The Age of Entanglement
by Louisa Gilder
Alfred A. Knopf, 2008
Perhaps there is no greater demonstration of Einstein's brilliance and famous independence than his rejection of the spookiness at the heart of quantum theory. Einstein recognized early that quantum mechanics plays a "risky game with reality", and the stakes are nothing less than our deep beliefs about cause and effect that make up the support beams holding science together as a coherent structure.
In part 2
we closed with the idea that Bohr seemed to be using general relativity against Einstein to save quantum mechanics! A wonderful story. But is it true?
Einstein seems to have thought that they were arguing about something else. We know this from a letter that Paul Ehrenfest wrote to Bohr in July 1931, after a visit with Einstein in Berlin. Ehrenfest and Einstein seem to have had a long and thorough chat about the debate with Bohr at the previous fall’s Solvay meeting. Ehrenfest reports to Bohr a most surprising comment from Einstein:
Massive stars, those up to 120 times the mass of our sun, should blow away the clouds of gas and dust that instead feed their growth. Despite outward-flowing radiation pressure that exceeds the gravitational force pulling material inward, these huge stars get bigger, which hasn't made a lot of sense. Until now.
Using 3-D radiation hydrodynamics simulations, a group of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, University of California, Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley, discovered that these massive stars also tend to occur in binary or multiple star systems.
Two University of Toronto quantum physicists, Jeff Lundeen and Aephraim Steinberg, say they have shown that Hardy's paradox(1), a proposal that has confounded physicists and science journalists trying to explain it since the 1990s, can be both confirmed and resolved. So take one more quantum problem out of the realm of 'impossible.'
A recent article in Discover Magazine was titled “A Universe Built For Us.” The premise of the article is that the laws of the universe are exquisitely tuned for life - any small variations from the way things are, and life would not have been able to arise “Short of invoking a benevolent creator....”. The article went on to explain that we live in a universe that seems ap
Einstein and Bohr – No names loom larger in the history of twentieth-century physics, and rightly so, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr being the figures most prominently associated with the relativity and quantum revolutions.(1)
Physicists at Indiana University have developed a promising new way to identify a possible abnormality in a fundamental building block of Einstein's theory of relativity known as "Lorentz invariance." If confirmed, the abnormality would disprove the basic tenet that the laws of physics remain the same for any two objects traveling at a constant speed or rotated relative to one another.
IU distinguished physics professor Alan Kostelecky and graduate student Jay Tasson take on the long-held notion of the exact symmetry promulgated in Einstein's 1905 theory and show in a paper to be published in the Jan. 9 issue of Physical Review Letters that there may be unexpected violations of Lorentz invariance that can be detected in specialized experiments.