Saturday, March 26, 2016

Bill Nye on entanglement

Bee and Lumo make fun of this dopey physics explanation:
Tom: Hi, Bill. Tom, from Western Australia. If quantum entanglement or quantum spookiness can allow us to transmit information instantaneously, that is faster than the speed of light, how do you think this could, dare I say it, change the world?

Bill Nye: Tom, I love you man. Thanks for the tip of the hat there, the turn of phrase. Will quantum entanglement change the world? If this turns out to be a real thing, well, or if we can take advantage of it, it seems to me the first thing that will change is computing. We’ll be able to make computers that work extraordinarily fast. But it carries with it, for me, this belief that we’ll be able to go back in time; that we’ll be able to harness energy somehow from black holes and other astrophysical phenomenon that we observe in the cosmos but not so readily here on earth. We’ll see. Tom, in Western Australia, maybe you’ll be the physicist that figures quantum entanglement out at its next level and create practical applications. But for now, I’m not counting on it to change the world.
I am not going to pile on. Nye gives dopey explanations of everything.

Furthermore, this is a reasonable layman's interpretation of the usual physics hype on quantum computers, entanglement, and the black hole paradox. The physicists throw around some impressive buzzwords, but Nye is right that none of this stuff is going to change the world.

You could say that quantum entanglement has already changed the world. But they are not talking about the concepts that were developed in 1925-30. They are talking about cats that are alive and dead, spooky action at a distance, experiments that reverse cause and effect, quantum gates that are simultaneously on and off, splittings into parallel universes, and info that leaks out of black holes.

We cannot Nye to see thru all this when our leading physicists keep reciting this nonsense. At least he understands that it is not changing the world.

1 comment:

  1. "You could say that quantum entanglement has already changed the world."

    That's because it already took the large denominations and left us the scraps.