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Sascha VongehrRSS Feed of this column.

Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙], physicist and philosopher, studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory) at Sussex University... Read More »


Undecidability is weird, much weirder than quantum theory, which is benign by comparison. Let me give a simple example for something that may well be undecidable:

Take any natural number N. If it is even, divide it by two. If it is odd, then first multiply by three and add one before you also divide by two. This gives you a new number N1 which is either N/2 or (3N + 1)/2. Now repeat the same procedure over and over again, i.e. look at whether N1 is even or odd and get either N2 = N1/2 or - well you know what.

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You know the James Randi Challenge right? James offers $1000000 to anyone that can demonstrate paranormal abilities under laboratory conditions. Well, today we have something big to announce: A very similar challenge (now officially on the archive here), but much easier to accomplish.

The rewards are immediate fame (in a few weeks from now if you like) and the reception of the Nobel prize in physics later on – no doubt about it.

The following is my email correspondence with Joy Christian. It shows how seriously he took my bait and how he quite agreed with my main point, namely that the “Quantum Crackpot Randi Challenge” should be earnestly attempted.

Why does local realism being wrong imply that non-local reality is true? Such is widely opined to be the only sober solution because it conserves good old reality, the scientists’ fort that is to be defended against the onslaught of magic.

However, reality with “spooky actions at a distance” is not non-magical either. Nevertheless, the issue is known as “non-locality in quantum physics”, never as “non-reality in quantum physics”. How about keeping localism and instead accepting that realism is a god of the gaps in retreat? Don’t like it? Well, how about at least not being so sure about it for starters?

Let us try to model the experiment described in “Disproving Local Realism” with help of tennis balls. 800 pairs of tennis balls are each prepared, say some instructions are written on them, and then split. One ball is always thrown to Alice on the left; the second flies to Bob on the right.

Every of the 800 trials starts with the preparation of a pair. When the left going ball is about half way to Alice, Alice randomly rotates a setup, called her “crystal”, either so that it is at an “angle” a=0 or a=1.