“If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don’t understand quantum mechanics.”
This quote is attributed to Richard Feynman, the late Nobel Laureate in physics. I’d certainly go along with this, particularly, as far as I’m concerned, I certainly don’t understand this stuff.
In my last article ‘The Quantum Singularity’ I mentioned that I’d elaborate further on some of the dangers of this technology.
To listen to people, scientists and businessmen talk today, you’d think they had all the answers. They talk about Quantum Computers and Parallel Universes with authority when they’re really just salesmen selling a product using buzzwords.
In addition, the alternative media loons are frantically releasing Youtube videos and articles claiming that the tunnels of CERN are infested with demons from another dimension: I think not.
Let’s first have a look at the academic world to try and understand this stuff. If you think business and politics is a ruthless environment, I can tell you that academia is as bad and probably worse.
Most people think of universities as teaching institutions, but they are really research institutions that rely on teaching as an income stream to support their research or in reality to keep them all employed.
The 80/20 rule applies to academia, 80% of the meaningful research is conducted by 20% of academics or research institutions. The top universities attract the bulk of outside funding from industry, governments and other organisations, they only need to teach the top undergraduates.
The other 80% of academics are desperate people indeed, not only may they have a massive teaching or lecturing requirement, they need to produce a research output and be regularly published to justify their existence. Many of these research institutions will be desperate for funding.
For hundreds of years academics have been stealing each others research, feeding of of their research students and publishing this as their own work. These activities have involved some notable academics over the centuries.
If we’re honest most of us as undergraduates have learned to make research findings mean more or less what we want them to mean or as we say: Bullshit Baffles Brains (“Three Bs”). I should know, I’ve read and marked enough of this stuff and academic moderators often don’t have enough time to read this stuff before publishing.
You can imagine the situation where an academic has found a lucrative line of research and formed relationships with perhaps industrial sponsors for funding. Now they can wallow in the prestige and stand around at conferences with a glass of wine and a canapé, throwing buzzwords around. They will then stand on a podium swearing that black is white and white is black to defend their line of research, all very similar to politicians.
The European Union and United Nations would be regarded as a gift by most academics an endless source of funding. One could be forgiven for wondering if this is how the theory of Man Made Global Warming came into being?
When we consider the possibility of whether or not we live in a Universe or Multiverse, we have to consider that their are a variety of Multiverse theories to choose from. This is too complicated to discuss here but here’s a presentation from Minutephysics that should suffice for most of us.
As Minutephysics say, none of these theories have any evidence to suggest that they’re true, they are just theories. We do know now that Quantum Entanglement does exist, Einstein however scoffed at this theory, he thought it was too ridiculous. Another explanation can be watched here.
Einstein had his Eureka moment when trying to decide why the speed of light was constant for all observers, he decided that the speed of light was constant and it was the space between objects that changed. From this moment the Theory of Relativity was born, but Quantum Entanglement suggests faster than light communications.
I’m not sure that we’ve had a Eureka moment in Quantum Physics yet but I’m sure the very competent Physicists at CERN are providing valuable insights.
Many believe that the phenomenon of Quantum Superposition supports the idea of Parallel Universes. This theory suggest that all possibilities of an event happen but progress along different time-lines. Hmmmm, maybe.
This would suggest that there are many billions or trillions of slightly different versions of myself throughout the Multiverse, maybe one would wear a different coloured jumper, another different shoes and so on.
Now let’s imagine that through Quantum Computing that I could communicate with my alter egos and compare notes. For a start, I wouldn’t make any bad decisions, why would I?
However, all of my other selves aren’t really disconnected, they’d have to maintain the same relative position every time I changed my mind, so things would change for them and they wouldn’t want to make bad decisions either. Where does it end?
We can see that with this theory we can affect events in the Quantum world simply by observing them.
This may be a clumsy over-simplification of an explanation and fortunately there are other explanations. The fact is that nobody knows why Quantum particles and Quantum waves behave as they do, we just know that they do.
Because of the difficulty of tracking photons over long distances, the current distance record with the use of a satellite, for measuring Photon Entanglement is between seven and eight hundred miles. We certainly know this weird stuff happens and Quantum Entanglement is only a part of the story.
The cost of building the Large Hadron Collider at CERN must have been enormous and now there are calls for one ten times the size. Some of the worlds largest corporation are spending vast but undisclosed sums on the development of Quantum Computers. The question is, do they know something that we don’t, something that hasn’t been published?
As I mentioned in my last article, over the next ten or twenty years Quantum Computing may be a very big and pervasive part of our lives. For now and maybe for sometime we have no idea what underlies this technology or where it will lead us.
In a worst case scenario, we may be forced to confront a reality that our senses haven’t equipped us to comprehend, it would be the end of the world as we know it, to be replaced by God only knows what.
As I’ve said, for a worst case scenario, even if just a possibility though, now would be a good time to start taking an interest in Quantum Physics and perhaps asking a few questions.