Tag Archives | Einstein

Einstein vs quantum mechanics … and why he’d be a convert today

Albert Einstein Design

It’s mind-blowing stuff, but Einstein wasn’t completely convinced by quantum mechanics.

Albert Einstein may be most famous for his mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2, but his work also laid down the foundation for modern quantum mechanics.

His analysis of the “spookiness” of quantum mechanics opened up a whole range of applications including quantum teleportation and quantum cryptography, but he wasn’t completely convinced by the theory of quantum mechanics – and that story is as fascinating as the theory he attempted to nail down.

Quantum mechanics is downright bizarre. It implies that a particle, such as an electron, can pass through two holes at the same time.

More famously, German physicist Erwin Schrödinger’s equations proved that a cat could end up in a peculiar sort of quantum state, being neither dead nor alive.

None of this impressed Einstein. He believed quantum mechanics was correct, but desperately wanted to find a way to “complete” quantum mechanics so it made sense.… Read the rest

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Physicists prove ‘quantum spookiness’ and start chasing Schrödinger’s cat

Schrödinger's cat carrier
The world of quantum mechanics is weird. Objects that are far apart can influence each other in what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance”, and cats can potentially be dead and alive at the same time. For decades, scientists have tried to prove that these effects are not just mathematical quirks, but real properties of the physical world.

And they are getting somewhere. Researchers have finally proven in a new study that the link between particles at a distance reflects how the universe behaves, rather than being an experimental artefact. Meanwhile, another team of researchers have set out to show that a living creature, albeit a bacterium, can be in two different quantum states at the same time – just like the cat in Schrödinger’s thought experiment.

Bell’s inequality test

But let’s begin with the paper, published in Nature, which proves that the world is inherently spooky. All systems described by quantum mechanics can display so-called entanglement.… Read the rest

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Einstein’s Limits: Taking General Relativity to New Extremes

General relativity tells us that gravity is not a force, but a curvature of spacetime. Credit: NASA.

General relativity tells us that gravity is not a force, but a curvature of spacetime.
Credit: NASA.

Via Tanya Lewis at Live Science:

A century ago this year, a young Swiss physicist, who had already revolutionized physics with discoveries about the relationship between space and time, developed a radical new understanding of gravity.

In 1915, Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity, which described gravity as a fundamental property of space-time. He came up with a set of equations that relate the curvature of space-time to the energy and momentum of the matter and radiation that are present in a particular region.

Today, 100 years later, Einstein’s theory of gravitation remains a pillar of modern understanding, and has withstood all the tests that scientists could throw at it. But until recently, it wasn’t possible to do experiments to probe the theory under extreme conditions to see whether it breaks down.

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Patron Saints of Time Travel Candles [Disinformation Holiday Gift Guide]

I came across these candles awhile ago and they’ve been sitting on my “gift ideas” Pinterest board (don’t judge!) for awhile now. I may or may not have bought ’em for someone in my family. (I did, but I really hope he/she doesn’t read this and figure it out! They look awesome, by the way.)

So, if you’re not already done buying gifts for the Holidays, maybe you know someone who will appreciate these. You can buy them as a set or individually.

Happy Time Travels (and Holidays).


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Zero Hour’s Fake Disinfo Page

We just watched the third and as it turns out final (the show has been canceled ALREADY!) episode of Zero Hour where one of Hank’s sidekicks says that “Disinfo is like porn to me.” I took a screenshot when the camera closes in on his computer displaying our website, only to find a story that we never published, entitled “What Was Einstein’s Final Project?” It could be an interesting article – any volunteers to write it for real?

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Einstein: ‘God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses’

Source: Gazin Auctions

Einstein’s “God Letter” is up for sale at auction. Any bidders? Jessica Ravitz reports for CNN:

Decades before atheist scientist and author Richard Dawkins called God a “delusion,” one world-renowned physicist – Albert Einstein – was weighing in on faith matters with his own strong words.

“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in German in a 1954 letter that will be auctioned on eBay later this month. “No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

Dubbed Einstein’s “God Letter” by the Los Angeles-based auction agency that’s posting it online, the original document will be up for grabs starting Monday. The opening bid: $3 million.

The letter provides a window into the famed genius’s religious beliefs. Einstein wrote it to Jewish philosopher Eric Gutkind, one year before Einstein died, in reaction to Gutkind’s book, “Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt.”…

[continues at CNN]

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CERN’s Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Speed Of Light

EinsteinScientists making discoveries that defy the laws of physics seems to be something of a theme this month. Now the eggheads at CERN say they’ve observed subatomic particles moving faster than the speed of light, which might theoretically allow us to travel back in time. Eryn Brown and Amina Khan report for the LA Times:

Albert Einstein had the idea. A century of observations have backed it up. It’s one of the cornerstones of physics: Nothing travels faster than the speed of light.

But now a team of experimental physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, says that one exotic particle possibly can.

The scientists reached their conclusion after sending streams of tiny, subatomic particles called neutrinos hurtling from an accelerator at CERN outside Geneva to a detector at the Gran Sasso National Laboratory in Italy, about 450 miles away.

The neutrinos seemed to get there too soon — 60 nanoseconds too soon, give or take — than they should if they’d been traveling at the speed of light.

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Time Travel Proved Impossible

timetravel2Major disappointment, from some jerk scientists who don’t seem to know when to keep their results to themselves. Via Discovery:

Hong Kong physicists say they have proved that a single photon obeys Einstein’s theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light — demonstrating that outside science fiction, time travel is impossible.

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology research team led by Du Shengwang said they had proved that a single photon, or unit of light, “obeys the traffic law of the universe.”

The possibility of time travel was raised 10 years ago when scientists discovered superluminal — or faster-than-light — propagation of optical pulses in some specific medium, the team said. It was later found to be a visual effect, but researchers thought it might still be possible for a single photon to exceed light speed.

Du, however, believed Einstein was right and determined to end the debate by measuring the ultimate speed of a single photon, which had not been done before.

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NASA: There Is A Space-Time Vortex Around Earth

Doctor Who VortexAh, now we know why the Doctor visits our planet so often. Via NASA’s website:

Einstein was right again. There is a space-time vortex around Earth, and its shape precisely matches the predictions of Einstein’s theory of gravity.

Researchers confirmed these points at a press conference today at NASA headquarters where they announced the long-awaited results of Gravity Probe B (GP-B).

“The space-time around Earth appears to be distorted just as general relativity predicts,” says Stanford University physicist Francis Everitt, principal investigator of the Gravity Probe B mission.

“This is an epic result,” adds Clifford Will of Washington University in St. Louis. An expert in Einstein’s theories, Will chairs an independent panel of the National Research Council set up by NASA in 1998 to monitor and review the results of Gravity Probe B. “One day,” he predicts, “this will be written up in textbooks as one of the classic experiments in the history of physics.”

Time and space, according to Einstein’s theories of relativity, are woven together, forming a four-dimensional fabric called “space-time.” The mass of Earth dimples this fabric, much like a heavy person sitting in the middle of a trampoline.

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