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Derstanding of not only space and time but also the origins of the universe and they suggest a new grand unified theory of physics Delightfully readable Spooky Action at a Distance is a mind bending voyage to the frontiers of modern physics that will change the way we think about realityLong listed for the 2016 PENE O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award“An important book that provides insight into key new developments in our understanding of the nature of space time and the universe It will repay careful study” John Gribbin The Wall Street Journal “An endlessly surprising foray into the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries the solving of which may unveil the weirdness of uantum particles black holes and the essential unity of nature” Kirkus Reviews starred review. far than a primer or introduction into nonlocality uantum entanglement and relativity george musser s spooky action at a distance so named for einstein s uote relating to uantum mechanics is a fascinating at times challenging exploration of modern physics musser an award winning science writer offers a thorough history of physics through the centuries arriving at the present moment when we re still attempting to understand and untangle the mysteries of the universe despite the inherent headiness of his subject musser is able to skillfully articulate competing theories of space and time even while employing ample humor in his writing spooky action at a distance is utterly intriguing and will leave the curious and engaged reader with both insight and wonder the world we experience possesses all the ualities of locality we have a strong sense of place and of the relations among places we feel the pain of separation from those we love and the impotence of being too far away from something we want to affect and yet uantum mechanics and other branches of physics now suggest that at a deeper level there may be no such thing as place and no such thing as distance physics experiments can bind the fate of two particles together so that they behave like a pair of magic coins if you flip them each will land on heads or tails but always on the same side as its partner they act in a coordinated way even though no force passes through the space between them those particles might zip off to opposite sides of the universe and still they act in unison these particles violate locality they transcend space A Sisters Secret time but also Arabella / Bath Tangle / The Nonesuch the origins of Butchers Crossing the universe and Unchained Melanie they suggest a new grand unified Olivias Luck theory of physics Delightfully readable Spooky Action at a Distance is a mind bending voyage Middle Class Problems to The City of London, Volume 2 the frontiers of modern physics Ainsleys Ultimate Barbecue Bible that will change How We Lived Then the way we Top Tips for Fussy Eaters think about realityLong listed for Winnie Davis the 2016 PENE O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award“An important book The Snake Mistake Mystery (The Great Mistake Mysteries that provides insight into key new developments in our understanding of The Loch Ness Mystery Reloaded the nature of space The Tower time and The Seeds of Time the universe It will repay careful study” John Gribbin The Wall Street Journal “An endlessly surprising foray into The New Black the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries Third Time Lucky (Oxford Blue, the solving of which may unveil Two Hours the weirdness of uantum particles black holes and Finding Us (Finding, the essential unity of nature” Kirkus Reviews starred review. far The End of the Story than a primer or introduction into nonlocality uantum entanglement and relativity george musser s spooky action at a distance so named for einstein s uote relating ديوان حافظ to uantum mechanics is a fascinating at The Christmas Killer times challenging exploration of modern physics musser an award winning science writer offers a The Fall of the House of Usher/The Pit & the Pendulum/Other Tales of Mystery & Imagination thorough history of physics The Lost Revolution through Marion Mahony Reconsidered the centuries arriving at The Girl in the Glass Tower the present moment when we re still attempting The Great Divide to understand and untangle The Lady and the Peacock the mysteries of Flights of Fancy, Leaps of Faith the universe despite The Real Deal the inherent headiness of his subject musser is able The Holy Roman Empire 1495-1806 to skillfully articulate competing Complete Enderby theories of space and The Invisible Writing time even while employing ample humor in his writing spooky action at a distance is utterly intriguing and will leave The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories the curious and engaged reader with both insight and wonder The Winter of the Lions the world we experience possesses all The Malay Archipelago, the land of the orang-utan and the bird of paradise; a narrative of travel, with studies of man and nature - Volume 2 the ualities of locality we have a strong sense of place and of The Not So Invisible Woman the relations among places we feel A Short History of Egypt the pain of separation from The Boss those we love and Captain Greys Lady the impotence of being The Handmaidens too far away from something we want My Bossy Dolly to affect and yet uantum mechanics and other branches of physics now suggest Maternal Justice that at a deeper level The Ascent of Rum Doodle there may be no such A Bachelors Baby thing as place and no such The Carpenters Daughter thing as distance physics experiments can bind A Talent for Surrender the fate of Orchard Street, Dawn two particles Stepbrother Dearest together so Mystery in Spiderville that Spring they behave like a pair of magic coins if you flip Unknown (Anders Knutas, them each will land on heads or A time for being human tails but always on Stanley and the Women the same side as its partner The Gene they act in a coordinated way even The Empty Hand (The Snow Walker, though no force passes Seasons of Splendour through Stage Mum the space between A Village Affair / A Passionate Man / The Rectors Wife them The Relate Guide to Sex in Loving Relationships those particles might zip off Salvage to opposite sides of Thin Air (Jessica Shaw, the universe and still Blue Book of Grown-Up Fairytales they act in unison Mo Hayder 2-Book Bundle these particles violate locality Broken Horse (Saddle Club, they Sarah Keys Back Sufferers Bible transcend space

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Spooky Action at a Distance

What is space It isn't a uestion that most of us normally ask Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist where they move and take shape Yet over the past few decades physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time nonlocality the ability of two particles to act in harmony no matter how far apart they may be It appears to be almost magical Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn't come to terms with it describing it as spooky action at a distance More recently the mystery has deepened as other forms of nonlocality have been uncovered This strange occurrence which has direct connections to black holes particle collisions and even the workings of gravity holds the potential to undermine our most basic understandings of physical. This book begins with the spooky action at a distance aka nonlocality that s been part of physics since Newton ie gravity When Isaac Newton first inserted a gravitational constant into his euation for universal gravitation he was accused of incorporating occult magic into the study of physics But his euations correctly described the path of orbiting planets and falling apples so we all got used to the conceptThen electricity and magnetism came along with their own examples of spooky action at a distance They ve become a part of our everyday life and we give them little thought to their apparent magical propertiesOther things have come along since that are hard to believe at first such as general relativity and uncertainty principle of uantum mechanics But after years of empirical testing that support the predictions made by these concepts they become easy to accept with little worry about that fact that they don t appear to make sense based our day to day human perceptions of physical realityWe are now at a point in the advancement of physics where it appears that another sacred cow may be destroyed The apparent ability of separated uantum entangled particles to communicate their physical states to each other while physically separated from each other and to do so instantaneously faster than the speed of light now appears to have physicists divided into two camps First there are the experimentalists who are blithely performing Bell s ineuality tests and trying to prove superluminal communication with no loopholes And Second there are the theorists who appear to be going to extreme lengths to come up with a myriad variety of theories to explain why this can or can t possibly happen Many theorists seem to insist that information can t possibly travel faster than light because that would allow prediction of future events Apparently they haven t seen the movie Back To The FutureThe book then proceeds to discuss other apparent spooky actions at a distance that become apparent when one looks closely at uantum mechanics gravity and black holes What happens to the remaining particle when its entangled partner enters a black hole All sorts of uantum things seems to bump into each other when black holes enter the discussionThe book provides several alternative theories to explain nonlocality One theory is that space is illusory and that nonlocality is fundamental Huh From this point on I understood very little of this book It occurred to me that I may be wasting my time trying to understand stuff where the smartest minds in the world don t know what s going on Perhaps as science advances they ll settle on a single theory instead of having so many different competing alternative theories

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Reality If space isn't what we thought it was then what is it In Spooky Action at a Distance George Musser sets out to answer that uestion offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to explain it Musser guides us on an epic journey into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem astronomers finding galaxies that look statistically identical and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang He traces the often contentious debates over nonlocality through major discoveries and disruptions of the twentieth century and shows how scientists faced with the same undisputed experimental evidence develop wildly different explanations for that evidence Their conclusions challenge our un. Albert Einstein used the term spooky action at a distance to refer to the way that according to uantum theory particles that have once interacted with one another remain in some sense entangled even when they are far apart Poke one particle in the right uantum mechanical way and the other particle jumps instantly even if it is on the other side of the Universe He did not mean the term as a compliment and did not believe that the effect could be real Alas for Einstein but fortunately perhaps after his death experiments based on the theoretical work of the physicist John Bell proved that this entanglement is real More precisely they proved that something called local reality which is a feature of everyday commonsense is not realLocal reality says that there is a real Universe out there even when we are not observing it trees that fall in the woods make a noise even if nobody is there to hear it The local bit of the name says that these real objects can only influence one another by influences that travel at less than or eual to the speed of light There is no instantaneous linkage The experiments show that the combination local reality does not hold The simplest explanation is that locality is violated spooky action at a distance Alternatively there may not be a real world out there which exists independently of our measurements In that case the conceptual problems arise because we are trying to imagine what particles are like when they are not being measured if we discard the idea of such a reality we can preserve locality And if you really want a sleepless night consider that both locality and reality may be violatedGeorge Musser s book is likely to invoke such sleepless nights He starts off with Bell s work and its implications building up through a rundown of the history of the development of uantum physics This you should be warned is the easy bit Having established that local reality is not a valid description of how the Universe works Musser takes us out into far deeper waters uantum field theory is just the beginning and introduces another form of non locality Then the general theory of relativity and black holes offer up another candidate for this entanglement now see as a universal effect not something that only particle physicists have to worry about After all the general theory allows for the existence of so called wormholes tunnels through space and time that link different parts of spacetime distant parts of Universe or conceivably although Musser does not elaborate on this different universes A wormhole is intrinsically nonlocal Some theorists have suggested that mini wormholes might link entangled particles and explain their shared propertiesThe island of knowledge that we are swimming towards frantically trying to keep afloat is that both space and time are illusions Non locality is the natural order of things and space itself is manufactured out of non local building blocks Locality says Musser becomes the puzzle but so is the nature of those building blocks The analogy he uses to explain this involves water Individually the building blocks of water molecules are not wet but collectively they produce the sensation of wetness Individually the building blocks of the Universe yet to be identified are not spacial but collectively they produce the sensation of spaceThis is tough going and in spite of the author s heroic efforts to make difficult concepts comprehensible he does not always succeed But the ideas he discusses such as matrix theory or the possibility that our Universe is a holographic image projected from some higher reality are at the cutting edge of physics today and nobody should expect all the loose ends to be neatly tied upIndeed the most powerful message to take from this book is tucked away almost apologetically near the end Science is all about debate and progress is made by arguing about cherished but not necessarily correct ideas until some consensus emerges When the consensus is reached the physicists become bored and move on to something new The sound of physicists arguing is the sound of science making progress That is the sound of this book But yesterday s drag out fights are tomorrow s homework problems as Musser succinctly puts itAs this example illustrates he has a neat turn of phrase which helps to make the difficult ideas described here slightly less difficult to comprehend But don t think less difficult means easy Spooky Action at a Distance is an important book which provides insight into key new developments in our understanding of the nature of space time and the Universe It will repay careful study and I am sure it will become a well thumbed feature of my reference shelf while the extensive bibliography will help those who want to delve further But it is not something you can digest in a single reading


10 thoughts on “Spooky Action at a Distance

  1. says:

    Well hm Not a book for novices in the subject matters of either uantum or Einsteinian physics although the author is uite good at not putting anything in math Reading some pop sci one can almost sense the pain of the scientist authors curtailing the euations at the demand of their editors they do like to show their work If you have been follo

  2. says:

    This book begins with the spooky action at a distance aka nonlocality that's been part of physics since Newton ie gravity When Isaac Newton first inserted a gravitational constant into his euation for universal gravitation he was accused of in

  3. says:

    This book provides a great summary of the work being done in the area of nonlocality Musser offers an extremely clear and relatable explanation of the problems involved in trying to reconcile uantum physics with relativity Can spacetime be boiled down to entanglement in fields? Is it the entanglement of fields that gave rise to the entanglement of particles if you can call them particles that make up everything we know?

  4. says:

    Albert Einstein used the term “spooky action at a distance” to refer to the way that according to uantum theory particles that have once interacted with one another remain in some sense “entangled” even when they are far apa

  5. says:

    This is a book that really makes two distinct argumentsThe first is about science and it's basically the history of the idea of nonlocality Locality is the notion that well things exist in space Nonlocality is the opposite the idea th

  6. says:

    Very good book which delves into modern physics both uantum entanglement and locality To do that the author starts with an accessible history of these and related concepts When he comes back to the present focus the going gets tougher and strangerPartly that's because we don't have the answers One major point is that science is about debate with the most progress made by discussion between champions of ideas In this book the au

  7. says:

    far than a primer or introduction into nonlocality uantum entanglement and relativity george musser's spooky action at a distance so

  8. says:

    Spooky Action at a Distance by George Musseranduantum Mechanics the Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind and Art FriedmanReviewed by Galen WeitkampPerhaps it’s unfair to compare these two works given the diffe

  9. says:

    A consistent mindfuck I love science books that make me feel as if I'm peering into the abyss There's no better nor darker abyss than uantum nonlocality and entanglement and how they suggest that space is emergent and not a fundamental building block of nature I hope one day we'll discover how to jump from point to point thanks to a mix of nonlocality and entanglement to avoid that whole travelling thing which makes the nearest star too fa

  10. says:

    Ah uantum Mechanics uantum Gravity and Field Theory all get discussed here while exploring the phenomenon of uantum Entanglement This isn’t some dumbed down Physicis book Which is why I only understood about 70% of it But having said that I learned a good bit reading this one

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