I won’t bore you with talk of quantum mechanics. Just know that one of the theories of QM is that particles can become “entangled”. Changes to one affect the other, regardless of proximity. From this month’s issue of Wired:
“But it turns out that the universe is spooky after all. In 1997, scientists separated a pair of entangled photons by shooting them through fiber-optic cables to two villages 6 miles apart. Tipping one into a particular quantum state forced the other into the opposite state less than five-trillionths of a second later, or nearly 7 million times faster than light could travel between the two. Of course, according to relativity, nothing travels faster than the speed of light – not even information between particles.”
Am I the only one who finds this a little unnerving? If this experiment holds up, it’s possible that Einstein’s relativity theory, or at least parts of it, could be incorrect. Read that last sentence again. I find this amazing. One of the basic foundations of one of the most basic sciences could be incorrect.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the only seemingly rock solid attribute being put the test lately. With the popularity of The Long Tail, Adam Smith would be flabbergasted to see that, in some economic markets, convenience is no longer being seen as part of some trade off with money. From The Long Tail:
“It’s hard to overstate how fundamental to economics the notion is that you can’t have it all for free -the entire discipline is oriented around studying trade-offs and how they’re made. Adam Smith, for instance, created modern economics by considering the trade-offs between time, or convenience, and money. He discussed how a person could live near town, and pay more for rent of his home, or live farther away and pay less, paying the difference out of his convenience.” And since then, economics has been all about how to divide finite pies.( Page 144 )“
The ironic part of all of this is that in my review of Chris Anderson’s book The Long Tail, I mention how earth shattering disproving Einstein’s theory of relativity is:
“To me, this could end up being bigger than the The Long Tail itself. I mean imagine a technology advance that disproves Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? The idea that consumers would not have to make compromises when making financial and economical decisions is a huge fundamental shift in the way we make decisions. ”
Little did I know that some researches had taken a step to doing just that. I wonder what further research is being done in this area?
Here’s another article of the 1997 experiment.