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January 16, 2005



Finally, a fellow Harvard College grad getting into some real science! Awesome stuff. I, on the other hand, was an econ major, but only recently started reading Hawking (Theory of Everything, Universe in a Nutshell), Brian Greene (Fabric of the Cosmos, Elegant Universe), Bill Bryson (History of Nearly Everything), and Ken Ford (The Quantum World). Technically, I don't read them, but listen to them on my Ipod! Its awesome! I listen to these books everywhere now, while riding my bike, running, driving... Problem is, after reading all of this stuff, I'm INSANELY INTERESTED in quantum mechanics, M-Theory (superstring theory), and the concepts of non-locality and the Exclusion Principal. I never learned any of this in college or high school. Is it really true that a scientist conducting an experiment can "spin" a photon in one lab, communicate its axis to another person, say, a trillion miles away, and its sister particle will instantaneously spin at the same velocity on the same axis??? How can I ask other quantum mechanics questions for dummies?

Caolionn O'Connell

Sorry for the delayed response. Quantum mechanics is very strange and borderline trippy when you get into the gedanken experiments. I believe you are asking about the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox. I have to give my boyfriend major brownie points for remembering its scientific name - I think of it as the jelly bean experiment, but that name wasn't going to help me in finding a good website. I had learned it in the context of have two "entangled" jelly beans in two different pockets each with a 50/50 chance of being red or green. If I take my jelly bean to New York and then look it and see it is red, then I instantaneously know the other jelly bean is green. It's a little low brow compared to spins, but it just sounds cooler and more profound to me if you put it in the context of something tangible. If you are interested in reading more about it see the links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EPR_paradox (very good)
http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/physics/Einstein-Podolsky-RosenParadox.html (just a teaser)

Feel free to ask questions, but I can't promise that I will know the answer. In those cases, I offer up the theorists.


this is interested for every one.i also exited about urs.i want learn more about ur topics . plz help me.

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