George Musser ( epub Pdf ) Spooky Action at a Distance

REVIEW Spooky Action at a Distance

What is space It isn't a uestion that most of us normally ask Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist where they move and take shape Yet over the past few decades physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time nonlocality the ability of two particles to act in harmony no matter how far apart they may be It appears to be almost magical Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn't come to terms with it describing it as spooky action at a distance More recently the mystery has deepened as other forms of nonlocality have been uncovered This strange occurrence which has direct connections to black holes particle collisions and even the workings of gravity holds the potential to undermine our most basic understandings of physical. Well hm Not a book for novices in the subject matters of either uantum or Einsteinian physics although the author is uite good at not putting anything in math Reading some pop sci one can almost sense the pain of the scientist authors curtailing the euations at the demand of their editors they do like to show their work If you have been following it all closely than I have at a science fan level you might not feel as if you need to back up and read some firstThe book does not so much teach as report in this case on the then current circa 2014 as this was pubbed 2015 bleeding edge bun fight physics Here I was hoping physics was almost done but no Physicists don t want to put themselves out of work any than anyone else I guessAt six hefty chapters the book is not actually that long as almost half of the pages are taken up with footnotes references and an index speaking of showing one s work The author works hard at putting some pretty subtle stuff into graspable verbal metaphors which at a borderline where physics and philosophy begin to be hard to tell apart is pretty much what has to be done anyway I am NOT going to attempt to summarize it a recursive exercise since it s already just that Each grammatical and well constructed sentence made sense while I was reading it but I think I need to drop back and pick up some background on the uantum stuff before giving this another goI think I am becoming increasingly interested in time the elephant in the physics living room I d watched a good Great Course by Sean Carroll on the subject but that s a decade older now tooOnwardsLAlso strongly recced

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Spooky Action at a Distance

Reality If space isn't what we thought it was then what is it In Spooky Action at a Distance George Musser sets out to answer that uestion offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to explain it Musser guides us on an epic journey into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem astronomers finding galaxies that look statistically identical and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang He traces the often contentious debates over nonlocality through major discoveries and disruptions of the twentieth century and shows how scientists faced with the same undisputed experimental evidence develop wildly different explanations for that evidence Their conclusions challenge our un. Very good book which delves into modern physics both uantum entanglement and locality To do that the author starts with an accessible history of these and related concepts When he comes back to the present focus the going gets tougher and strangerPartly that s because we don t have the answers One major point is that science is about debate with the most progress made by discussion between champions of ideas In this book the author mentions some of those champions and the ebb and flow of their cases and that can reuire a deeper understanding of physics than I possessThe author does attempt to put these ideas in easier terms and freuently returns to earlier metaphors with new wrinkles In the earlier part of the book this works very well For an excellent explanation of Einstein s Spooky Action at a Distance this can t be beat Another major plus is the excellent bibliographyIn conclusion there s no consensus yet I plan to read about gravitational waves before returning to reread this book and possibly expand my review Until then a solid 4 stars

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Derstanding of not only space and time but also the origins of the universe and they suggest a new grand unified theory of physics Delightfully readable Spooky Action at a Distance is a mind bending voyage to the frontiers of modern physics that will change the way we think about realityLong listed for the 2016 PENE O Wilson Literary Science Writing Award“An important book that provides insight into key new developments in our understanding of the nature of space time and the universe It will repay careful study” John Gribbin The Wall Street Journal “An endlessly surprising foray into the current mother of physics' many knotty mysteries the solving of which may unveil the weirdness of uantum particles black holes and the essential unity of nature” Kirkus Reviews starred review. Spooky Action at a Distance by George Musseranduantum Mechanics the Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind and Art FriedmanReviewed by Galen WeitkampPerhaps it s unfair to compare these two works given the differences in the intent of their authors George Musser is fascinated by what some identify as the nonlocal nature of the measurement process in uantum theory It seems to this reader that his intent is not only to inform but to convince the reader of its reality and the conseuences that reality would have for our conception of space and time Susskind and Friedman on the other hand are excited in the way teachers are by the power of knowledge Their intent is to convey that excitement by teaching their readers a little bit of real uantum mechanicsBoth books are for the layperson although the latter is probably for the serious layperson you have to know a little bit of calculus Both books discuss the key notion behind allegedly nonlocal behavior namely entangled systems One book succeeds whereas in my opinion the other does not Musser is very much concerned with an experiment known as the EPR experiment It was an experiment proposed in a 1935 paper by Einstein Podolsky and Rosen Two entangled particles are sent in opposite directions one toward Alice and the other toward Bob Because they are components of one entangled system neither particle has a determinate spin Alice s component only acuires a spin when she measures it According to one interpretation of uantum theory the instant she measures it the state of the whole system collapses and Bob s particle acuires a spin too a spin which will be in the opposite direction of Alice s particle Einstein pointed out there would be no time for the cause to propagate from Alice s location to Bob s and that this Spooky action at a distance was counter to the spirit of the special theory of relativity Nevertheless the predictions of uantum theory are born out The EPR experiment has been carried out countless times Countless pairs of Alices and Bobs have made simultaneous measurements compared them and found the results are correlated exactly as uantum mechanics predicts Musser is convinced this is an important clue to a new conception of space and time the implications of which are that space or time or both are unreal nonlocal emergent or composed from related entities that have no location Another interpretation of uantum theory maintains that when Alice measures the spin of her component of the entangled system she becomes entangled with the system as well When Bob measures his component he too becomes part of a larger entangled system which includes the two particles Alice her brain cells her notes and records of the experiment as well as his own Although they are entangled they cannot compare notes immediately they must wait until they meet or at least until the messages they send each other have sufficient time to reach their destinations Suppose they meet as soon as possible and share their information Since they had to wait the perturbations caused by their measurements had time to propagate and merge According to this interpretation of uantum mechanics this later merger is responsible for the correlations between Alice s and Bob s results The time delay avoids the spooky action at a distance and keeps uantum theory intact Indeed Susskind and Friedman neatly demonstrate that no information can be transferred instantaneously across space by any sort of measurement process Without a doubt this is a fascinating subject but without the appropriate background it is difficult to appreciate the subtlety of the phenomenon understand the problems the proposed solutions and it is certainly difficult to assess them Susskind and Friedman give us a place to start the concept of uantum spin When I was a student most textbooks on uantum mechanics started with continuous systems free particles and the oscillators The Theoretical Minimum is not a textbook It s a guide rather for serious amateurs The emphasis on spin allows the reader to see that uantum theory is about logic and information uantum spins are analogous to classical bits that can be on or off except uantum spins follow a non Boolean logic Susskind and Friedman reformulate the EPR experiment as an attempt to simulate Alice s and Bob s measurements with a classical computer They demonstrate it can t be done They also point out This is not a problem for uantum mechanics It s a problem for simulating uantum mechanics with a classical Boolean computer I found Spooky Action at a Distance to be unhelpful sometimes snide and often slanted The Theoretical Minimum was very helpful kind and honest There are a lot of good books on math and physics for the layperson George Gamow s One Two ThreeInfinity Douglas Hofstadter s G del Escher Bach or Roger Penrose s The Road to Reality Like Susskind and Friedman George Gamow just wants to teach and excite the reader Hofstadter and Penrose also want to teach and stimulate the reader but like Musser they also have something they want to sell Hofstadter will try to convince you that you re a computer and Penrose wants to convince you that his twistor theory is the way to unify the fields of physics These books are successful only in so far as they are able to give the reader sufficient knowledge and confidence to think for herself or himself about the subject In the preface to his book Penrose says The reader will find that I have not shied away from presenting mathematical formulae despite dire warnings of the severe reduction in readership that this will entail I have thought seriously about this uestion and have come to the conclusion that what I have to say cannot reasonably be conveyed without a certain amount of mathematical notation and the exploration of genuine mathematical concepts I have the feeling there are people out there who are eager to learn but they find themselves stuck between lay works that explain nothing and college textbooks that are both boring and beyond their current level of understanding I applaud authors to encourage us to understand the world better by imparting as accurately as they can what they think they know and I would implore publishers not to refrain from publishing these sorts of works

10 thoughts on “Spooky Action at a Distance

  1. says:


  2. says:

    This book begins with the spooky action at a distance aka nonlocality that's been part of physics since Newton ie gravity When Isaac Newton first inserted a gravitational constant into his euation for universal gravitation he was accused of incorporating occult magic into the study of physics But his euations correctly de

  3. says:

    This book provides a great summary of the work being done in the area of nonlocality Musser offers an extremely clear and relatable explanation of the problems involved in trying to reconcile uantum physics with relativity Can spacetime be boiled down to entanglement in fields? Is it the entanglement of fields that gave rise to the entanglement of particles if you can call them particles that make up everything we know? How can we understa

  4. says:

    Albert Einstein used the term “spooky action at a distance” to refer to the way that according to uantum theory particles that have once interacted with one another remain in some sense “entangled” even wh

  5. says:

    This is a book that really makes two distinct argumentsThe first is about science and it's basically the history of the idea of nonlocality Locality is the notion that well things exist in space Nonlocality is the opposite the idea that things don't necessarily need to exist in spatial relation to each other The most famou

  6. says:

    Very good book which delves into modern physics both uantum entanglement and locality To do that the author starts with an accessible history of these and related concepts When he comes back to the present focus the going gets tougher and strangerPartly that's because we don't have the answers One major point is

  7. says:

    far than a primer or introduction into nonlocality uantum entanglement and relativity george musser's spooky action at a distance so named for einstein's uote relating to uantum mechanics is a fascinating at times challenging exploration of modern physics musser an award winning science writer offers a thorough history of physics through the centuries arriving at the present moment when we're still attempting to unders

  8. says:

    Spooky Action at a Distance by George Musseranduantum Mechanics the Theoretical Minimum by Leonard Susskind and Art FriedmanReviewed by Galen WeitkampPerhaps it’s unfair to compare these two works given the differences in the intent of their authors George Musser is fascinated by what some identify as the nonlocal nature of the

  9. says:

    A consistent mindfuck I love science books that make me feel as if I'm peering into the abyss There's no better nor darker abyss than uantum nonlocality and entanglement and how they suggest that space is emergent

  10. says:

    Ah uantum Mechanics uantum Gravity and Field Theory all get discussed here while exploring the phenomenon of uantum Entanglement Th