Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The strange, inexplicable connection between particle twins

If you change the "spin" of a subatomic particle, its twin will instantly start spinning in the opposite direction, wherever it is, even if it's on the opposite side of the universe. (Telegraph)

Why? No one knows.

Check this out. This is strange. When simultaneously creating a couple of subatomic particles (like photons or quarks), they have opposite "spins." Pound360 keeps putting that in quotations because "they're not really spinning -- it’s not clear that would even mean anything at that level -- but they behave as if they do," says the Telegraph. Now here's the strange part. Until you observe one of the particles, they're both doing both: spinning anticlockwise and clockwise. Right. So when observed, they commit to one or the other.

Sounds crazy, but this same phenomena applies to light. As you've probably heard, light behaves as both a wave and a particle. Which is strange. But it's really strange when you consider that "observing it makes it one or there other."

What does that mean? Get to know "
the double slit experiment" and then read the Telegraph article.


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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.