Click to get your own widget

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Physicist Nicolas Gisin and colleagues report in Nature that pairs of quantum-entangled photons sent from the university University of Geneva through fiber-optic cables to two Swiss villages 18 kilometers apart changed polarization not just identically, but faster than synchronized atomic clocks could detect.

Whatever was affecting the photons seems to have happened so nearly instantaneously that the phenomenon influencing the particles had to be traveling at least 10,000 times faster than light. Since that can't happen in four dimensions of space and time, the experiments show that entanglement might be controlled by something existing beyond it.

Somebody is going to ask what is the importance of such things in real life. Well Einstein's theory of relativity came about to explain anomalous results barely more detectable than this - a minor deviation in light reaching us from Jupiter & a tiny increase in the orbital speed of Mercury.

Einstein did not disprove the Newtonian universe he merely proved there was something more. This result proves that there is something more than the Einsteining universe (in which anything faster than light has been officially impossible). This doesn't mean we are going to get starships any time soon, even within the lifetimes of our grandchildren. The Moon landings, after all, were carried out entirely according to the laws of Newton. However it does mean that such things are no longer impossible. The universe may be potentially open to us.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

British Blogs.