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The God Effect: Quantum Entanglement, Science's Strangest Phenomenon (English Edition) First 版本, Kindle电子书
The phenomenon that Einstein thought too spooky and strange to be true
What is entanglement? It's a connection between quantum particles, the building blocks of the universe. Once two particles are entangled, a change to one of them is reflected---instantly---in the other, be they in the same lab or light-years apart. So counterintuitive is this phenomenon and its implications that Einstein himself called it "spooky" and thought that it would lead to the downfall of quantum theory. Yet scientists have since discovered that quantum entanglement, the "God Effect," was one of Einstein's few---and perhaps one of his greatest---mistakes.
What does it mean? The possibilities offered by a fuller understanding of the nature of entanglement read like something out of science fiction: communications devices that could span the stars, codes that cannot be broken, computers that dwarf today's machines in speed and power, teleportation, and more.
In The God Effect, veteran science writer Brian Clegg has written an exceptionally readable and fascinating (and equation-free) account of entanglement, its history, and its application. Fans of Brian Greene and Amir Aczel and those interested in the marvelous possibilities coming down the quantum road will find much to marvel, illuminate, and delight.
---Dr. Marcus Chown, author of The Universe Next Door --此文字指其他 kindle_edition 版本。
CHAPTER ONEENTANGLEMENT BEGINSLaws are generally found to be nets of such a texture, as the little creep through, the great break through, and the middle-sized are alone entangled in.--WILLIAM SHENSTONE, Essays on Men, Manners, and Things
Entanglement. It's a word that is ripe with implications. It brings to mind a kitten tied up in an unraveled ball of wool, or the complex personal relationship between two human beings. In physics, though, it refers to a very specific and strange concept, an idea so bizarre, so fundamental, and so far reaching that I have called it the God Effect. Once two particles become entangled, it doesn't matter where those particles are; they retain an immediate and powerful connection that can be harnessed to perform seemingly impossible tasks.The word "quantum" needs a little demystifying to be used safely. It does nothing more than establish that we are dealing with "quanta," the tiny packets of energy and matter that are the building blocks of reality. A quantum is usually a very small speck of something, a uniform building block normally found in vast numbers, whether it's a photon of light, an atom of matter, or a subatomic particle like an electron.Dealing in quanta implies that we are working with something that comes in measured packages, fixed amounts, rather than delivered as a continuously variable quantity. In effect, the difference between something that is quantized and something continuous is similar to thedifference between digital information, based on quanta of Os and Is, and analog information that can take any value. In the physical world, a quantum is usually a very small unit, just as a quantum leap is a very small change--quite different from its implications in everyday speech.The phenomenon at the heart of this book is a linkage between the incomprehensibly small particles that make up the world around us. At this quantum level, it is possible to link particles together so completely that the linked objects (photons, electrons, and atoms, for instance) become, to all intents and purposes, part of the same thing. Even if these entangled particles are then separated to opposite sides of the universe, they retain this strange connection. Make a change to one particle, and that change is instantly reflected in the other(s)--however far apart they may be. The God Effect has an unsettling omnipresence..This unbounded linkage permits the remarkable applications of quantum entanglement that are being developed. It enables the distribution of a secret key for data encryption that is impossible to intercept. It plays a fundamental role in the operation of a quantum computer--a computer where each bit is an individual subatomic particle, capable of calculations that are beyond any conventional computer, even if the program ran for the whole lifetime of the universe. And entanglement makes it possible to transfer a particle, and potentially an object, from one place to another without passing through the space in between.This counterintuitive ability of entanglement to provide an intimate link between two particles at a distance seems just as odd to physicists as it does to the rest of us. Albert Einstein, who was directly responsible for the origins of quantum theory that made entanglement inevitable,was never comfortable with the way entanglement acts at a distance, without anything connecting the entangled particles. He referred to the ability of quantum theory to ignore spatial separation as "spkhafte Fernwirkungen," literally spooky or ghostly distant actions, in a letter written to fellow scientist Max Born:I cannot make a case for my attitude in physics which you would consider reasonable ... I cannot seriously believe in [quantum theory] because the theory cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance.Entanglement, as a word, seems to have entered the language of physics at the hand of scientist Erwin Schrdinger, in an article in the Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. Interestingly, although German, Schrdinger was working and writing in English at the time--and this may have inspired his use of "entanglement"--the German word for the phenomenon, Verschrnkung, has a rather different meaning than does his word choice in English.The English term has subtly negative connotations. It gives a sense of being out of control and messed up. But the German word is more structured and neutral--it is about enfolding, crossing over in an orderly manner. A piece of string that is knotted and messed up is entangled, where a carefully woven tapestry has Verschrnkung. In practice, neither word seems ideal. Quantum entanglement may lack the disorder implied by "entanglement," but it is much stronger and more fundamental than the pallid Verschrnkung seems to suggest.For Einstein, the prediction that entanglement should exist was a clear indicator of the lack of sense in quantum theory. The idea ofentanglement was an anathema to Einstein, a challenge to his view on what "reality" truly consisted of. And this was all because entanglement seemed to defy the concept of localityLocality. It's the kind of principle that is so obvious we usually assume it without even being aware of it. If we want to act upon something that isn't directly connected to us--to give it a push, to pass a piece of information to it, or whatever--we need to get something from us to the object we wish to act upon. Often this "something" involves direct contact--I reach over and pick up my coffee cup to get it moving toward my mouth. But if we want to act on something at a distance without crossing the gap that separates us from that something, we need to send an intermediary from one place to the other.Imagine that you are throwing stones at a can that's perched on a fence. If you want to knock the can off, you can't just look at it and make it jump into the air by some sort of mystical influence; you have to throw a stone at it. Your hand pushes the stone, the stone travels through the air and hits the can; as long as your aim is good (and the can isn't wedged in place), the can falls off and you smile smuglySimilarly, if I want to speak to someone across the other side of a room, my vocal chords vibrate, pushing against the nearest air molecules. These send a train of sound waves through the air, rippling molecules across the gap, until finally those vibrations get to the other person's ear, start her eardrum vibrating, and result in my voice being heard. In the first case, the ball was the intermediary, in the second the sound wave, but in both cases something physically traveled from A to B. This need for travel--travel that takes time--is what locality is all about. It says that you can't act on a remote object without that intervention.All the evidence is that we are programmed from birth to find the ability to influence objects at a distance unnatural. Research on babieshas shown that they don't accept action at a distance, believing that there needs to be contact between two objects to allow one to act on the other.This seems an extravagant assertion. After all, babies are hardly capable of telling us that this is what they think, and no one can remember how they saw the world in their first few months of life. The research technique that gets around this problem is delightfully cunning: babies are made bored by constant repetition of a particular scene, then after many repeats, some small aspect of the scene is changed. The babies are watched to see how they react. If the new movement involves action with visible contact, the babies get less worked up than if it appears to involve action at a distance. If a hand pushes a toy and it moves, the baby doesn't react; if a toy moves on its own, the baby does a double take. The inference that babies don't like the ability to act remotely is indirect, but the monitoring does appear to display babies' concern about action at a distance--the whole business feels unnatural.Next time you are watching a magician at work, doing a trick where he manipulates an object at a distance, try to monitor your own reaction. As the magician's hand moves, so does the ball (or whatever the object he is controlling happens to be). Your mind rebels against the sight. You know that there has to be a trick. There has to be something linking the action of the hand and the movement of the object, whether directly--say, with a very thin wire--or indirectly, perhaps by a hidden person moving the object while watching the magician's hand. Your brain is entirely convinced that action at a distance is not real.However, though action at a distance looks unreal, this doesn't rule out the possibility of its truly happening. We are used to having to overcome appearances, to take a step away from what looks natural, given extra knowledge. From an early age (unlike dogs and cats) we knowthat there aren't really little men behind the TV screen. Similarly, a modern child will have been taught about gravity, which itself gives the appearance of action at a distance. We know gravity works from a great range, yet there is no obvious linkage between the two bodies that are attracted to each other. Gravitation seems to offer a prime challenge to the concept of locality.This idea of gravitational attraction emerged with the Newtonian view of the world, but even as far back as the ancient Greeks, before any idea of gravity existed, there was awareness of other apparent actions at a distance. Amber rubbed with a cloth attracts lightweight objects, such as fragments of paper, toward it. Lodestones, natural magnets, attract metal and spin around, when set on a cork to float on water, until they a... --此文字指其他 kindle_edition 版本。
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-You can enter this book knowing almost nothing about quantum entanglement and understand it with some effort.
-There are some times in the book where the author seems to go on 5-10 page tangents that seem irrelevant, but the information there usually connects to a later topic. There definitely is some unnecessary beefing up in there, though, and that's the only fault keeping this from 5 stars.
-The book is a decade old, but none of the information in there is known at this time to be inaccurate. You're just missing some (not much) new stuff.
Overall, I do recommend you buy it if you're on the fence. It's full of facts that will blow your mind and are really difficult to find anywhere online.