Random Thought Of The Day

Quantum entanglement: it occurred to me today that the only ways quantum entanglement works is if a) space-time is a four-dimensional object that is folded around itself in n-dimensional space (n being a number higher than four), and what appear to be two entangled quanta are not actually four-dimensional particles but a single y-dimensional (y being a number equal to or higher than n) structure which happen to pass through four-dimensional space in two different places.

Or b) when the probability waveform of an entangled quanta collapses, it retcons the other particle’s waveform, backwards in time, so that it appears that the two quanta’s behavior is simultaneous — “spooky action at a distance” — when in fact, they are not. One follows the other. Just not in the direction we’re expecting.

Which makes me wonder about the whole concept of time and cause-and-effect. I wonder sometimes if the whole “first cause, then effect” thing isn’t merely a function of how humans perceive time — in a straight one-way line, when in fact that might not be the case at all. We may only perceive time as a one-way arrow. There’s nothing in physics that insists that this must be true, famously. And perhaps unidirectional time is an epiphenomenon which only really happens at the Newtonian scale. We know that the flow of time is relative at Einsteinian scales (very big, very fast). And we know that cause-and-effect breaks down at a quantum level.

Schrodinger’s Cat, for example, suggests that the observation of a quantum event collapses the probability waveform of that event: until one opens the box, the cat is neither alive nor dead. Both waveforms exist within the unobserved confines of the box.

However, here’s the interesting part: the cat doesn’t suddenly live or die when you open the box. If the cat is dead, the cat has already been dead for a while by the time you open the box. But it’s just as possible the cat is alive, and was alive the whole time.

Which suggests that the act of observation — which collapses the probability waveform inside the box — not only changes the present, but the immediate past (i.e. all of the time since the experiment began and the cat was either killed or not killed). It suggests that cause-and-effect may be localized, inside the box and outside it.

I’m very sleepy. I’m going to go to bed now.

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  1. Oh, noes!!! MORE, not less caffeina, lest the Goddess become angry. Otherwise, it’s hard to understand Bohm:

    “Central to Bohm’s schema are correlations between observables of entities which seem separated by great distances in the explicate order (such as a particular electron here on earth and an alpha particle in one of the stars in the Abell 1835 galaxy, the farthest galaxy from Earth known to humans), manifestations of the implicate order. Within quantum theory there is entanglement of such objects.

    This view of order necessarily departs from any notion which entails signalling, and therefore causality. The correlation of observables does not imply a causal influence, and in Bohm’s schema the latter represents ‘relatively’ independent events in space-time; and therefore explicate order.” Or something like that. Blind-sided by science again.

    Bohm, D. (1980). Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-7100-0971-2


    (Dr. Octagon? (see prior post) First time I’ve been compared to a hip hop artist . . . must have more caffeine.)

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