Thursday, October 05, 2006

Quote of the Day:

Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it -Niels Bohr

Somewhere on the back burner of my laptop's hard drive is a science fiction story I was working on where interstellar radios based on the EPR paradox were a major plot device. Now I want to go drag it out and type some more...


Rustmeister said...

I saw a quote similar to that in Crichton's book, Timeline (excellent book, terrible movie).

The next quote was "no one understands quantum theory" =)

Randy said...

“Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think.”
Niels Bohr

B&N said...


Guess Bill Clinton never got the memo on that one.

pdb said...

QM is where I politely stepped off the physics bus.

Relativity? No problem.

QM? I can't even begin to wrap my head around it. I read that EPR article three times and I couldn't understand it enough to even ask a question about it.

Oh well. I've always been one of the duller spoons in the drawer. I remember beaming with pride after hitting .333 on an Encyclopedia Brown book.

treefroggy said...

I once worked on a similar outline for a book, but Schrodingers Cat ate my only copy. He's dead now.

Paul Simer said...

I remember reading about the EPR experiment as a young teenager, grasping the possibilities for data transmission, and exitedly telling my father about it.

I got a stern talking-to about "taking those crackpots too seriously" and was prohibited from using the computer for a week. I'm not quite sure what lesson I was supposed to be taught by that.

I always figured afterward that the whole thing really was a joke, but I thought about it as recently as this week. It's pretty interesting, even if the vast majority is still way over my head.

pignock said...

Looks as if you're keeping up with developments.

Next step: transporters!


Billy Hollis said...

Quantum mechanics is not just counter-intuitive - it's scary.

One of the ways the physicists talk about the implications of quantum mechanics on the real world is by saying "there is no deep reality". They mean that below a certain level, everything is probabilistic. It's not just that an electron has not yet exposed it's state to the world - it's that it *has no state* for large portions of its existence. Same for the other particles that make up our everyday world.

My own translation of that interpretation is that at the particle level, "there ain't nuthin' down there". It gave me nightmares when I realized that, and sometimes still does.

phlegmfatale said...

Timeline WAS a crap film, but it's redeemed by gracing us with lots of footage of Gerard Butler, star of the upcoming 300. My recommendation? Watch it with the sound off.
Love that Bohr quote, randy.

Mushy said...

Better get to it before technology passes you by.

I wrote one on satellites and doom's day machines once, and the cold war, but by the time I finished it the tech was old hat and Roger Waters was playing The Wall at "the wall".

Let me know if you publish.

Mulliga said...

My personal quantum sci-fi favorite was "Quarantine" by Greg Egan. A bit simpler than the EPR paradox, but collapsing stuff is fun, isn't it?

divemedic said...

IBM has already announced telportation: