Science, Spirituality, and Some Mismatched Socks

Thu, 05/07/2009 - 5:12am
Gautam Naik

Editor's Note: We ride the waves of time on a sea of Quantum FoamTM that supports our reality. I've always hoped that entanglement would lead to some kind of FTL communications tech (the Ansible of SF lore). The apparent dichotomy between Quantum Physics and General Relativity has also always fascinated me. That people can harness any of this to create useful solutions is commendable.

einstein(From The Wall Street Journal) - One of quantum physics' crazier notions is that two particles seem to communicate with each other instantly, even when they're billions of miles apart. Albert Einstein, arguing that nothing travels faster than light, dismissed this as impossible "spooky action at a distance." The great man may have been wrong. A series of recent mind-bending laboratory experiments has given scientists an unprecedented peek behind the quantum veil, confirming that this realm is as mysterious as imagined.

Einstein refused to believe that a photon could be in all states at once and set out to find an explanation for their seemingly odd behavior. God doesn't play dice with the universe, he said at the time. Danish physicist Neils Bohr, a big proponent of quantum uncertainty, shot back: "Quit telling God what to do."

Some researchers are using the uncertain state of photons to solve real-world problems. When encrypting sensitive data such as a bank transfer, both the sending party and the receiving party must have the same key. The sender needs the key to hide the message and the receiver to reveal it. Since it isn't always practical to exchange keys in person, the key must be sent electronically, too. This means the key (and the messages) may be intercepted and read by an eavesdropper.

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