Sunday, July 29, 2012

Entanglements . . . Quantum and Social

Public TV's Nova has to be my favorite TV show . . . when it isn't a re-run. This week I did watch the series about the mysteries of the universe, which I have watched before.  So I spent another couple of hours exploring Quantum Physics. On top of the TV show, I listed to "Science Friday" on Public Radio on Friday and they had a call in problem for a Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist . . . so once again I was immersed into Quantum Physics for an hour.

I do understand Quantum Physics, but I don't know it.  In the same way someone could study and really understand French culture, but they could never know French culture unless they were fluent in French. To read the poets in their native language is a requirement for the simple first step of knowing a culture.

I don't speak the advance mathematics required to know Quantum Physics.  I don't understand at all how you reach the absolute need fro the Higgs Bossom . . . using caulk on a two-dimensional blackboard. I certainly don't know how you discover Quantum entanglements from math. Two of my sons do. One is finishing a PhD in Math and Computer Science and the other one is embarking on a PhD in Astrophysics.  But I have a faith (based on what I do know) that it is possible to discover great truths about the universe through math.  That consistency speaks even louder to me of a God who is there. The random Universe out of nothing, should be saturated in chaos. Now, some of the multiverse people would cheat at this point by saying that there were a billion, billion universes that were bathed in chaos (where math didn't exist and if it did, it would be totally disconnected from the cosmos) but they disintegrated in an instant and only this one, because it as order and "laws" (even laws of Quantum Physics) can endure.  But even that speaks of a higher level of order that says a universe with order is allowed to exist and those of chaos must meet a quick demise.

But math is the language of nature.  If I were 12, rather than almost (12 X 10) / 2, I would try to learn math . . . the real math. But I grew up in the the Bible belt where we saw this universe on a collision course with God's will and the things of this world, such as math . . . and science, as insignificant at best and the Devil's circus at worse.

So, this time around (watching Nova) I became intrigued in Quantum entanglements.  It has been in the back of my mind on a continuous basis. It is mind blowing and if the math didn't say that it was true, it would seem impossible.  Einstein, whom I have a deep respect for, thought the problem had to be in the math.  I don't know. I did notice how easy the Quantum physicists accept entanglements based on faith in the math, rather than common sense that says it is impossible.

As a reminder, entanglements is where two sub-atomic particles can become "entangled" and then react to the same stimuli (not a good choice of words) in the same way even if the two particles are separated by distance . . . any distance. So one could be on earth and the other 14 billion light years away. So if the one on earth was stimulated in a precise way, its entangled twin, 14 billion light years away, would respond to the stimulus at precisely the exact same moment. So the two particles don't communicate in any way and if they could, it would take that communication 14 billion years to reach the other one moving as the speed of light.  So how can this be?  The math says it is true and elementary experimental physics is confirming it.

But this begs of a universe, not to mention dark energy and dark matter, that we don't even start to understand.

So, what does this say to Christianity or even the concept of God being there?  I'm not sure yet.  But it certainly tells me that our feeble minds can't even begin to grasp the reality of the cosmos.  It also shows me how irrational physicists are willing to be.

The second entanglement is much more easy to understand. I've been asked to co-teach a class to teens on Christians and the media.  This is the very area I have the most interest in . . . teaching kids how to think, not what to think.

So . . . I hesitantly said yes. So I feel I'm on this slippery slope facing the abyss of entanglement that always ends in misery.  I hope it isn't true this time.  The last time I tried to do this, the pastor (my old Evangelical pastor) fired me.  I had watched an episode of "Lost" with the kids and we discussed the pantheistic Vs Judo-christian orientations expressed in the script.  The parents thought I was "teaching philosophy" rather than "Jesus."  But I was teaching philosophy . . . the love of Sophia (or knowledge). There is no greater love (expect for that between beings) than the love of knowledge . . . or truth. Real truth, not dogma presented as "truth."

I know more and more that I am not of the Christian culture.  I know it more and more as I've been reading Facebook (long story why I had to but there were reasons I had to give it more attention lately). I dwell in a totally different universe than my Evangelical friends on Facebook.

But maybe this Church is different. Maybe my past experiences have skewed my views. After-all, I do have a movie club as part of this Church's ministry.

Sorry about typos but I just realized that I'm running late for a meeting and I can't proof-read this once again.


Anonymous said...

Sub space communications on Star Wars, not to mention the transporter machine on Star Trek, demonstrate that quantum entanglement is reality. I thought everyone knew that.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.