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Science Forum

  1. 04 Sep '10 07:36
    For me it's that time is NOT a constant. It's been proven that time slows down for objects traveling at speeds, and the faster they go the more time slows down.

    They actually have to account for these changes when we use GPS.

    I've always thought of time as a kind of abstract idea. But as it turns out it's something real and tangible, and it can even be manipulated. I can't even begin to wrap my mind around this phenomenon.
  2. 04 Sep '10 09:23
    Quantum entanglement, definitely Quantum entanglement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement
  3. 04 Sep '10 10:24
    As a quantum physicist myself, I don't easily get shocked at nature being weird anymore...
  4. 04 Sep '10 10:58
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    As a quantum physicist myself, I don't easily get shocked at nature being weird anymore...
    You're a quantum physicist? That's impressive.

    Can you describe the field? The impression my uneducated mind gets from watching the science channel is that quantum physics is a bunch of pie-in-the-sky - anything is possible theories. Is there stronger science backing it than I've been lead to believe?
  5. 04 Sep '10 11:08
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Quantum entanglement, definitely Quantum entanglement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement
    Again, I'm the layman. What is an example of a particle that can be "entangled" with another? Are we talking about atoms, or something smaller?

    Are they mysteriously linked regardless of distance? How far apart have they observed the link? Is there a laps of time for one particle to be reacting to the other?

    Last question - has the phenomenon been observed when the particles are manipulated, or do they simply go about their natural state with relative behavior to each other?
  6. 04 Sep '10 12:19
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    The impression my uneducated mind gets from watching the science channel is that quantum physics is a bunch of pie-in-the-sky - anything is possible theories. Is there stronger science backing it than I've been lead to believe?
    Just as GPS wouldn't work without taking relativity into account, many other modern marvels would not work unless we took quantum effects into account. Its my understanding that quantum effects must be taken into account with modern processors, hard disks and other devices that have very small parts.
    Quantum effects are very real and there is a lot of very solid science behind it.
    There are some aspects that are counter-intuitive (rather like relativity can be) and there are some aspects that are not yet fully understood, but the field itself is very important and perfectly good solid science.
  7. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Do ya think?
    04 Sep '10 13:40
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    For me it's that time is NOT a constant. It's been proven that time slows down for objects traveling at speeds, and the faster they go the more time slows down.

    They actually have to account for these changes when we use GPS.

    I've always thought of time as a kind of abstract idea. But as it turns out it's something real and tangible, and it can even be manipulated. I can't even begin to wrap my mind around this phenomenon.
    The Second Law of Thermodynamics.
  8. 04 Sep '10 14:45 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    You're a quantum physicist? That's impressive.

    Can you describe the field? The impression my uneducated mind gets from watching the science channel is that quantum physics is a bunch of pie-in-the-sky - anything is possible theories. Is there stronger science backing it than I've been lead to believe?
    On the contrary, quantum physics is very accurate. Some theoretical predictions for the value of certain constants of nature have been experimentally verified to an accuracy of 10 digits. It doesn't describe everything, though, there is still no satisfactory account for gravity in quantum theory for example.

    It's pretty difficult to appreciate the accuracy of quantum physics without a solid mathematical understanding, though.
  9. 04 Sep '10 14:54
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    Again, I'm the layman. What is an example of a particle that can be "entangled" with another? Are we talking about atoms, or something smaller?

    Are they mysteriously linked regardless of distance? How far apart have they observed the link? Is there a laps of time for one particle to be reacting to the other?

    Last question - has the phenomen ...[text shortened]... pulated, or do they simply go about their natural state with relative behavior to each other?
    What is an example of a particle that can be "entangled" with another? Are we talking about atoms, or something smaller?

    Pretty much anything can be entangled, at least in theory. In experiments it's usually atoms or smaller particles like photons.

    Are they mysteriously linked regardless of distance?

    Yes.

    How far apart have they observed the link?

    I don't know.

    Is there a laps of time for one particle to be reacting to the other?

    No.

    Last question - has the phenomenon been observed when the particles are manipulated, or do they simply go about their natural state with relative behavior to each other?

    It depends on the kind of manipulation. If you manipulate something that is relevant for the entangled property, then the entanglement usually ceases to exist.
  10. Standard member avalanchethecat
    Not actually a cat
    04 Sep '10 14:55
    Oh alright, I'll say it then. It's ELECTRICITY of course. Sheesh...
  11. 04 Sep '10 15:38
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    [b]What is an example of a particle that can be "entangled" with another? Are we talking about atoms, or something smaller?

    Pretty much anything can be entangled, at least in theory. In experiments it's usually atoms or smaller particles like photons.

    Are they mysteriously linked regardless of distance?

    Yes.

    How far apart have ...[text shortened]... that is relevant for the entangled property, then the entanglement usually ceases to exist.
    The reason I ask that last question is because I'm pondering a possible theory.

    Perhaps the two entangled particles were (excuse the crude analogy) cut from the same mold at the same time. Perhaps they're not actually linked, but rather, act independently in the exact same manner.

    Kind of like if two different people put the same DVD movie in the same type of DVD player at the exact same time - they will mirror each other no matter how far away their televisions are.
  12. 04 Sep '10 16:15 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    The reason I ask that last question is because I'm pondering a possible theory.

    Perhaps the two entangled particles were (excuse the crude analogy) cut from the same mold at the same time. Perhaps they're not actually linked, but rather, act independently in the exact same manner.

    Kind of like if two different people put the same DVD movie ...[text shortened]... he exact same time - they will mirror each other no matter how far away their televisions are.
    In general, entangled particles don't act in the same way.
  13. 04 Sep '10 16:47 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    Are they mysteriously linked regardless of distance? How far apart have they observed the link? Is there a laps of time for one particle to be reacting to the other?
    Unless I am mistaken, the two slit experiment works perfectly well on starlight.

    So theoretically, the effect can be observed for distances in the millions of light years and times of millions of years.

    Maybe someone here knows whether it has actually been performed with light from distant galaxies, and whether it does demonstrate entanglement of those distances and times.
  14. 05 Sep '10 07:49 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by USArmyParatrooper
    You're a quantum physicist? That's impressive.

    Can you describe the field? The impression my uneducated mind gets from watching the science channel is that quantum physics is a bunch of pie-in-the-sky - anything is possible theories. Is there stronger science backing it than I've been lead to believe?
    If quantum physics was just pie-in-the-sky then the semiconductors in your computer would not work nor the lasers that send signals for your message down fibre-optic cables and you would not be able to post the message: “…The impression my uneducated mind gets from watching the science channel is that quantum physics is a bunch of pie-in-the-sky - anything is possible theories….” Nor any other message to any internet forum.
    I think you don't realise just how much of our everyday technology relies on quantum physics being right else that technology would simply not work. And this is not to even mention the fact that, if quantum physics was wrong, the reactive sites in the enzymes in your body would not function and you would be dead! Much of chemistry can only be fully explained by taking into account quantum effects.
  15. 05 Sep '10 14:48
    Am I mistaken, or is the wave nature of light (and other electromagnetic radiation) a direct consequence of quantum physics? ie without quantum physics, light should act like particles only.