
return
to homepage return
to updates
QUANTUM
ENTANGLEMENT
by
Miles Mathis milesmathis.com
First
posted March 20, 2009 This
month [March 2009] Scientific
American ran
an article called “Was Einstein Wrong?” by David Z. Albert
and Rivka Galchen. Albert is in the philosophy department and
Galchen is in the English department, both at Columbia. Not too
long ago, Feynman was ridiculing “physics by philosophers,”
and being cheered for it across the country; but now, less than
two decades later, we have not only philosophers being published
as physicists, we have teachers of creative writing being
published as physicists. Now, I have nothing against philosophers
or English teachers: I am simply pointing out the hypocrisy of
it. Philosophers are not allowed to have opinions about physics
unless they teach at some place like Columbia, have been fully
indoctrinated (at Rockefeller University, no less), and sign on
completely to the current disinformation campaign. In other
words, your
philosophers cannot
have opinions on science; but ours
can. We will not
publish philosophers who disagree with us, but if a philosopher
is willing to parrot our views entirely, we will.
I have
run across Albert before. I
have already critiqued his book Quantum
Mechanics and Experience,
which is centered on the controversy of superposition and the
problem of detectors in sequence. I solved those problems for him
in a simple mechanical way, with diagrams, and sent them to him
directly. But he prefers to stay with the “in” party rather
than be correct. He did not reply to my paper, and has now
switched mysteries. He is now concentrating on entanglement, the
subject of this paper at SA.
In a nutshell, Albert has accepted the interpretation of John
Bell that entanglement must imply nonlocality. In one short
paragraph, Albert poorly glosses Bell's argument, and then
states, “And so the actual physical world is nonlocal.
Period.”
Here is Albert's entire argument for that
final decision: “if no algorithm could avoid nonlocalities,
then they must be genuine physical phenomena. Bell then analyzed
a specific entanglement scenario and concluded that no such local
algorithm was mathematically possible.”
Yes, well.
Albert claims that Bell said that no algorithm could avoid
nonlocalities. In direct language, that means that Albert thinks
that Bell said no mechanical explanation of entanglement was
possible, or, conversely, that a mechanical explanation was
impossible.
I would say that interpretation of Bell is pretty strong, but let
us say it is true that Bell meant that. Can Bell be correct? No.
Albert must be a very poorly trained philosopher if he believes
you can prove a negative in this form. Every good philosopher
since Thales has known that you can't prove a general existential
negative. Yes, you can prove that a theorem is false, but you
can't mathematically or logically prove that something cannot be
done, universally.
This should be doubly obvious in
Quantum Mechanics, the realm of probabilities. Any firstyear
statistician knows you cannot prove anything with probability
math. But Albert expects us to believe you can prove a negative
with probability math and probability assumptions.
The
reason you cannot prove a universal negative is that it requires
total knowledge of the field. To make the claim Bell and Albert
are making would require them to know, for a certainty, that they
knew everything about the mechanics, operations, and interactions
of the quantum field. Norman Finkelstein has entitled one of his
books Beyond
Chutzpah,
and this argument of Albert's is beyond chutzpah. It is hubris,
period.
To give you an example, 180 years after Faraday
and 230 years after
Franklin, we still don't know how the charge field works
mechanically. Today, top physicists will tell you the charge
field is mediated by messenger or virtual photons, photons that
are able to “tell” the quanta “move closer” or “move
away.” Yes, the same photon can cause negative or positive
charge. As a matter of science, that is clearly infantile. I
have proposed a mechanical charge field that is always
repulsive, and this begins to answer some of the mysteries of
QED. But, regardless of any of my theories, which are admittedly
in the first stages, the standard model is nowhere near
omniscience about the charge field. And it
is this charge field that must mediate entanglement.
My assumption is that entanglement will be explained by
some simple mechanics. In fact, I am quite near to that solution
myself (very close: only a few minutes away: see below). This was
also the assumption of Einstein. In the famous EPR paper,
Einstein argued that entanglement was proof that quantum
mechanics was incomplete. Bohr disagreed, but he was simply
saving face. He never argued for actual nonlocality, as Albert
admits. He only argued that quantum mechanics was as good as it
was going to get.
Amazingly, contemporary physics is
finally moving past the Copenhagen interpretation. Albert says in
his paper that this is happening and that it is of historical
importance, and I agree with him. The publication of his paper is
proof of that by itself. Albert is dismissing both Einstein and
Bohr here, which would have been verboten
in the mainstream until
very recently. But the standard model is moving past the
Copenhagen interpretation to become less mechanical, not more.
The Copenhagen interpretation, which was already a flight into
the nonphysical, was still too restrictive for contemporary
physics. Bohr's philosophy was already pseudophilosophy, an
enshrinement of irrationality, but it was not irrational enough
to suit the contemporary physicists. The contemporary physicist
wants no limits on his ability to perform mathematical magic, so
the idea of locality must be given up.
This is
revolutionary, in the worst way, in that it removes the last rule
of logic and theorizing. Bohr had already destroyed mechanics,
which was bad enough. Planck, Schrodinger, and Einstein never
forgave him for it. But even Bohr had been forced to admit that
there was probably something physical going on beneath the wave
function. Bohr believed it was forever hidden from us, but it was
there. It had to be.
But with Albert's interpretation of
Bell, all that is gone. The dam has broken completely free, the
last rock is dislodged, and theorists in the future will not have
to obey any rules except the ones they make up freely.
In
fact, physics will no longer be physics, since it will no longer
be physical. It will be entirely mathematical. Scientific
American will
have to change its name to Unscientific
American, or
Heuristic
American, or
Magician's
Monthly.
I
have called this argument of Albert's disinformation, and some
might say that is unnecessarily incendiary. But if you read this
paper at SA,
you will see that it reads like propaganda. Albert is not only
selling a viewpoint, he is trying to sell that viewpoint by
dressing it up as its opposite. That is disinformation and
agitprop, by definition. He says that after the Copenhagen
interpretation,
to
spend any more time on these matters became, thereafter,
apostasy. The physics community thus turned away from its old
aspirations to uncover what the world is really like and for a
long time thereafter it relegated metaphysical questions to the
literature of fantasy.... From the early 1980s onward, the grip
of Bohr's conviction—that there could be no oldfashioned,
philosophically realistic account of the subatomic world—was
everywhere palpably beginning to weaken.... The old aspirations
of physics to be a guide to metaphysics, to tell us literally and
straightforwardly how the world actually is—aspirations that
had lain dormant and neglected for more than 50 years—began,
slowly, to reawaken.
That,
my friends, is purposeful misdirection. Albert tells us outright
that the Copenhagen interpretation is being bypassed in order to
“tell us literally and straightforwardly how the world actually
is,” to give us an “oldfashioned, philosophically realistic
account of the subatomic world.” When the exact opposite is
true: the Copenhagen interpretation is being bypassed to give
physicists room to propose even more unrealistic, nonliteral,
nonstraightforward, and nonoldfashioned theories. Nonlocality
is not realistic, is not literal, is not straightforward, and is
not oldfashioned. Albert is only using those words to fool you
into accepting something you would not think of accepting dressed
in its own garb.
Now
let me show you some of the ways that entanglement is
misinterpreted. If we go to Wikipedia for the modern gloss, we
find this:
Quantum
mechanics holds that states such as spin are indeterminate until
such time as some physical intervention is made to measure the
spin of the object in question. It is equally likely that any
given particle will be observed to be spinup as that it will be
spindown. Measuring any number of particles will result in an
unpredictable series of measures that will tend more and more
closely to half up and half down. However, if this experiment is
done with entangled particles the results are quite different.
When two members of an entangled pair are measured, one will
always be spinup and the other will be spindown. The distance
between the two particles is irrelevant.
A
close reading of those few sentences already shows how the
mystery of entanglement is a manufactured mystery, created by
false probability assumptions. The problem in this Wiki quote is
closely related to Schrodinger's cat mystery. In a thought
problem, Schrodinger put a cat in a box and then assigned a
probability number to the cat: say, .5 the cat was alive, .5 the
cat was dead. We can't see the cat, so we don't know. Quantum
mechanics says the numbers are all we know. Schrodinger says no,
there is some fact underneath the numbers: either the cat is dead
or it is alive. When we open the box, it must be one or the
other, not both. Amazingly, the princes of QM did not say, “Yes,
well of course. But we don't know until we open the box.” That
would have been sensible. No, QM said to Schrodinger that the cat
was NOT really alive or dead. It was neither alive nor dead until
we opened the box and saw it!
Yes, that is the level of
philosophical understanding of modern physicists. Schrodinger
lost that argument, which is why I still have silly things
like that that I can quote from Wiki.
Contemporary
physicists actually believe that the “physical intervention”
of measurement determines part of the math. It does this via the
HUP, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. A certain
interpretation of the HUP makes the physicist an actual part of
every equation, and this interpretation is now the accepted one.
That is spooky enough, in itself, but entanglement is even
spookier. Using the antiSchrodinger interpretation of cats, QM
had decided that nothing could be known about particles except
their probabilities. In other words, there was no certain
knowledge beneath the numbers. But with entanglement, we get
certain knowledge from probabilistic situations. With entangled
particles, “one will always be spin up and the other will be
spin down.” Note the word always. That is certain
knowledge.
To explain this, quantum physicists have come
up with the idea that the particles are in contact with eachother
over huge distances, without any mediating field or particle.
Yes, they can talk to eachother instantly, so that when the
physicist measures one as spin up, the other can flip immediately
to spin down to conserve parity.
All this is patently
absurd, but neither the physicists nor the philosophers can seem
to cut through to the fairly obvious answer. They can't do that
because they have made the question much more complex than it is.
First of all, the physicists have buried the problem under
decades of math and terms. Then the philosophers have followed,
adding their mountain of semantics and lingo and sloppy thinking.
One must come to the conclusion that neither the physicists nor
the philosophers want a simple answer. They only want to
look smart, bandying a vast vocabulary and an infinite disrespect
for their readers.
The fairly obvious answer is that
their first postulate was wrong. They assumed that there was no
reality under the probability numbers, but entanglement showed
that there was. Just look at the Wiki quote again: the whole
problem is between their postulate and the outcome of the
experiment. Faced with a contrary experimental outcome, a
sensible person would admit his postulate was wrong, but that is
not the way of modern physics. Physicists cannot admit they were
wrong. So, in order to keep their postulate, they stoop to this
forceatadistance magic.
Albert even admits that
nonlocality is force at a distance, which puts physicists right
back with Newton. In order to keep their “modern” edgy
pseudophilosophical postulate, they are willing to turn the
clock back on the entire field 300 years. This is the only way
that superseding the Copenhagen interpretation can be seen as
"oldfashioned": it takes us back to the time of the
Inquisition, before anyone was capable of doing mechanics. If we
accept nonlocality, we can wipe out all of physics since
Galileo, and we can wipe it out in the name of "progress,"
as Albert does in this paper. As art is now postmodern, physics
is now postmechanical. Physics is postphysical.
Ironically,
Feynman did not believe in this forceatadistance dodge. I have
been hard on Feynman in
other papers, and he continued a lot of the propaganda of
Bohr and Pauli; but not all of it. If you study my
explanation of his shrinkandturn method in a recent paper,
you will see why. I will gloss it here to explain entanglement
mechanically. In his book QED,
Feynman explains partial reflection by glass by assigning an
arrow and a clock to each individual photon. I have shown that
the arrow is a vector and the clock is a spin. The clock and
arrow, taken together, are able to tell us where in its spin
cycle each photon is. In other words, we can calculate where the
particle is in its
own wave.
Now, Feynman was never able to give this mechanical
interpretation; or if he was, he never admitted it. But his
method would have allowed him to explain entanglement without
force at a distance. In this way: since each photon has both a
turning clock and a vector, each photon has both a wave motion
and a linear motion. This means that the wave belongs to each
photon, not to the set of photons. This is revolutionary because,
in this way, light is no longer analogous to sound: it is not a
field wave, but a particle with spin. The wave belongs to each
particle, and may be
assigned to a mechanical motion: spin. If each photon has a real
spin with a real wavelength and a real period of rotation, then
we can use that period of rotation to track it. Using Feynman's
little turning clock, we can follow the photon, no matter how far
it travels, and predict with some certainty what state it will be
in. We cannot say that the clock will be at 6 or 12, but, given
an initial state, we can predict a final state. If
the clock was initially
at 12, after some time we can predict that the clock will be at
12 again. To do this, we only need to know the period of rotation
and the time of travel. If we know the wavelength, we can
calculate the period of rotation quite easily, so this is not a
difficult problem mathematically. Once we sort through the
mechanics, the math becomes simple.
This explains
entanglement because we do know an initial state. We don't know
if the quanta are at 12 or 6 on the clock face, but we might know
one is opposite the other, for example. If
one is at 6, the other
is at 12. If they have the same periods of rotation, then after
any time, they will still be opposite, without any communication
between them. Other relationships will also be trackable and
stable, as long as the periods of rotation are known relative to
eachother. In other words, as long as we know sizes and
wavelengths, we can predict comparative wave positions at any
distance or time away from collision.
This is the
mechanical explanation of entanglement, without spooky forces.
Albert and Bell have both been proven wrong, by direct
demonstration.
To read more on entanglement, you may now
go to my new paper on the CHSH
Bell tests, unveiling the terrible mathematical cheat at the
heart of these experiments. This leaves entanglement in
tatters.
If this paper was useful
to you in any way, please consider donating a dollar (or more) to
the SAVE THE ARTISTS FOUNDATION. This will allow me to continue
writing these "unpublishable" things. Don't be confused
by paying Melisa Smiththat is just one of my many noms de
plume. If you are a Paypal user, there is no fee; so it might
be worth your while to become one. Otherwise they will rob us 33
cents for each transaction.
