Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wired explains entanglement

Famous physicist Frank Wilczek explains entanglement in a Wired/Quanta mag article:
An aura of glamorous mystery attaches to the concept of quantum entanglement, and also to the (somehow) related claim that quantum theory requires “many worlds.” Yet in the end those are, or should be, scientific ideas, with down-to-earth meanings and concrete implications. Here I’d like to explain the concepts of entanglement and many worlds as simply and clearly as I know how. ...

So: Is the quantity of evil even or odd? Both possibilities are realized, with certainty, in different sorts of measurements. We are forced to reject the question. It makes no sense to speak of the quantity of evil in our system, independent of how it is measured. Indeed, it leads to contradictions.

The GHZ effect is, in the physicist Sidney Coleman’s words, “quantum mechanics in your face.” It demolishes a deeply embedded prejudice, rooted in everyday experience, that physical systems have definite properties, independent of whether those properties are measured. For if they did, then the balance between good and evil would be unaffected by measurement choices. Once internalized, the message of the GHZ effect is unforgettable and mind-expanding.
To get to this conclusion, you have to equate "definite properties" with measurement outcomes.

A electron has definite properties, but it is not really a particle and does not have a definite position. If you measure the electron, using a method that puts it in a definite position, then it is in that position for the instant of the measurement. A nanosecond later, it is back to its wave-like state with indeterminate position.

For more on Wilczek, see this Edge interview.


  1. More proof that the Nobel should stop being awarded for physics.

  2. Roger,
    Before you chase after supernatural inexplicable causes, fully examine the natural causes.

    all waves are created by something else doing something, there is no such thing as an action sans it's object, otherwise you get a lot of movement without anything actually moving (modern HEP physics basically). Things do not turn into actions either (reification), when you run you do not turn into an action then back into a person when you stop running. Particles are no different, they have properties of how they move, and it is some of those crudely detected properties you are calling 'waves'. Physics lost its way when it started conflating math with reality, and reified actions into objects. Physics is supposed to be about how things move. Look at the image of your bubble tracks gif on your very own site. Look at the spirals caused in the collisions? Think about what movement is almost completely ignored in all your talk about waves. Spin. Particle physics does not even really want to touch this parameter of particles because like black hole nonsense, properties have been assigned to abstract things (such as points, singularities, lines, etc.) which do not possess the degrees of freedom necessary to model the actual parameters of their subject. Much like a two dimensional model being used to model the behavior of a three dimensional object, the people using the model often forget the model's constraints do not determine the objects actual constraints. I work in computer programming, I know quite a bit actually about representational models and what happens when the model does not have the ability to hold the data needed to do the calculations correctly, sometimes you have to redesign your entire algorithm (even if it seems to function) because it does not produce results that resemble reality (C02 climate modeling for instance) .

    Please quit talking about waves doing something, much like a shadow cast on any kind of surface, they aren't what is casting the shadow, and can be very misleading depending upon the surface they are cast upon (think distortions and funhouse mirrors), and even at best do not fully describe what is cause of the shadow. Waves merely clumsily describe in two dimensions what something else is actually doing in three. Think about what spin does to quickly moving objects. Now think of the shadow of the spinning object cast on a flat surface as the object moves along. Stars. Planets. Solar systems. Galaxies. Galactic clusters. All of them spin and orbit. Think of what would happen if you tried to describe our solar system's planets distance from their sun without orbital movement and spin? Gravity isn't very detectable without orbits of things to observe. Strange that such movement would disappear on a small scale when it is so prevalent on every other measurable scale.

    1. I always thought computers taught right were about simulation, since the subject can become so "entangled" with other disciplines. The reason CS has degenerated into boring and useless complexity theory is that it never properly defined itself. People that program computers do have a better intuition about modeling limits and clarity and many of these symbol scratchers really have a mindset from another century. You can't even get these fuddy-duddies to use a computer, let alone create complex models. The overrated theory people have no skill. By the way, climate modelers are just a liberal conspiracy and it has nothing to do with error.

  3. Matthew,
    If you haven't already, please check out this link by Dr. Christopher Essex, he raises a lot of good observations and facts about the limitations of computation even when done correctly, much less incorrectly. Around the thirty minute mark he goes into greater detail about modeling, but he also covers the problems logically with computers doing math. There are many situations where the computer isn't doing mathematically the same thing as humans do mathematically, and unless you are careful, you can be deluded by what the computer is telling you about a reiteration. Check out the 32 minute mark where he starts talking about the edges of reality with simulation.
    it also might be found under Believing in Six impossible things, and climate models

    Dr. Essex also goes into the nuts and bolts of why climate computer modeling is very next to useless for accurate physics based models for systems the size of the worlds climate.

    1. We have known that weather is chaotic since Lorenz and climate may be the same. Climate can't easily be extrapolated from the past but this has nothing to do with "the limitations of computation." It's simply GIGO and possibly chaos. There is nothing wrong with PCA but anyone with any familiarity with what people like Mann did realizes it was just pure politics and manipulation. Read Mark Steyn's book "A Disgrace to the Profession," if you don't believe me. This is the same phenomena when dealing with crackpot researchers of all kinds. People pretend there is some legitimate debate and argue over things like cloud feedbacks but there really is no debate and you are only feeding the troll. There are people who are trying to make a career out of bullshit arguments. End of story.

      Take a school like UC Berkeley. It only gets about 13% of its funding from the State of California and now gets funded by the federal taxpayer. It's the largest recipient of NSF funding and not because it's a good university but because it's a public university that has close ties to government. (Note that university research is only about 3% of total U.S. research.) It doesn't even teach students well and I have seen their atrociously disorganized and spotty syllabi. That's why many universities now call themselves a "research university." It's an excuse for their poor teaching and parasitism. There are no market forces to reign them in and hold these aloof people accountable. It morphed into a big scam and when it should have been scaled back with blowups in the California economy and government, it only grew larger. Cory Hall just gives me a bad name and is filled with low-IQ CS losers.

      Climate change is like UC Berkeley, given that it's a liberal lie that just grows larger.

    2. By the way, Essex is just making a totally bogus argument about the Navier–Stokes equations (he reveals a lot of ignorance). This is one of the most overrated problems in mathematics because we can compute all the stuff he talks about. Analytical solutions don't have anything to do with reality and he has the point backwards. First principles are not analytical ones. We can't even solve for three bodies! I can give you a long list of non-integrable functions but no one makes a big deal out of it. Stop feeding the math trolls. Empiricism matters more.