Stop Press!

Bodies Beneath • High Weirdness • Selene • Faunus • The Honoured Dead • Bass Mids Tops • Hawkwind: Days Of The Underground • Scottish Lost Boys • London's Lost Rivers II • David Rudkin: Of Mud And Flame

Haunting the quantum field

This is starting to sound like the premise for an updated version of Nigel Kneale’s The Stone Tape (1972).

“Spooky action at a distance” is how Albert Einstein famously derided the concept of quantum entanglement—where objects can become linked and instantaneously influence one another regardless of distance. Now researchers suggest that this spooky action in a way might work even beyond the grave, with its effects felt after the link between objects is broken.

In experiments with quantum entanglement, which is an essential basis for quantum computing and cryptography, physicists rely on pairs of photons. Measuring one of an entangled pair immediately affects its counterpart, no matter how far apart they are theoretically. The current record distance is 144 kilometers, from La Palma to Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

In practice, entanglement is an extremely delicate condition. Background disturbances readily destroy the state—a bane for quantum computing in particular, because calculations are done only as long as the entanglement lasts. But for the first time, quantum physicist Seth Lloyd of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests that memories of entanglement can survive its destruction. He compares the effect to Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights: “the spectral Catherine communicates with her quantum Heathcliff as a flash of light from beyond the grave.”

Full story Scientific American