11 Jan 2019           home | knowledge

Einstein's "spooky action"

To grasp how small the world of atoms, imagine an atom as the size of a good-sized pea or a blueberry. A grapefruit is made up of atoms, and to accomodate atoms the size of blueberries it would need to be about the size of the Earth. That's the common description by people who know this world of very small stuff better than normal people.

This small stuff (atoms and subatomic particles) makes observable happenings. Quantum physics attempts to measure these happenings. Physicists during Albert Einstein's time were trying to understand what they call Quantum Entanglement. Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance." It's about particles having an impact on other particles even when separated by a great distance. The PBS television's NOVA hasa subject titled "Einstein's Quantum Riddle."

Einstein considered the "spooky action" as impossible (a violation of the laws of causality). He thought maybe something was wrong with quantum theory. Later, according to Wikipedia, "the counterintuitive predictions of quantum mechanics were verified experimentally," and today ... "Entanglement is considered fundamental to quantum mechanics."

The gist of this is that the world of small can be so small that it's beyond our ability to know, to measure, to understand — similar to our inability to know, measure and understand the infinitely far away.

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