Lesson 18: The EPR Experiment
The EPR Experiment
If you feel uneasy about the strangeness of quantum mechanics, you are in good company. Einstein couldn’t believe everything it was saying about the universe we live in either. He believed there had to be a hidden reality not yet discovered.
So, in 1935, Einstein and his buddies Podolsky and Rosen devised a thought experiment called The EPR Experiment (the first letter of their last names, just in case you didn’t figure it out). His goal was to prove his belief there really is a concrete reality out there, not one waiting on us to consciously view it before it exists. The moon is there even if no one is looking at it.
To understand The EPR Experiment, we have to go back and discuss more about particles. Particles have spin. For this experiment, we will say spin up and spin down. But remember, until a particle is observed, it is in a state of superposition, so it has both spin up and spin down. How can something be spinning two ways at the same time? Impossible. Einstein would agree.
Look at the image above. We have a source that is going to decay. When it decays, it sends out particles in two opposite directions. One goes towards Alice, and one goes towards Bob. We give Alice a spin detector to observe the particle coming at her and determine if the spin is up or down. Remember, the spin is undetermined until we make the measurement. Alice checks the detector and sees if the particle is spin up or spin down. Based on what she sees, the particle sent to Bob is automatically the opposite. If Alice sees down, Bob sees up. If Alice sees up, Bob sees down. At first, that may not seem too weird but remember they were neither up nor down until detected. This means somehow, the particle that was not detected knows its partner’s spin has been detected and knows to take the opposite spin.
Einstein said it couldn’t be that way. The spins had to be already determined before they shot off in opposite directions. Bohr disagreed with Einstein and said that they really do not exist in any definite state until they are observed.
In 1964 John Bell developed an experiment that took some incredible statistical mathematics (we are not going to get into it) to show whether Einstein or Bohr was correct.
And the winner was Bohr. The particle’s spin is not established until it is determined by the spin detector.
Einstein called this “Spooky action at a distance.” This is also known as non-locality. Distance does not matter. There is a connection, an automatic communication, even if two particles are at completely opposite ends of the universe.
How could that be possible?
Could that mean everything in the universe is connected? Would that mean everything is one? If so, then connection at large distances is not a problem. You can always automatically communicate with yourself.
Everything is energy. Since everything is energy, there is no distinction between where energy begins and ends — therefore, we are all one.
Everything and everyone are one. But that does not mean you are not unique. You are like a wave in the ocean. You are the individual wave, but you are also the entire ocean. Everything you do affects everyone and everything.
There is a collective unconscious. If one person knows it, be assured that information is available to you.
So, who are you?
You are whoever you want yourself to be.
You are here to create. You are here to create your world any way you want.
To create, use your imagination. Picture anything you want in your mind and add emotion. Hold that for just a minute or two each day. It is that simple.
There is nothing you cannot do, be or have.
Even after this life, you are still creating. You are creating infinite creations for all eternity.
Get ready! We are going to show you some amazing ways to create.