Unfolding the Enfolded...

Cosmos, Mind & Soul

The Weird World of the Entangled Particle

The Principle Landmark:

The Entangled Particle

  • In their pristine state, quanta are not just in one place at one time: each single quantum is both "here" and "there"--and in a sense it is everywhere in space and time.

  • Until they are observed or measured, quanta have no definite characteristics but instead exist simultaneously in several states at the same time. These states are not "real" but "potential"--they are the states the quanta can assume when they are observed or measured. (It is as if the observer, or the measuring instrument, fishes the quanta out of a sea of possibilities. When a quantum is pulled out of that sea, it becomes real rather than a mere virtual beast--but one can never know in advance just which of the various real beasts it could become it actually will become. It appears to choose its real states on its own.)

  • Even when the quantum is in a set of real states, it does not allow us to observe and measure all of the states at the same time: when we measure one of its states (for example, position or energy), another becomes blurred (such as its speed of motion or the time of its observation).

  • Quanta are highly sociable: once they are in the same state, they remain linked no matter how far they travel from each other. When one of the formerly connected quanta is subjected to an interaction (that is, when it is observed or measured), it chooses its own state--and its twin also chooses its own state, but not freely: it chooses it according to the choice of the first twin It always chooses a complementary state, never the same one.

  • Within a complex system (such as the whole setup of an experiment), quanta exhibit just as sociable behaviors. If we measure one of the quanta in the system, the others become "real" (that is, similar to a comonsense object) as well. Even more remarkably, if we create an experimental situation where a given quantum can be individually measured, all the other quanta become "real" even if the experiment is not carried out... [ Laszlo, pp. 31-32]