By Chris Capps 7/22/11
It’s hard to believe, but scientists are about to embark on a journey that has thus far never been tried before. Tapping into the root principle behind quantum physics, they are going to actually make an object – a visible glass sphere – exist in two separate locations at the same time. And unlike the previous bilocation experiment which saw a tiny sliver the size of a pencil tip fluctuating a distance no more than the width of an atom’s nucleus, this new experiment is quite a bit more ambitious. If successful, it could become the most historical experiment in the history of quantum mechanics even more-so than the now legendary double slit experiment.
The importance of this experiment comes two fold. It will be the first time the same object will be seen in two locations, but in addition it will actually prove several theories of quantum physics in a field that has always been known for its lack of proven facts. Quantum physics has for years served as the maverick to the more conventional and basic Newtonian physics. And when quantum mysteries are used in such a fashion that it offers new possibilities outside of Newtonian physics it offers us a glimpse at a future quite different from our own.
The glass sphere experiment is one of those experiments that will explore the same mechanics behind several prescient visions of the future, such as the transporters seen in Star Trek and interstellar communication devices that can convey messages without depending on light. If the object bilocates, then everything that happens to one of them will manifest in the “other” version of itself in a different place. And so as a result, if the experiment were expanded to extreme distances, it would be possible to use such a device to communicate with over a distance of several lightyears without depending on the movements of the glass sphere itself.
The last experiment to perform a feat even approaching this was when a device was made to bilocate. Unfortunately, this device was a mere few nanometers from one end to the other, and the distance between its two manifestations was less than the width of a single atomic nucleus. Still, scientists are certain that the same principles can be applied to a much larger scale and eventually built up until they can be made possibly into instant communication devices that do not depend on beaming information to communicate. And there are several applications here on Earth if the experiment does manage to demonstrate quantum entanglement on an observable level. Communication would immediately become instant, making computers capable of sending and receiving information without necessarily even being hooked into one another, but rather spread throughout the planet. If it were effectively utilized, information transfer both within a single computer and between computers in a network could be instantaneous. The utilization of quantum mechanics and entanglement for communication could one day prove to be as important as the integrated circuit, electrical conductivity, or even the harnessing of the atom.
Published on Lit Corner with permission