Seeing other universes

In an interesting article at New Scientist, they briefly talk about 4 different ways we can observe the multiverse. That is, we can kind of see other universes. The four methods are:

  1. The wave function – via wave function collapse. See also: Schrödinger’s Cat.
  2. Wave/particle duality – evidently the interference patterns come from photons in our universe reacting with those in another universe.
  3. Quantum computing – quantum computers may work by doing parallel processing across universes.
  4. Quantum Russian roulette – don’t think you’re immortal after not being killed by a quantum gun.

Quantum Entanglement video

Here’s a good Ted video on Quantum Mechanics, specifically, Quantum Entanglement.

However, there are some things that you should keep in mind. I know that someone will say “sure I can tell if the cat is alive or not without opening the box. Just listen for the bomb.”. In the original thought experiment, there is a vial of poisonous gas, a Geiger counter, and a radioactive source. If the Geiger counter detects radiation, it will break the vial (killing the cat). After one hour, there is a 50% chance that this will happen. The bomb version is easier to understand, but you have to realize that you can’t detect if the bomb has exploded or not.

Also, for the entanglement to work, you have to set things up very carefully to make the entanglement happen. You can’t just grab 2 atoms and have them be entangled.

Spooky action at a distance

Physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance.

— Einstein

Albert Einstein didn’t like quantum mechanics and the uncertainty they implied. He really wouldn’t like what scientists have done now: quantum teleportation. We’re not talking about the kind of teleporation from Star Trek. This is only sending data. And not over long distances, only about 3 meters. But its reliable (a first). This is proving that quantum mechanics can have practical applications, such as quantum computing.

Using e=mc^2 to make matter

So far it’s all been theoretical, but you can use Einstein‘s famous e=mc2 equation to make matter from energy. We’re not talking like Star Trek’s Replicator. This is to use lots of energy to make high energy photons create electron / positron pairs. Not anything close to individual atoms. If this works, it would confirm a prediction from quantum electrodynamics that was developed during WW II.

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New single atom switches may be used for encryption in the future

Researchers at Harvard have managed to make a quantum switch that uses one atom and is triggered by a single photon. It’s kind of like a light switch. An atom can control the flow of photons. It can be turned on or off by a single photon striking it. This could have applications in quantum cryptography and in making a quantum internet.