Sometimes I get home, I open Tox and find strange messages. Like, a reader of this blog who asks me to comment on the news (old, to be honest) of China that sent a satellite for quantum transmissions into orbit. And he adds: explain to me how it works in very simple words that even a humanist can understand?
Now, I should answer that a humanist can understand everything but not simple words, but this is not the point. The point is that quantum physics is a counterintuitive physics, because it goes against the principles we are used to using normally. But let's go step by step.
The news that asked me to comment is this: https://www.repubblica.it/scienze/2017/07/13/news/teletrasporto_da_record_in_cina_prima_trasmissione_quantistica_fra_la_terra_e_lo_spazio-170729078/ , and obviously teleportation has nothing to do with it. Were we saying, "even a humanist could understand that"?
However, the point is that when it comes to quantum mechanics, specialists arrive and rightly expect precision, so whatever I write or not would be considered "yes, but you didn't explain the XYZ thing well". Sure. As if to say that I go to an ancient Roman to explain the computer, and I start with Erlang. Interesting.
Okay, I'll try anyway. Then people will swear.
So when we think about things around us, we take for granted that physics works in a certain way. We thus take it for granted that we do not realize we are doing it, but in the end there are "strong" principles on which we base all our deductions and our "physical thinking". The problem of quantum mechanics is that, in fact, it can violate two, and they are not just any two principles: they are two fundamental principles. So when you "think quantum" you find yourself thinking in a very different way than usual.
To understand this you should think that this way of thinking only applies to very, very, very, very small things. Even if you can build over computers, which are very large.
So, there are two principles that we ALWAYS keep in mind when we think, and that are not valid in quantum physics.
- The principle of reality
- The principle of locality.
The first is the "principle of reality". The reality principle is the reason why we think that the Moon exists even when we are sleeping, and when we do not see it because we are at home. We are convinced, that is, that things exist regardless of whether they are observed or not.
Of course, there are people who think that "out of sight away from the heart", and several other things, like "if my husband does not discover me, they are not horns": since the average girlfriend is MUCH bigger than the constant of Planck, quantum thinking does not apply. However, conceptually the point is just that.
In the world of quantum physics the reality principle is not really satisfied, that is, there are phenomena that happen ONLY when they are observed.
The first difficult thing is this, to think without the reality principle, and it's not difficult just for you. A lot of people, Everett in the lead, slammed us. Also because, even admitting that an event exists only when I observe it, the following question is: ok, but if Gino and I are watching it, who wins? Some have solved the problem by saying that since a privileged observer cannot exist, then all possible things happen and we see only what happens in our "universe", etc.
There are many ways to get us into a world where things are not there before entanglement, (Willie the Coyote is an example: entanglement comes when he realizes that he is in the condition to fall) but since we cannot imagine the thing, we can describe it with a second order description, and say that "quantum physics seems to violate the reality principle".
Describing what is NOT the thing we have circumvented the duty to imagine the thing, since it requires specialized studies.
And we need simplicity because the next principle that is NOT valid in the world of quantum physics is even more important, and is the principle of locality. All statements are too brainless, so I use an example to explain it.
Suppose you have a little dog, and you get into heat. Then you close it in a room and you are sure that it is closed, and you open the door just to feed it. (and, I suppose, clean the debris). One day you come in and find out she's pregnant. But you are sure that she was NOT pregnant when you locked her in the room.
Of course, what you will do is look for the crack in the wall, through which a dog must have passed, or at least his sperm. In doing this reasoning you are using the principle of locality: believe that if A produces an effect on B, it is possible to put B inside a topologically closed ball, and along the surface of the ball must pass "something". In short, do not believe in any of Uri Geller's remote actions. You are using the locality principle, without knowing it.
Very well. In the world of quantum physics the locality principle does not hold as in normal physics. And it is possible that the dog remains pregnant without touching anyone, in the appropriate conditions.
I give another example to explain how it works. Imagine that the traditional Catholic concept of family is a law of physics. That is, we define that there is a physical event called "family", which requires a couple, of different and opposite sexes, without divorce and permanently bound in the bond.
So let's say we have a physical family made up of two physical spouses, Antonio and Marina. If the marriage described above was a law of physics, and one of the spouses went to Casablanca to change sex without the other's knowledge, what would happen? It would happen that at the precise moment when Antonio changes sex, Marina's balls grow.
You will say: hey, but what would that mean?
Eh, we said that the family is a law of physics, and we said that if one is male then the other is female. Therefore, if one changes sex, the same must happen to the other spouse.
But the funny thing is: how long does it take? Here it is funny, because we have said that a family always has spouses of the opposite sex and that it can not be separated . Therefore, there cannot be a moment in which Antonio changed sex and Marina did not. So, as soon as Antonio becomes a woman, Marina becomes a man.
But the funny thing is that if we put ourselves "in the middle" we don't see any signal pass: the problem is that since the family is such, however, it is distributed in space, and is defined as a couple of male and female, it does not exist no need to tell Marina that Antonio has changed sex: since it is a phenomenon that contains only one male and one female, it is a physical matter that this always happens.
Obviously this does not happen in reality either because Antonio and Marina are too big, because the traditional Catholic definition of marriage is not a law of physics, but it is ALSO necessary to violate the reality principle for it to work.
What I mean? I mean that in the example we have always assumed the sex of Antonio and Marina had been known since before, and the problem comes when Antonio changes sex. But now it is necessary to put together the two principle to violate, and to think that the sex of Antonio and Marina exists only after someone observes them.
Then suppose we marry Antonio and Marina in a moment of confusion, in which both have not yet decided what sex to be, and they are both called Maritonio. And the problem is that we don't really know what sex they are, so for us they are "the spouse", and we also celebrate marriage. The fact that the two spouses are in an indeterminable state makes marriage possible with the aforementioned premises, so it apparently works, provided that when and if the sex of the two is known, it follows the prescribed rules.
Good. But at some point someone notices Maritonio, he throws him a big pat on the back and says "Hey, Antonio, you old bitch, how do you throw yourself?" At that precise moment, and not before, Maritonio becomes Antonio. And consequently, instantly the other Maritonio becomes Marina.
Then you will say that no, Antonio had some hair on his chest even before, because it is not that you become male from the moment someone watches you. And instead yes: because the principle of reality is not valid, remember? But it also takes the principle of locality, because you will ask me why Maritonio has that person change sex there and not to some other one: in short, look for the observable Reality BEFORE, and justify the apparent communication between the two.
Therefore, there are two Maritonio who get married, that is, their sex does not exist as a physical phenomenon, and only when someone does not interact with a Maritonio, giving him a sex, decides sex. Of both. And since from the moment sex is known it respects the laws of physics, just like everything else, so here we are.
Applied quantum physics in practice is a world in which we are able to celebrate particular marriages, which generate married couples of Maritonio, and who is the female and who is the male, the first observer who bangs his nose on one of them decides. Because the reality principle is not valid, and the phenomenon exists only when you observe it, and since the principle of locality is not even valid, the sex of the two is aligned without any action between the two steps.
Now let's go to the Chinese satellite. The satellite generates, in sequence, a married couple of Maritonio but of sex still undefined. It generates a waveform that represents a pair of particles with opposite quantum characteristics. The satellite generates the marriage wave from confused sexuality. Since the waves and the particles are the same thing, everything works and the wave starts and travels, while the two spouses are still discussing "Trap is gay?".
The wave propagates and reaches both Vienna and Beijing. In Vienna an instrument grabs Maritonio and says "hello, Antonio, old bitch, how are you?" Being "seen" as Antonio collapses Maritonius inside the body of a male. And suddenly, as a result, a Navy appears in Beijing. And viceversa. And since instead of Antonio and Marina you can imagine a 0 and a 1, we have a nice binary transmission.
Now you will ask: well, but I (spy) could get up in the air, put myself between the satellite and the mainland and intercept the wave and read it. But here you are still applying the reality principle: think that the message is always there, even when nobody is watching it. But when you see the wave pass the message does not exist, there are still two Maritonio: Vienna has not yet decided what sex was the Maritonius you intercepted. If you spy observe the Maritonio surely he will instantly decide what sex he wants to be, but it is not Vienna's decision, it is your spying decision.
And in Vienna they will notice the thing, because instead of receiving a confused Maritonio asking "Trap is gay?", They will receive an Antonio or a Marina, and this tells him that someone spied the conversation, devastating it. The same applies to Beijing.
Now I know very well that quantum mechanics experts will talk about entanglement and all the inaccuracies that my examples contain, talking about local realism and other amenities.
Precisely the amenities that prevent people from understanding the concept: then of course if you want to learn it with all the bows and supercazzole you will have to study, but if you just want to understand what you're talking about, I think the Maritonius couple is more useful and simple to understand, and instead of explaining things to think about (which are too complex and require study) it is easier to explain things to NOT think, ie violated principles: not thinking about a difficult thing is very easier than thinking about it.
So no, for once the experts are silent. The Butterfly of Chaos is free. And you know, at the Butterfly of Chaos nun je must caca '' r fuck.