Quantum entanglement and measurement are equal

Blog 20151111 Quantum entanglement and measurement are equal

Quantum “entanglement” occurs when two adjacent microcosms with supposedly random properties exhibit complementary properties when separated a great distance.

If you have not seen it already, you might be interested in this Google Tech Talk that Ron Garret, a non-physicist, dared to give in 2011: The Quantum Conspiracy: What Popularizers of QM Don't Want You to Know. It has had over a million views since then. I cannot say that I understand it all, particularly the last part concerning some heavy-duty math in which he claims to prove that entanglement=measurement.

Of course, the problem with mathematics is that each symbol has a long history. Like other terms unique to a particular discipline, we need to know their definitions and probably their etymology. A single equation can pack a lot of information in a small space. Not being a mathematician, I cannot say whether he is right or wrong in the same way I can say that E=mc2 is correct, but that Einstein’s interpretation of it is incorrect.

Nonetheless, Garret seems to be saying that the “spooky action at a distance” reported by quantum mechanists is a mere artifact of measurement. Perhaps someone can review the math and its underlying assumptions to give us a clear picture of exactly how this relates to spooky action.

In any case, I thought his title was overstated, particularly in light of his regressive conclusion. In opposition to the First Assumption of Science, materialism (The external world exists after the observer does not), he repeats the solipsistic QM mantra that the universe would not exist if we did not observe it. Maybe that is why the video is so popular!

1 comment:

Westmiller said...

It may be useful to your readers to provide them with the script of Ron Garrett's talk, which he has published as a pdf: "Quantum Mechancs Entangled".

It won't clarify any of his arguments, which can be summarized as:

1. QM assumes "reversibility", which he demonstrates is impossible [5.4]. This is consistent with your Irreversability Premise, though he uses it to assert that FTL communication is impossible because measurement is the same as entanglement.

2. QM formulations depend on "complex numbers", which are combinations of real numbers (1,2,3) and imaginary numbers (multiples of sqrt[-1]), but rather than concluding that QM is fantasy (imaginary numbers don't exist), he concludes that reality is a fantasy (classical correlations are illusions).

One interesting thing in his talk is the assertion that QM simply *assumes* impossible things like "supercorrelations" derived from imaginary numbers. Another is that a "Quantum Eraser" produces two different interference patterns, which cancel each other. I haven't quite fathomed the meaning of this observation, but it's novel to me.

If there's anything he "disentangles", it's cited in a concluding quote from Cerf and Adami:

"... randomness is not an essential cornerstone of quantum measurement but rather an illusion created by it."

That is: QM doesn't explain random events as a lack of knowledge, but rather it creates randomness by obfuscation.