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Friday, October 1, 2010

(Limited) Faster than Light Coordination Is Possible

Anyway, now that we have established that Spooky Action at a Distance exists, there is apparently still general consesus that you cannot have information exchanged faster than the speed of light.

From Wikipedia (Faster-Than-Light-Communication):

"Superluminal communication is the term used to describe the hypothetical process by which one might send information at faster-than-light (FTL) speeds. All empirical evidence found by scientific investigation indicates that it is impossible in reality."

Well, that's not quite right.

You might not be able to have direct superluminal communication, but you sure can have superluminal coordination.

First, you have to remember that we now established that quantum entanglement exists.

From Wikipedia (Quantum entanglement):

"However, in an entangled pair when the first particle is measured, the state of the other is known at the same time without measurement, regardless of the separation of the two particles. This knowledge of the second particle's state is at the heart of the debate. If the distance between particles is large enough, information or influence might be traveling faster than the speed of light which violates the principle of special relativity. One experiment that is in agreement with the effect of entanglement "traveling faster than light" was performed in 2008. This experiment found that the "speed" of quantum entanglement has a minimum lower bound of 10,000 times the speed of light.[5] However, because the method involves uncontrollable observation rather than controllable changing of state, no actual information is transmitted in this process. Therefore, the speed of light remains the communication speed limit."

Oh, and "minimum lower bound of 10,000 times the speed of light" really means that it's acually happening simultaneously regardless of where the entangled particles are located in the universe. This means that if one particle is in one galaxy, and it's entangled counterpart is in another galaxy, they will immediately influnce each other. Physical distance is completely irrelevant.

This expierment shows that there can now be some degree of coordination that occurs faster than the speed of light.

You can't send a message, but you can coordinate actions. Say you have two actors who are one light minute away from each other. Say there are two separate targets that they want each want to hit with a laser at the exact same time and the tagets that are located halfway between them, Target 1 and Target 2. They want to make sure that they each hit a different target, but they have each agreed that they will not decide beforehand which target to hit.

Now, if they each have an entangled particle of a pair, and one is found to have positive spin, the other will automatically have negative spin.

So, if they agree beforehand that they will each target and fire their laser at the same time (assuming their clocks are coordinated to the second) and they agree that they will not determine the spin of the particle until five seconds before their respective laser fires (to give them a few seconds to pick the right target), and they agree that the one who has the particle with negative spin will hit Target 1 and the one who has the particle with positive spin will hit Target 2 they will always each hit a different target.

And there you have faster than light coordination.

Neither actor has picked the target more than five seconds before firing, each target is 30 light seconds away from the lasers, and both targets will always be hit.

Coordination has occured faster than the speed of light.

4 comments:

Dink said...

Hey JP,

Sorry for the delayed response, but I had to coordinate my neurons to work at even Newtonian speeds.

The devil's advocate in me has to ask how entangled agent 1 & 2 are going to coordinate without communication. And how complex a set of agents can be (particle up to sapient multicellular beastie)and still be entangled.

The curiosity advocate in me has to ask what force entanglement is using and how do we get some of that? Because while I do enjoy discussing the theoretical, I get sweaty at anything that hints at additional longevity and/or space travel that allows us to find new Earths to live on.

JP said...

It's not theoretical. The scientific community is now peforming experimentation in the realm quantum entanglement.

I will try to find a link. I don't know where it is off the top of my head.

This works because apparently there are really more than three dimensions of space and one of time. Basically, I think this is playing with the "rolled up dimensions" that are everywhere at once if you adhere to string theory.

The most recent experiment in quantum entanglement essentially proved that there is spooky action at a distance.

Basically, it's as though you have two ends of a spinner in two different places.

When you stop one end of the spinner, you stop the other end of the spinner. However, they can't control the spinner or restart the spinner once it's stopped.

I think the last experiment they ran established that the lower limit of this is 10,000 times the speed of light.

The problem is that the only thing they can do is "stop the spinner". They can't perform quantum cloning for true faster than light communication.

And the entanglement is basically at the subatomic level right now, if my memory serves me correctly.

JP said...

This is the part of reality that Einstein didn't really like to think about.

JP said...

And the only thing that building any kind of quantum gate would do for us would be to get from point A to point B, once we physically transversed the space from point A to point B.

It wouldn't let you get anywhere faster than the speed of light unless you physically got there using slower than light travel and physically installed a quantum gate.

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