Tag Archives | quantum mechanics

Therefore I Am

The McCoubrey Brothers have once again made a hauntingly atmospheric short worthy of seven minutes of your time. Attempting to capitalize on the successes of the macabre “The Grey Matter,” which I showcased here, the McCoubreys quickly worked to release another short. The product is “Therefore I Am,” a seven minute thriller about the many-worlds interpretation of time travel.

According to Director Peter McCoubrey:

Traditionally, the way time travel is depicted in popular films like Back to the Future, The Terminator, and Looper (all films we love) the is that if you go back and alter the past in any way, it will create a butterfly effect that directly impacts a character’s future/present. That’s of course an endlessly fun hook that creates high stakes and allows for really dynamic sci-fi storytelling. We thought what if you took that paradox out of the equation? Could there still a captivating aspect to time travel that doesn’t involve a Grandfather Paradox?

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Tangled Up In Entanglement

Think you know about quantum mechanics? Keep reading, via the New Yorker:

No area of physics causes more confusion, not just among the general public but also among physicists, than quantum mechanics. On the one hand, it’s the source of New Age mythology, and has enabled hucksters to peddle new self-help cures; on the other, for the philosophically inclined, it has provided some illusory hope of free will in an otherwise deterministic universe. Of the aspects of quantum mechanics that confuse and dismay observers, perhaps nothing approaches the property called “entanglement.” Einstein, who never really accepted entanglement’s existence, called it, derisively, “spooky action at a distance.”


Unfortunately for Einstein, entanglement, “spooky” or not, is apparently real, as researchers in the Netherlands demonstrated last week, just in time for Halloween. In doing so, the researchers affirmed once again that quantum mechanics, as strange as it may seem, works in every way we can test it.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

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

Continue Reading

The Dictionary Is a Sci-fi Novel (and We’re All Trapped Inside It)

The Dark Meaning Research Institute has published its most mind-blowing paper yet. It reveals that we live in a linguistic simulation of the universe, and it suggests ways we can escape from it…

DMRI escape

Figure 1: A diagram showing the escape route of a Shakespearean escape artist from an Elizabethan playhouse. All the words ever written form a passage through which the player must pass.

The vast majority of people never learn the big secrets about their existence due to the huge amount of work done by the authorities to keep certain things hidden (and then to make a secret of their secrecy). Fortunately, the DMRI has spent many years trying to undo that work with its undercover research and is now in a position to begin the Big Reveal.

One of the biggest secrets you will ever learn is this: The universe we live in is a simulation.

This may seem like an idea that can only exist in science fiction, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

New quantum mechanics theory says parallel universes exist, interact



The new theory, “Many Interacting Worlds” (MIW), states that parallel universes interact and that scientists may be able to test for this.

via RT.com:

To the average person, quantum mechanics is the convoluted, science fiction-y branch of physics. A radical new theory plays into that, proposing that parallel universes exist and interact with each other ‒ and that scientists may be able to test for them.

Prof. Howard Wiseman, a physicist at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, along with his collaborators Dr. Michael Hall, also of Griffith University, and University of California, Davis mathematician Dr. Dirk-Andre Deckert, published their new “many interacting worlds” (MIW) theory in the journal Physical Review X. They posited that other universes are real, exist in vast numbers and exert influence on each other.

“The idea of parallel universes in quantum mechanics has been around since 1957,” Wiseman said in a statement. “In the well-known ‘Many-Worlds Interpretation’, each universe branches into a bunch of new universes every time a quantum measurement is made.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Scientists capture first ever image of light acting as a particle and a wave

Ryan Whitwam via ExtremeTech:

Despite being a well-established tenet of modern physics, the particle-wave duality of light can be a real mind-bender. This approach to understanding the universe was pioneered by scientists like Albert Einstein and Max Planck, eventually leading to quantum mechanics. Researchers have been trying to visualize light in both forms ever since, but haven’t had success until now. A team at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) claim they’ve devised an experiment to photograph light as both a particle and wave.

Einstein’s eureka moment in the study of light came when he described the photoelectric effect. When UV light hits a metal surface, it results in an emission of electrons. Einstein explained this phenomenon by proposing that light can act as a particle in addition to a wave. We now know these particles as photons, but that term wasn’t coined until later. Subsequent experiments have confirmed the dual property of light, but actually seeing both at once would be something.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

New Half-Light Half-Matter Quantum Particles Created

Via ScienceDaily:

Prospects of developing computing and communication technologies based on quantum properties of light and matter may have taken a major step forward thanks to research by City College of New York physicists led by Dr. Vinod Menon.

In a pioneering study, Professor Menon and his team were able to discover half-light, half-matter particles in atomically thin semiconductors (thickness ~ a millionth of a single sheet of paper) consisting of two-dimensional (2D) layer of molybdenum and sulfur atoms arranged similar to graphene. They sandwiched this 2D material in a light trapping structure to realize these composite quantum particles.

“Besides being a fundamental breakthrough, this opens up the possibility of making devices which take the benefits of both light and matter,” said Professor Menon.

For example one can start envisioning logic gates and signal processors that take on best of light and matter. The discovery is also expected to contribute to developing practical platforms for quantum computing.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

You’re powered by quantum mechanics. No, really…

"Schrödinger's cat" by El Alvi (cc by-sa 2.0)

“Schrödinger’s cat” by El Alvi (cc by-sa 2.0)

via The Guardian:

For years biologists have been wary of applying the strange world of quantum mechanics, where particles can be in two places at once or connected over huge distances, to their own field. But it can help to explain some amazing natural phenomena we take for granted.

Every year, around about this time, thousands of European robins escape the oncoming harsh Scandinavian winter and head south to the warmer Mediterranean coasts. How they find their way unerringly on this 2,000-mile journey is one of the true wonders of the natural world. For unlike many other species of migratory birds, marine animals and even insects, they do not rely on landmarks, ocean currents, the position of the sun or a built-in star map. Instead, they are among a select group of animals that use a remarkable navigation sense – remarkable for two reasons.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Quantum Mechanics Saves Grandfathers From Time Travelers

JD Hancock via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

JD Hancock via Flickr. (CC BY 2.0)

via Popsci:

Mention time travel at a nerd party, and other guests will immediately respond with a grim conundrum: What happens if a time traveler goes back in time and kills one of his ancestors? This is the “Grandfather Paradox.” In a simulated environment, a team of mathematicians tested the paradox, and made a remarkable discovery: In time travel simulations, at least, history repeats itself.

The Grandfather Paradox makes a mess of time travel. A murderer kills his ancestor, preventing his own birth, thereby preventing the murder, thereby being born, thereby committing the murder, and so on. To observe it, a team of researchers, led by Martin Ringbauer, created a simulation. Instead of firing up a DeLorean to 88 miles an hour, they sent photons through a “closed timelike curve,” or CTC. The photons are paired up so that one follows the other.

Read the rest
Continue Reading