Struggling with Meaninglessness

searching meaning in meaninglessness

Archive for the ‘Quantum Physics’ Category

Teleportation – Quantum Entanglement

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I mentioned few posts ago, that teleportation is possible. So, how does Teleportation really works?

First, we need to go back to the history a little bit. Quantum teleportation exploits a bizarre properties of atoms derived from EPR Paradox which was initially proposed to kill off the probability factor in quantum mechanics.

Albert Einstein, who believed that ‘God do not play dice with the universe’ (in other words, he doesn’t believe in total randomness in quantum mechanics and reality), along with Poldosky and Rosen, conceived the EPR Paradox to show why quantum mechanics is wrong. Through a thought-experiment on two tangled electrons, they suggested that information is able to travel much faster than the speed of light, which is impossible, hence the existing quantum theory is wrong. (However, more experiment were conducted and eventually Einstein was proven somewhat, wrong with his idea).

Alright, forget all the details. The most important point here is that Einstein and friends had introduced a marvelous concept in quantum mechanics – tangled atoms separated by great distance. Einstein called it spooky-action-at-distance. Michio Kaku explained …

This means, in some sense, that what happens to us automatically affects things instantaneously in distant corners of the universe, since our wave functions were probably entangled at the beginning of time. In some sense there is a web of entanglement that connects distant corners of the universe, including us. – Michio Kaku (Physics of the Impossible)

quantum teleporation 

Ok, so now we know that at atomic level the whole universe is somehow connected in a big web. This is what i gonna do – I will teleport atom A to atom C’s location separated by a great distance. So, i will first look for an atom which starts out being entangled with atom C nearby around me. I found one, and let’s call it atom B. I will put atom A in contact with atom B, scan it, and transfer all the information content from A to B. I have now temporarily entangled atom A with atom B. But since B and C were originally entangled, the information of atom A will automatically be transferred to atom C.

Hence, atom A has now been teleported to atom C. However, it does not mean A has physically traveled to C. Rather, it means atom A has been copied to atom C. Something like a duplication. So, what will happened to atom A? Atom A will self-destruct so that we don’t have two copies after the teleportation. (Using computing analogy, it is something like cut and paste rather than copy and paste)

Bear in mind quantum entanglement is not just a mere theory but it has already been tested and implemented. Scientists have teleported photons of light and gas of cesium atoms (which have trillions of atoms) using quantum entanglement. The teleportation distances are 600 meters and half a yard respectively.

Teleportation For Human Being using Quantum Entanglement.

Alright, the atom example above may sound confusing to you (quantum mechanics IS confusing, anyway). But i suppose it would be more clearer to use human being as an example.

As mentioned, in quantum entanglement, you do not really physically, ‘travel’ from one point to another, but rather a cut-and-paste technique is used to move you to the other side instead. This means that anyone being hypothetically teleported would die in the process.

Let’s say you want to teleport yourself to the moon. According to the existing theory, you can’t teleport and bring your entire body to the moon. So this is when bio-digital cloning comes into play.

You will send the information of every atoms in your whole body (which is 10^28 atoms = 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) to the moon and then through bio-digital cloning, your body would be reconstructed again with precision.Yes, your original body will die off and you would live in a new body carrying all the previous ‘data’ (memories) with you.

Conclusion: In atomic scale, teleportation is already a reality today. This simply means the law of physics allow teleportation. However, it is another story altogether of teleporting macroscopic object such as human being as it involves way too many numbers of atoms. So, until we master the art of quantum mechanics, genetic engineering and having a super quantum computing technology, teleporting human being is still not possible, yet. Time will certainly bring the technology closer to us.

Written by elan85

May 2, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Quantum Mechanics : The absurdness of Quantum Physics

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It all started out when physicists were puzzled by atoms which acted both as particles and wave. Later on, this mystery were uncovered by physicists in various experiments –  the electron is in fact taking its form in particle while accompanied by a wave around it. Edwin Schrodinger called it wave function. And this perfectly explains the duality nature of atoms.

So, what is this wave function is all about? First, we need to know that all energy occurs in discrete packets called quanta. For instance, the quantum of light is called photon and the quantum for gravity is called graviton. Secondly, matter is represented by point particles (atoms) but the probability of finding the particle is given by a wave surrounding it. The wave, in turn, obeys a specific wave equation (eg. Shrodinger’s wave equation) An example of matter is human body which is made up of billions of atoms.

Bohr and Heisenberg assumed that after an act of observing by observer, the wave function of electron will collapse, and the electron falls into a definite state. Before an observation is made, an object exists in all possible states simultaneously. But in order to determine which state the object is in, an observation need to be made on the object to collapse its wave function and make it go into a definite state. Apparently, the act of observing the object will ‘kill off’ the wave function and the object will assume a definite reality.  (In Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty, Heisenberg mentioned that when we observe an atom, there will be an energy interchange between the observer and atom. This energy will create ‘disturbance’ and caused wave function to collapse. )

For instance – trees. Before an observation is made, nobody will know whether the tree is fallen or not. In fact, the tree exists in all possible states simultaneously. It might be burnt, fallen, firewood,  or may mightily standing strong. Once an observation is made, then the tree will spring into definite state, and we see that it has fallen, for instance.

That means, theoretically in quantum physics, it allows the possibility of an elephant which has yet been observed by any entity before, walking around your house when you are not looking or listening. However, once you turn your back, the wave function of the entire elephant collapses, and it will vanish the moment you try to observe it. The elephant will then emerge in its definite state perhaps in some jungle in Africa.  (Don’t forget atoms appear in multiple places at  the same time).

Edwin Shrondinger highlighted this scenario in his famous thought-experiment paradox Shrodinger’s cat. Put it simply, a cat is placed in the box with some uranium around it. Since uranium is extremely unstable, it may decay in any seconds. Let’s say there is a 50/50 chances the uranium will go decay in the next second, and if the uranium decays, it will kill the cat. So, before opening box, it is impossible to tell whether the cat is dead or alive. To find that out from quantum mechanics point of view, Schrodinger had to to add the wave function of the live cat and the dead cat – that means the cat is 50 percent alive and 50 percent dead. It is alive yet it is dead! But once we look in to the box, an observation is made and the wave function collapse, and we will see the cat in a definite state of EITHER being dead OR alive.

To Schrodinger, this was absurd. How can a cat be both dead and alive at the same time, just because he hasn’t look inside the box? Does the cat suddenly spring into existence as soon as we observe it? Albert Einstein, who persistently refused to accept the existing quantum theory, famously said something similar – “Look at the moon. Does the moon suddenly spring into existence when a mouse looks at it?”

Quantum Mechanics is so absurd to our common sense that i’m having some tough time accepting what i’m reading. However, it seems this is indeed how atoms work. And so i wondered if the whole nature is absurd too.

Written by elan85

February 4, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Quantum Physics

Science isn’t Strange. We Are.

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I like watching TED’s talk and one of my all time favourite videos would be Richard Dawkins’ – Queerer Than We Can Suppose.

Before i go deep into Dawkins’ message, i will digress a little first. Let’s talk about some classical philosophy. Let’s talk about Immanuel Kant, one of the most influential philosopher we ever have. The following quote is one of his ideas in his work Critique of Pure Reason (1781) :

“Everything we apprehend in any way at all – whether it is a perception, memory, feeling, thoughts, or whatever it may be – is apprehended by us through our bodily apparatus, namely our five senses, our brain, and our central nervous system. Therefore anything that this apparatus can deal with is capable of being experience for us. Buy anything it cannot deal with can never be experience for us , for we have no way of apprehending it.”

This didn’t make sense to me at first. There are things which we can’t see or feel, but we are very damn sure of their existence and we are equally capable of apprehending them – Things such as gravity, magnetism, radiowave, atom, anti-matter and etc. I read them in books and articles and scientist gave some concrete and convincing answers to all these unperceivable entity. So how could this idea of his became a groundbreaking idea? Nevertheless, i changed my mind once i watched Dawkins’ TED talk. Once and for all, i understood the meaning behind Kant’s idea. It is indeed a profound philosophy.

Take gravity for instance. We can never feel and perceive gravity with our five senses (eye, nose, ear, mouth and skin) and our brain. Since we can’t feel and perceive it directly with our bodily apparatus, therefore there is no way we can  apprehend gravity. It doesn’t mean gravity doesn’t exist, just that human will not be able to 100% apprehending it. Scientists can only create theories of how this unperceivable entity behave. As we learned it school, the earth sucks everything towards the center of the earth. This is an extremely common theory and is already accepted as a conventional  explanation. However, a theory is still a theory – it is not a fact. Even if the answer is 99.99% convincing, there is still a possibility of 0.01% chance that the truth will be another different answer.

Bear in mind that gravity is a very kind and simple example. If other examples are taken such as string theory, quantum mechanics or wormhole, these theories are far from being clear-cut as the likes of gravity. Every different scientist may theorise his/her own subjective ideas and interpretation of how these things work. At the end of the day, debate and arguments of who having the better theory is inevitable. That’s why Kant argued – if we can’t experience something with our body senses, then we could never tell for sure how it behaves and what are the features of it.

Let’s get back to Dawkin’s video. The main message of the video is simply about – the limitation of our five senses and brain in perceiving the reality.

According to Dawkins, this universe is consist of 3 worlds – The small world (quantum and atomic world), the big world (stars, blackhole, planets) and the middle world (human). In the middle world, our brain spontaneously evolved accordingly to allow us navigate and adapt to this world. However these three worlds are operating in different set of rules and conditions. Hence, mentally, we are trapped in the middle world’s logic. It is extremely difficult for us to perceive and grasp the reality beyond the middle world because our brain had decided that it is not necessary to understand the small world and the big world. Why? Why would the brain need to wire itself to understand the small and big world when it does not bring us any benefit in surviving? Understanding how atomic works will not bring us any significant changes in the way of our survival – at least this is what our brain instinctively believe. An example Dawkins gave in the video – rocks. I will quote him here.

“We never evolved to navigate in the world of atoms. If we had, our brains probably would perceive a rock as full of empty space. Rocks feel hard and impenetrable to our hands because objects like our hands can’t penetrate them. It’s therefore useful for our brains to construct notions like solidity and impenetrability because such notions help us to navigate our bodies through the middle-sized world in which we have to navigate.”

This is why, i think 9999 out of 10000 people on earth find theories such as string theory, quantum physics and time-travel confusing – human simply are not inherently adapt to other world’s logic. Take for example, the quantum world. According to quantum mechanics, there’s a high probability where an atom will go through the wall. And since human is also made up of atoms,  there is a probability we can go through the wall too. Hence, if a person pushes against the wall for billion of years, there’s a probability where his/her whole body will be able to go through the wall at some point (it takes longer time since we are composed by an enormous amount of atoms – the more atoms in a single entity, the more improbable it is) Now, if you apply this logic back to the middle world and insist to everyone there’s such possibility of human going through wall, don’t be surprised to receive some middle-finger gestures accompanied by W-T-F cries. No where in the human imagination we can visualise the logic of this.

To gain understanding of other world, the rule of thumb is to detach our middle world logic before embracing the small and big world. Easier said than done, this is actually something which is extremely difficult to do, and that’s why great scientists such as Newton, Heisenberg, Einstein and Bohr are special – they have the ability to defy human logic and produced some audacious thoughts of how the world really worked.

At the end of the video, Dawkins proposed a crazy idea – put children to play games which operates in quantum logic and accustom them to quantum mechanics in the long run. Then in the experiment, observe them whether are they able to adapt and think in quantum logic conveniently. Sounds interesting, no?

Last but not least, people who don’t really understand science always perceive science as strange. It is a fact that this is an extremely confusing and complex universe. Human conveniently labeled science as strange because we can’t comprehend it. But you know what, the state of actual reality has already been this way since billion of years ago. The reality is already here and we just gotta uncover it. At the end of the day, I wonder who are the strange one….

Written by elan85

December 3, 2007 at 10:35 am

(Yahoo! Answers) What the hell is anti-matter?

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Question: I was watching some TV show talking about the start of the universe and they were talking about anti-matter.
How can you have anti-matter? Isn’t anti-matter already matter because it’s “stuff” and it takes up space? Help me, I am confused.

My Answer: This question can only be answered effectively using analogies. Ok, try to link these 2 analogies together alright? 😉

1. I bet you know what is a magnet right? Magnetism become meaningless if it is devoid either of positive or negative charge. A magnet is a magnet because it has both positive and negative charges. Same goes for universe, to create the universe, you need both matter and anti-matter.

2. When you freeze a pile of water, heat will escape from the water and slowly turn into ice. Now, think of ice as matter and heat as anti-matter. Same goes when you put the ice under the sun, heat will take over the ice and melt it down. The best word to describe this activity is ‘reactions’.

They are not exactly very precise analogies but i hope you will get the picture of how they work. Basically, this world is a yin-yang world. Matter and anti-matter work in a harmonious way. However, the world/universe we are living at consist mainly of matters only. Therefore, some scientist believes that there’s another side of the world where it mirrors our universe, consist mainly of anti-matter, hence the Parallel World.

When matter and anti-matter meets, they will create a very strong energy (big explosions).

Best Answer chosen by Asker :

Matter is composed of particles.
Antimatter is ALSO composed of particles with exactly the same characteristics as their corresponding matter particles, but with opposite charge.

If you combine matter and antimatter, you get a huge explosion (lots of released energy) and gamma rays.

In this universe, or … at least around here, there is enough matter around that anti-matter is destroyed pretty close to instantaneously. In other places, it may be the reverse.

Written by elan85

November 9, 2007 at 5:23 pm