May 03, 2007

From Hillel Gazit:

Re: Is reality a misunderstanding? (April 29): I am interested in another question: Like in your article: “An example occurs when certain particles decay, or break up, into two photons -- particles of light. These fly off in opposite directions and have the same polarization.”

Let’s make a slightly different expereiment: One photon has two opening in front of it, and behaves like a wave. The other photon also has similar two openings, but we have detectors that can find which opening it took, so it behaves like a particle. Since the other photon has the excat same properties, we know which opening the other photon took, beating Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

What do I miss?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think you know which opening the other photon took. Quantum Mechanical laws are inherently probabilistic. Knowing what opening a particle took says nothing about which opening it would take again in the same circumstances.

Further, we assume that the particle doesn't "take" any opening unless we explicitly examine it. This view is a result of Bell's theorem, which says that there are no local hidden variables (ie. no actual position).

July 25, 2008 8:50 PM  

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