomson's discovery in 1897, only one hundred nine years ago.
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ROM-DOS
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2006, 11:37:57 AM »


Quantum entanglement on a chip

1/12/2006 11:31:26 PM, by Hannibal

A new article in Nature describes a breakthrough in generating photon pairs that are quantum entangled. Scientists from the University of Cambridge and Toshiba Research Europe Ltd. have come up with a way to fabricate a special, photon-generating quantum dot using techniques that are similar to current semiconductor manufacturing techniques. The quantum dot is shaped so that it can emit entangled pairs of photons on command. Such entangled photon pairs have potential applications ranging from quantum encryption to microscopic imaging.

The EET has some good coverage of the announcement, as does the New Scientist.

Scientists have been entangling photons for some time now, but existing techniques involve firing UV lasers into crystals, a process that produces regular photons along with entangled pairs. This new technique brings the generation of entangled pairs under a greater degree of user control. It also scales down the process by removing the laser apparatus and allowing entangled photons to be generated directly from a small semiconductor source, thereby paving the way for "entanglement chips" that could be used in a variety of applications.

Quantum entanglement and encryption
Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon that Einstein famously dubbed "spooky action at a distance." In short, an entangled pair of photons have quantum properties that are linked to each other. If one photon's spin is up, the other must be down. So if you generate an entangled pair of photons and then separate them by any distance—from a few nanometers to thousands of light-years—you can collapse the wave function of one by detecting its spin direction and you'll know instantaneously the spin of its entangled partner. In such a scenario, the information about the spin of the entangled particle travels faster than light, which is a problem for quantum mechanics and is why Einstein didn't like entanglement.

Whether Einstein liked it or not, entanglement works, and researchers have actually built secure fiber-optic links using it. You can use entangled photon pairs to transmit securely a "one-time pad" that both parties can then use to secure all subsequent traffic between them.

As for the implications of being able to produce entangled pairs on command via a silicon chip, the sky's the limit here. Interestingly enough, if the technique can be commercialized then the breakthrough will probably have the largest impact outside of the world of cryptography. As Bruce Schneier has pointed out in relation to a different photon-based quantum encryption technique, encrypting a link is by no means the hardest problem in the area of secure communications.

In the realm of security, encryption is the one thing we already do pretty well. Focusing on encryption is like sticking a tall stake in the ground and hoping the enemy runs right into it, instead of building a wide wall.

Arguing about whether this kind of thing is more secure than AES -- the United States' national encryption standard -- is like arguing about whether the stake should be a mile tall or a mile and a half tall. However tall it is, the enemy is going to go around the stake.

Software security, network security, operating system security, user interface -- these are the hard security problems. Replacing AES with this kind of thing won't make anything more secure, because all the other parts of the security system are so much worse.

Just like lasers, the development of which has largely been funded by folks at the Department of Defense, have had an enormous impact outside of warfare, quantum entanglement will eventually make its way into completely unforeseen applications. After all, would the guys working on the first lasers have ever envisioned the DVD player?
© 1998-2005 Ars Technica, LLC
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2006, 05:26:54 PM »


Quantum entanglement on a chip

1/12/2006 11:31:26 PM, by Hannibal

A new article in Nature describes a breakthrough in generating photon pairs that are quantum entangled. Scientists from the University of Cambridge and Toshiba Research Europe Ltd. have come up with a way to fabricate a special, photon-generating quantum dot using techniques that are similar to current semiconductor manufacturing techniques. The quantum dot is shaped so that it can emit entangled pairs of photons on command. Such entangled photon pairs have potential applications ranging from quantum encryption to microscopic imaging.

The EET has some good coverage of the announcement, as does the New Scientist.

Scientists have been entangling photons for some time now, but existing techniques involve firing UV lasers into crystals, a process that produces regular photons along with entangled pairs. This new technique brings the generation of entangled pairs under a greater degree of user control. It also scales down the process by removing the laser apparatus and allowing entangled photons to be generated directly from a small semiconductor source, thereby paving the way for "entanglement chips" that could be used in a variety of applications.

Quantum entanglement and encryption
Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon that Einstein famously dubbed "spooky action at a distance." In short, an entangled pair of photons have quantum properties that are linked to each other. If one photon's spin is up, the other must be down. So if you generate an entangled pair of photons and then separate them by any distance—from a few nanometers to thousands of light-years—you can collapse the wave function of one by detecting its spin direction and you'll know instantaneously the spin of its entangled partner. In such a scenario, the information about the spin of the entangled particle travels faster than light, which is a problem for quantum mechanics and is why Einstein didn't like entanglement.

Whether Einstein liked it or not, entanglement works, and researchers have actually built secure fiber-optic links using it. You can use entangled photon pairs to transmit securely a "one-time pad" that both parties can then use to secure all subsequent traffic between them.

As for the implications of being able to produce entangled pairs on command via a silicon chip, the sky's the limit here. Interestingly enough, if the technique can be commercialized then the breakthrough will probably have the largest impact outside of the world of cryptography. As Bruce Schneier has pointed out in relation to a different photon-based quantum encryption technique, encrypting a link is by no means the hardest problem in the area of secure communications.

In the realm of security, encryption is the one thing we already do pretty well. Focusing on encryption is like sticking a tall stake in the ground and hoping the enemy runs right into it, instead of building a wide wall.

Arguing about whether this kind of thing is more secure than AES -- the United States' national encryption standard -- is like arguing about whether the stake should be a mile tall or a mile and a half tall. However tall it is, the enemy is going to go around the stake.

Software security, network security, operating system security, user interface -- these are the hard security problems. Replacing AES with this kind of thing won't make anything more secure, because all the other parts of the security system are so much worse.

Just like lasers, the development of which has largely been funded by folks at the Department of Defense, have had an enormous impact outside of warfare, quantum entanglement will eventually make its way into completely unforeseen applications. After all, would the guys working on the first lasers have ever envisioned the DVD player?
© 1998-2005 Ars Technica, LLC
Ok so Im a little lost. Can you explain what all that means, without using the letters a e d or b..... oh and use a bunch of different colored fonts.... and type it while your naked would ya. No seriously I dont understand this... the first word of the title lost me.
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