Documenting the Coming Singularity

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

When Time Gets Entangled with Itself

The fact that sub-atomic particles can become "entangled" is a staple of quantum mechanics. The idea is that, once they become entangled, two particles will always be able to affect each other, no matter how far apart they get. And the effect is instantaneous. This makes it seem like there can be faster than light travel of information, which isn't supposed to be possible.

This article deals with something even more weird: Entangled time.

By Elise Crull on Aeon

In the summer of 1935, the physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger engaged in a rich, multifaceted and sometimes fretful correspondence about the implications of the new theory of quantum mechanics. The focus of their worry was what Schrödinger later dubbed entanglement: the inability to describe two quantum systems or particles independently, after they have interacted.

Until his death, Einstein remained convinced that entanglement showed how quantum mechanics was incomplete. Schrödinger thought that entanglement was the defining feature of the new physics, but this didn’t mean that he accepted it lightly. ‘I know of course how the hocus pocus works mathematically,’ he wrote to Einstein on 13 July 1935. ‘But I do not like such a theory.’ Schrödinger’s famous cat, suspended between life and death, first appeared in these letters, a byproduct of the struggle to articulate what bothered the pair.


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