Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Quantum Physics is Different – with Philip Ball

Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Quantum Physics is Different – with Philip Ball

We like to start
here very often.
I don’t know whether to reassure
you or to disconcert you.
But this is one of the most
popular sayings about quantum
mechanics from Richard
Feynman, who said,
I think I can safely
say that nobody
understands quantum mechanics.
Now he said this in 1965,
and that was the year
that he shared the Nobel
Prize in physics for his work
on quantum mechanics.
So at that point, no one alive
knew more than Richard Feynman
about quantum mechanics.
What hope is there,
then, for the rest of us?
Well, quantum mechanics
has this reputation
for being impossibly hard.
But it’s not the mathematics
that’s the problem.
And here’s some of
the mathematics,
and it doesn’t look
particularly easy to grasp.
But actually, Feynman
was fine with that.
He could do the
mathematics just fine.
The trouble was,
that’s all he could do.
What he couldn’t
understand is what
the math meant, what it tells us
about the nature of the world.
And Feynman himself didn’t
seem too troubled by that.
He said, well, we’ve got a
theory that works and makes
amazingly accurate predictions
about how stuff will behave.
What more do you want
from a theory than that?
Some scientists feel
that same way today,
but usually we do want more.
We want to know what
scientific theories tell us
about what the world is like.
And it wasn’t clear
then quite what
quantum mechanics was telling us
about what the world was like.
And it’s still not clear now.
But I want to suggest
that we can do better
than Feynman’s admission
of bafflement, or defeat,
some might say.
We don’t have all the
answers about what
quantum mechanics means, but
we do have better questions.
We know we have a clearer
sense than we did in the 1960s,
or even in the 1980s, of what’s
important and what isn’t.
And I want to try to give
you some sense of what
I think that is.
And let me start with
some of the things
that everyone knows
about quantum mechanics.
And when I say everyone, I mean
everyone in inverted commas.
So if you haven’t seen these
things before, don’t worry.
All I mean is that once
you start finding out
more about this topic,
perhaps by reading
popular accounts of it, then
pretty soon these are notions
that you will encounter.
And the first of them is that
quantum mechanics is weird.
And I want to show you what
some of those weirdnesses are.
First one is that
quantum objects can
be both waves and particles.
And this is called
wave particle duality.
The second is that
quantum objects
can be in more than one state
at once, or more than one place
at once.
They can be both here and there.
And these are known as
quantum superpositions.
Then we hear that you can’t
simultaneously know exactly two
properties of a quantum object.
And this is Heisenberg’s
uncertainty principle.
Quantum objects can affect
each other instantly
over huge distances.
This is so-called spooky
action at a distance.
And we’ll hear more
about it shortly.
And it arises from a
phenomenon called entanglement.
You can’t measure anything
without disturbing it.
And so the human observer can’t
be extracted from the theory.
It becomes unavoidably
And then everything that can
possibly happen does happen.
There are two reasons
why this is often said.
One of them comes from
Feynman’s work itself,
which seems to say that quantum
paths take all possible routes
through space.
The other comes from the
controversial many worlds
interpretation of
quantum mechanics, which
says that every time a quantum
system faces a choice of what
to do, it takes both choices.
OK, now here’s the thing.
Quantum mechanics says
none of these things.

They’re attempts to
explain or to articulate
what quantum mechanics means.
Some of them are misleading.
Others I think are
just plain wrong.
Others are just unproven
interpretations or assumptions.
I’m saying that we need to
change the record when we
talk about quantum mechanics.
We need to stop falling back
on these tired old cliches
and metaphors and look
more closely at what
quantum mechanics does and
doesn’t permit us to say.
And the first point to
realise is that there’s a big
difference between
quantum theory,
the mathematics and the
mechanics that you just
glimpsed, which scientists
use daily to make predictions
to predict stuff that allows
them to build things like this
So this is stuff
that really works.
There’s a big
difference between fact
and the interpretation
of the theory.
And this is what’s so hard to
grasp about quantum mechanics
because normally the
interpretation of a theory
is kind of obvious.
Newtonian mechanics.
This is the old
classical mechanics
that tells us how everyday
objects move about and behave.
So it tells us how things like
tennis balls and spaceships
The interpretation
here isn’t difficult.
Newtonian mechanics
tells us what
paths objects take through
space as forces act on them.
And we don’t have to ask
what do you mean by path?
What do you mean by object?
What do you mean by force?
It’s kind of obvious.
Well that’s not so
for quantum mechanics.
And let me give you
a glimpse of why.
To predict what a
quantum object will
do, in place of Newton’s
equations of motion,
scientists generally
use the equation
devised by Erwin
Schrodinger in 1925
to describe the idea that
quantum particles might
act as if they were waves.
This is the
Schrodinger equation,
and it doesn’t tell us what the
trajectory of a particle is.
Instead, it gives us something
called a wave function.
And the wave
function can be used
to figure out where we
might find an object
and what properties
it might have,
an object like an electron, say.
So the typical shape
of a wave function
of a particle like
an electron in space
might look something like this.
OK, so what does this mean?
Well, it’s often
said what it means
is that the particle is
somehow smeared out over space.
And it does kind of look
that way, doesn’t it?
But this isn’t
showing the density
of the particle or the space.
This wave function is a
purely mathematical thing.
And what the wave
function lets us deduce
is all the possible
outcomes of measurements
that we might make on the
particle’s properties,
such as its position, along
with the relative probability
that we’ll get that
particular result when we make
the measurement.
So to find out
the position where
we would observe this particle,
we simply calculate some number
from the wave function, the
value of the wave function
at that point in space.
And that gives us
the probability
that we will see the particle
there if we make a measurement.
So the wave function
doesn’t tell us
where we will find
this particle.
It tells us the chance
that we might find it
at a particular
position if we look.
And this is what’s so odd
about quantum mechanics,
because it seems to point
in the wrong direction,
not down towards the thing that
we’re supposed to be studying,
but up towards our
experience of it.
It says nothing, or
perhaps we should
say it says nothing obvious,
about what the quantum
system itself is like.
In other words,
the wave function
is not a description
of the quantum object.
It’s a prescription for
what to expect when we make
measurements on the object.
But it’s even more
peculiar than that
because the wave
function doesn’t tell us
where the particle is likely to
be at any instant, which we can
then try to verify by looking.
Rather, what the wave
function tells us– well,
it tells us nothing about
where the particle is
until we make a measurement.
Strictly speaking, we
shouldn’t talk about where
the particle is at all.
We shouldn’t talk
about a particle at all
except in terms of
the measurements
that we make on it.
Now this account of
quantum mechanics
is more or less the one given by
the Danish physicist Niels Bohr
and his collaborators
such as Heisenberg.
And it’s known today as the
Copenhagen interpretation.
Copenhagen was when
Niels Bohr was based.
Now I’m not saying that
this interpretation
is the right one.
But what’s valuable,
I think, about it
is that it tells us where
our confidence about meaning
has to stop.
As it stands, quantum
mechanics doesn’t
permit us to say
anything with confidence
about reality beyond what
we can measure of it.
And here’s what I mean by that.
One way of speaking about
this measurement of a quantum
particle says that
before the measurement,
the wave function might be
this typical sort of broad,
spread out thing.
But when we make a
measurement on the particle,
suddenly it collapses into this
spike at one particular place
because we know, having
made the measurement, where
the particle is.
Now this is generally
called, for obvious reasons,
collapse of the wave function.
The problem is that there’s
no real physical prescription
for what’s going on here
within quantum theory.
You have to sort of put
in this collapse by hand.
So that’s a problem.
But wave function
collapse doesn’t
mean that the particle goes
from being sort of smeared out
before we make a measurement
to being sharply defined
when we make it.
All it says is that before
we make the measurement,
there were various
different probabilities
that a measurement might
reveal it at particular place,
whereas after the
measurement, we
know for sure that it’s there.
What’s changed is our knowledge.
And some researchers
think that this is really
what quantum mechanics is,
that it’s a theory describing
how our knowledge
of the world changes
when we intervene in it.
And we can’t deduce
anything from that
about what the world was
really like before we
had that knowledge about it.
So you see, it’s
misleading to talk
in this situation about the
particle being in many places
at once.
The situation tells us only
about the possible outcomes
of measurements.
It’s the same thing, the
same story with this notion
of quantum superpositions.
Now it’s often said that the odd
thing about quantum mechanics
is not just that they can
be in two places at once,
but they can be in
two states at once.
And I want to
illustrate what that
means by referring to a property
that quantum particles have
called spin.
And you don’t need
to know anything
about exactly what this means
except that for some particles,
for an electron, say, the
spin can have two values.
And you could think of
them as spin being up
or spin being down.
And if you make a measurement on
the particle, on the electron,
then you’ll find
one or the other.
So it’s a binary
property, really.
And for that reason,
spins like this
can be used to encode
binary information.
So you could say
the spin up is a one
and the spin down is a zero.
And that’s the basis of
the quantum information
technologies that we’re
starting to hear about,
like quantum computers, in
which spins or other quantum
states act as quantum bits,
or qubits, as they’re called.
But spins can be not just up or
down, a qubit of one or zero.
They can be in a superposition
of up and down states.
So what does that mean?
Well, it’s often said
that what it means
is that the particle,
the electron
is both up and down at
once, at the same time.
But that’s not right.
Remember that the wave
function tells us only
what to expect when
we make a measurement.
And so in this case,
what it’s saying
is that in a
superposition state,
a measurement might give
us an up or a down spin.
And in fact, those are
the only possible outcomes
of a measurement.
But what’s the qubit like before
we make that measurement, when
it’s in the superposition?
Quantum mechanics doesn’t
really tell us that.
Well, you see, now I’m
not talking any longer
about smeared out particles
or collapsing waves, but about
information, and how information
can be encoded in quantum
systems, and how we can read
it here by making measurements.
This is the perspective that’s
offered by so-called quantum
information theory, which is
not just a basis for making
these amazing quantum
technologies like quantum
computers or quantum
which is a way of
encrypting information
that it’s impossible to
tamper with, to eavesdrop on,
without being detected.
It’s not just that.
It’s really also a new way of
talking about quantum mechanics
Talking about quantum mechanics
in terms of information
allows us to see past all the
old-style paraphernalia of wave
functions and Schrodinger
equations and quantum jumps,
and, I think, to get closer
to the core of what the theory
seems to be telling us.
And I want to tell you
a story about that,
and I’ve got some
props here to help me.
Now I hope it will
be illuminating,
but at the very
least, I’m fairly
sure that it’s the
first time that you
will have seen quantum
mechanics discussed
with the help of sylvanians.
Here they are.
So I have two boxes here, A
and B. One belongs to Alice,
one belongs to Bob, and
I’ll leave you to figure out
which is which.
And they are boxes in which they
produce one of these cute toys,
either a rabbit or a dog,
when we put coins in.
And they will take
either a two-pound coin
or a one-pound coin.
So we put coin in and we
get one of these toys out.
And there are rules
for how that works.
And I’m just going to stipulate
what some of the rules
are that these boxes
are going to work by.
First of all, here’s the boxes.
So this is what’s going on.
And I’m going to say first
of all that rule number
one, if Alice puts a
one-pound coin into her box,
it will produce a rabbit.
Now I’m going to
add two other rules.
If Alice and Bob both put
in two-pound coins, then
the boxes between them will
deliver one rabbit and one dog.
Doesn’t specify which
way round that would be,
but we’ll just get
that combination.
Any other combination of coins
than both putting in two pounds
will produce either two
rabbits or two dogs.
I’m just stipulating
these rules.
Now I want to find out what
do the inputs and outputs have
to be in order to satisfy them?
A pound in Alice’s
produces a rabbit.
A pound in Bob’s produces what?
Well, let’s think about that.
In fact, we kind of have a
lot of these answers already.
So we already know a pound in
Alice’s box produces a rabbit.
Well, when you
think about it, that
means that whatever Bob puts
in, pound or a two-pound
has to produce a rabbit
because it could only
produce a dog in the case
where both put in two pounds.
That’s one of our rules.
That’s the second rule.
So we’ve almost got
all the rules already.
All we need to know
now is what happens
when Alice puts in two pounds.
Well, we know that if
Alice puts in two pounds
and Bob puts in two pounds.
We know we have to get
a dog and a rabbit, OK?
That’s our third rule.
So that means if Alice
puts in two pounds,
Bob puts in two
pounds, we get a dog.
But that means also that we
get a dog in this case as well.
Alice puts in two pounds,
it gives you a dog.
The trouble here is that this
doesn’t work because we’re not
going to get a dog and a
rabbit in this top case,
only in the bottom case where
they both put in two pounds.
So that one is wrong.
Now so what it
means is we can only
satisfy those rules
three times out of four.
We get 75% success rate.
Maybe we can do better.
Well, no matter how you try and
juggle it to see if there are
any other combinations that
work, you’ll find it won’t.
This is the best you can do.
You can only satisfy these
rules three times out of four.
OK, but what if
Alice’s and Bob’s boxes
could switch their
output depending
on what the other one put in?
Then it’s a different matter.
You know, then we could
say, maybe, Alice’s box
gives a dog when Bob
puts in two pounds,
but a rabbit when Bob
puts in one pound.
OK, well that might work.
The thing is, then
we have to know
what one has put in before
the other box decides
what it’s going to give out.
So we need to have
some communication
between the boxes.
So we need to wipe
them together,
and they’ll send a
signal between them.
And then we can do better.
Well, OK, that’s
fine, but this signal
has to travel down the
wire, and it can only
do that at the speed of light.
That’s fine if they’re here.
That takes no time
at all virtually,
but it takes some time.
And in fact, even at
the speed of light,
if Alice’s box is here
and Bob’s box is in,
let’s say, Fiji, on the
other side of the world,
it takes tenths of a second
for the signal to travel there.
So we have to wait that long
before Bob puts in his coin,
before Alice puts in her coin,
whichever way round we do it.
So we can’t do any better
than this instantaneously,
if Bob and Alice put in
their coins instantaneously.
So we’re kind of stuck.
This communication
won’t work if we’re
looking at how to solve this
problem instantaneously.
However, these are
classical boxes.
Now what happens if
they’re quantum boxes?
Well, then we can do
better because it turns out
that the rules of
quantum mechanics
permit us what looks like
a kind of communication
between the boxes that
happens instantly,
and which would allow
the boxes to share
some information between them
without any physical connection
between them.
I’m going to say some more
about this quantum effect that
allows us to do this.
Just take my word
for it at the moment
that quantum mechanics
allows us to do it.
Well, then we can do better.
Then what Bob puts into
his box can instantaneously
seem to affect what
Alice puts into her box,
and then we can do better.
So does that mean, then, that
we can satisfy these rules
all the time?
Well, actually we can calculate,
using quantum mechanics,
how well we can do in that case.
And it turns out that if
they’re quantum boxes,
we can’t quite get
100% success rate.
We can get precisely– well,
not precisely, roughly–
85% success rate
using this quantum
what seems like communication
between the boxes.
Now what I just told you about,
this mysterious quantum link,
is the quantum phenomenon
called entanglement.
And I wanted to do
that without any math,
without any Schrodinger equation
of wave particle duality,
even with anti-particles,
just with sylvanians.
Hang on, though.
What’s going on here?
Because doesn’t Einstein’s
theory of special relativity
say you can’t send any
signals faster than light?
The speed of light is the
ultimate cosmic speed limit.
Well, that’s true.
But you see, what’s
going on here
is that Alice and
Bob can’t actually
verify that they’ve
got this 85% success
rate without swapping
information about what
their boxes produced.
And the only way
they can do that
is by communicating with each
other in some normal way,
by email, by carrier
pigeon, by letter, whatever.
However they do it, they
can’t do it faster than light.
And it turns out
that actually this
is what special
relativity forbids,
that you can’t verify that
you’ve got this success
rate faster than light.
And what that
effectively means is
that Alice and Bob can’t use
this quantum entanglement
to send any information to
each other faster than light.
And that, it turns out, is
fine with special relativity.
Well, entanglement
was discovered in 1935
by Albert Einstein and by
two younger colleagues called
Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen,
who were, perhaps ironically,
trying to show that quantum
mechanics, in their view,
had a shortcoming.
And so Einstein,
Podolsky and Rosen
came up with a
thought experiment
that they believed
revealed a deep paradox
at the heart of quantum
theory, and which
could only be resolved by
adding something more to it.
And this thought experiment
was later put in a clearer form
by the physicist David
Bohm, and that’s the form
I’m going to talk about now.
And what Bohm envisaged
was something like this.
You have a box
that spits out two
particles in
opposite directions,
and they are entangled together.
The way they’re produced
means that they’re entangled.
And what that
means is that there
is some relation between
the properties of one
and the properties of other.
And let’s think about
it in terms of spins.
So you can entangle
them in such a way
that if the spin of one
of these particles is up,
the other one has to be down.

So then if we make a
measurement on one of them
and we see it has a spin up,
we know that the other one
will have a spin down.
So they’re correlated.
Now perhaps you
can see that this
is a little bit like these two
boxes here, but in the sense
that the measurement here
is playing the same role
as me putting coins in.
And what we see,
spin up or spin down,
is a binary choice, just like
getting a rabbit and a dog.
So this was really an
entanglement experiment.
Now actually, this correlation
might sound unremarkable to you
because you might say,
well, we could do this
with a pair of gloves, let’s
say, a left-handed glove
and a right-handed glove.
We could send one to Alice
in Melbourne or something,
and one to Bob in
Shepherd’s Bush.
And then as soon as
Bob opens his parcel
and sees that he’s got
a left-handed glove,
he knows instantly that Alice
has got a right-handed glove.
Instantly he knows that must be
true because they started off
as a pair.
So what’s the big deal?
Well, here’s the big deal.
According to the
Copenhagen interpretation,
the direction of
these spins up or down
for these two
entangled particles,
unlike the handedness
of those two gloves,
isn’t actually determined
until we observe them,
until we make a measurement.
And if that’s so,
then this experiment
by Einstein, Podolsky
and Rosen seemed
to be saying that making a
measurement on one particle
somehow instantly
fixes the other, as
if the result of
that measurement
is being spookily communicated
to the other particle
This is what Einstein called
spooky action at a distance.
And again, he said
it can’t be right
because special relativity
seems to forbid it.
Well, for a long time
no one knew quite
how to sort of resolve
this paradox, what
the flaw in the reasoning
or what the problem was.
Or maybe Einstein and
Podolsky and Rosen were right.
No one knew what to
do with it, and it
was brushed under the carpet.
That changed in 1964,
when an Irish physicist
named John Bell, whose job–
sort of like John’s, I
guess– was a particle
physicist at CERN in Geneva.
But in his spare time, he turned
quantum mechanics on its head,
and he reformulated the
experiment in a
way that showed how
you could make a measurement
to try to figure out
what was going on here.
And in fact, what he’s
drawn on the blackboard
there is basically a
diagram of the experiment
that he thought of.
And this experiment,
this procedure,
it’s kind of slightly analogous
to these black boxes here
because what John Bell basically
showed was that if you make
some measurements and you find
that there’s a certain amount
of correlation– in fact, in his
case, again, 75% correlation,
so the rules seem to be
obeyed 75% of the time–
then it shows that
you’ve got something
like classical
physics, or in fact,
something like what Einstein,
Podolsky and Rosen thought
was going on, which was
basically saying those spins
must have been fixed all along
somehow by some variable that
is hidden, that we can’t
see and can’t measure.
But if you get a better
correlation between the two
spins, if you get this 85% that
quantum mechanics predicts,
then Einstein’s
picture doesn’t hold.
Quantum mechanics must be right.
You must get this strange
what looks like communication.
And when these
experiments were done–
they were first
done in the 1970s,
they were first done kind of
more rigorously in the 1980s,
have been done
countless times since–
every time they’ve shown
the same clear result,
that quantum mechanics is right.
You get a better
correlation than any kind
of classical physics or any
kind of Einstein-like hidden
variables picture can give you.
So entanglement really happens.
But what was wrong, then,
with Einstein’s reasoning
in this experiment?
Well, he made the perfectly
reasonable assumption–
so reasonable we didn’t even
realise it was an assumption–
that we can call
locality, that the idea
that the properties of a
particle, of an object,
are located on that object.
I mean, it just
stands to reason.
This box’s blackness
is in the box.
What would it
possibly mean to say
this box’s blackness is also
kind of partly in this box?
But in quantum mechanics, we do
seem to say things like that.
It seems that
properties of objects,
of quantum objects, when they’re
entangled, can be non-local.
And it’s only if we make
this assumption of locality–
that everything to
do with this object
is fixed here in this location–
it’s only in that assumption
that we have to start
thinking about spooky action
at a distance and this kind
of affecting this instantly
through space.
What quantum
mechanics really tells
us is that there’s something
else, this thing that
is just vaguely called quantum
non-locality, which means
that there’s a kind of mixing
of these two things that is very
hard to put into
words, but it means
that there’s a non-local
influence that means,
in effect, we can no longer
think of these two boxes
as separate objects.
That’s what entanglement means.
They’ve somehow become part
of the same quantum entity.
So quantum non-locality isn’t
spooky action at a distance.
It’s the alternative to
spooky action at a distance.
Now Erwin Schrodinger,
when he saw what Einstein,
Podolsky and Rosen had said, he
recognised that this phenomenon
of entanglement actually was
pretty central to what quantum
mechanics was really about.
And in fact,
entanglement is what
happens all the time when any
quantum particle interacts
with any other.
They have to become entangled.
That is the only
thing that can happen,
according to quantum physics.
And what this means is that
as a quantum object starts
to interact with its
environment, its quantumness,
you could say–
or you could say if
it’s in a superposition,
its superposition starts to
spread into the environment.
And it becomes harder
to see the quantumness,
that superposition, in the
original object itself.
It’s sort of spread out like
an ink drop spreading in water.
And so what that
effectively means
is that the quantumness
starts to get washed away.
This entanglement
leads to a loss.
Technically the word
is a decoherence
of quantum properties.
And it seems to
be that ultimately
leads to quantum objects
behaving like classical objects
as they start to interact
with their environment.
So what that’s really telling
us, and what we can now say,
is that there isn’t some
strange situation in which
little things like atoms
obey quantum rules, and then,
for some reason, big things
like us obey classical rules,
and they’re just
different things.
Actually, we can
now say that this
is what quantum mechanics
looks like when you’re
six feet tall, that the
weirdness that we talk about
in quantum mechanics is just
the way the world works.
And in fact, it’s
kind of us that
are weird because by the time
quantum mechanics has become
this scale, it kind of
looks different to how
it does when you’re talking
about photons and electrons.
Why, though, does
quantum mechanics only
allow us 85% success?
Why doesn’t it allow us 100%?
Well, it turns out that
the answer, really,
is about how efficiently
these boxes can share
that information about,
in this case, what
coin was put into them.
It’s about the efficiency
of information sharing.
If we can make use of
quantum entanglement,
then we can improve
the efficiency
with which information
is shared between quantum
objects like qubits.
And this is really how quantum
computing gets its power,
by more efficiently
sharing the information
among the different
bits of the system
than we can use when
we’re using classical bits
like little
transistors in laptops.
And what it also
tells us is that
what makes quantum
mechanics quantum at root
doesn’t really
have anything to do
with notions of wave functions
and collapse and wave particle
It’s really about what can and
can’t be done with information.
And let me give you a sense
of where that’s leading us
because it’s meant that some
researchers feel that we might
be able to reconstruct quantum
mechanics from scratch, getting
rid of things like the
Schrodinger equation of waves
and particles, but just using
some simple axioms about what
is and what isn’t
permitted with information,
how it can be encoded and
transferred and shared
and read out.
And I want to give you just a
flavour of one of these what
are now called quantum
This is one– there are
many– this is one suggested
in 2009 by Borjvoje
Dakic and Caslav Brukner
at the University of Vienna.
And they proposed
three what they said
were reasonable
axioms from which we
might try and construct
quantum mechanics.
And here they are.
They probably don’t look
that reasonable, or even
that, necessarily,
intelligible to you,
but I’ll just briefly
say what they mean.
Information capacity
was the first one.
They said, let’s assume
that all the stuff,
all the basic entities,
whatever they are,
that make up the
world can encode
just one bit of information.
They’re like those spins.
They can just be up
or down and that’s it.
That’s all they can hold.
Now they call this
assumption locality.
Is a bit confusing
because I’ve just told you
about quantum non-locality.
But the locality, in this case,
means kind of something a bit
All it really means
is that there’s
nothing hidden behind the
scenes that’s allowing stuff
to be done with information.
There’s no secret
device underneath here
that’s allowing these
boxes to communicate.
And lastly, this idea
of reversibility.
They said let’s assume
that these bits that
can hold just one
bit of information,
they can be
converted reversibly.
You can go from a one to
zero, from a spin up to a spin
down and back again.
They said, and they showed,
that with just these three
rules about what can be
done with information,
you get two possible types
of physics out of them.
One is classical physics
and one is quantum physics,
with just these rules.
What’s more, if you tweak
this third axiom a little bit
to say that let’s
assume that in order
to do this reversible
sort of flipping of spins,
that let’s assume that you
can do it continuously.
You can continuously sort of
rotate a spin up to a spin
If you assume that,
you get quantum rules.
If you assume it has to
be just one or the other
without this sort of
continuous rotation–
so like a flipping a
coin, heads or tails.
Once it’s down there, it
goes to heads or tails
and you can’t interconvert them,
then you get classical rules.
Well, I find that
kind of extraordinary.
You can get so much out of
what seems like so little.
And the point about these
axioms, about information,
is that they can, by themselves,
lead to what looks like quantum
behaviour, and all the stuff
that we get out of quantum
mechanics like superpositions
and entanglement.
And some researchers think that
these reconstructions might
lead us to a completely
different perspective
on quantum theory, perhaps one
in which the physical meaning
of all this seemingly
strange behaviour is clear.
Well, that remains to be seen.
But what’s already
illuminating is
how they focus on this
question of information,
on how answers, or
measurement outcomes,
are contingent on the
questions we ask just
as the outcome of these boxes,
what comes out of these boxes,
is contingent on what we put
in, a one-pound or a two-pound.
And I think this is
the most productive way
to think about
quantum mechanics.
And there’s a very nice metaphor
for this perspective that
was suggested by John Wheeler.
Now John Wheeler, he
studied under Bohm,
and he actually had
Feynman as his student.
And he had this
wonderful metaphor
for how our answers
about reality
can emerge from the
questions that we ask,
in a way that is
perfectly consistent
and rule-bound and
non-random, without requiring
any preexisting truth
about how things were.
And this is how it goes.
It’s based on the
game of 20 Questions.
So this is this game I’m sure
you all know, where everyone
chooses, let’s say, a person.
One person goes out of
the room and everyone else
chooses a person.
And then this one person has
to come back in and find out
who that person is
by asking questions.
And they have to be questions
that only have a yes
or no answer, binary questions.
As you can see, this is
actually a quantum game.
So let’s say we
play it like this.
Person goes outside.
We all decide on a person.

Well, we all do our
thing, and then the person
comes back and starts
asking questions.
And on this occasion, the
person who’s come back in,
she starts off in
the normal way.
She says is this
person alive or dead?
Well, no, what I should
say, is this person dead?
And the answer’s yes.
Is this person male?
And so it goes on, except
that the questioner finds
that as she asks more
and more questions,
it takes longer for
the answer to come.
The person she asks sort of has
to think about it for a while
before giving the answer, which
is kind of odd because you
know, surely it’s either
one thing or the other.
Why do you have
to think about it?
Anyway, the game goes
on, and eventually she
thinks she’s narrowing
in on who it is.
And eventually she says, I know.
It’s Richard Feynman.
And everyone says, yes, it’s
Richard Feynman, and everyone
laughs, and the game is over.
But then she says,
well, what was going on?
Why did it take you
so long each time,
when I was asking more
and questions, to answer?
And everyone explains that
they’d played the game a bit
They decided that they weren’t
going to decide on a person.
They were simply
going to make sure
that whatever answer
each individual gave
when they were asked
was consistent with all
the other answers in applying,
at least, to someone,
ideally someone famous.
So as soon as the first
question, is this person dead,
was answered yes, all the
other people’s answers
had to be consistent with that.
Had to be a dead person
that they were thinking of.
Then it had to be a dead male
that they were thinking of,
and so on.
But the first person
could just equally well
have said no to
that first question,
and then they would have
converged on someone else, not
Richard Feynman.
So the options become
more and more constrained
as the questions proceed.
And it took longer to figure
out who still is going to work?
Who’s going to be consistent
with all these answers so far?
And everyone was forced by
the nature of the questions
to converge on the same person.
If you had asked
different questions,
you’d have ended up
with a different answer.
So context mattered.
There never was a
preordained answer.
You brought it into
being, and in a way
that was fully consistent with
all the questions you’d asked.
What’s more, the very notion
of there being an answer
only makes sense when
you play the game.
It’s meaningless to
ask who the chosen
person is in that
situation without asking
the questions about them.
And quantum mechanics
is a theory a bit
like this, I think, of what
is and what isn’t knowable,
and how those
knowns are related,
and how they emerge from
the questions we ask.
And I like to think
of this in terms
of a distinction between
a theory of isness
and a theory of ifness.
Quantum mechanics doesn’t
tell us how a thing is.
It tells us what it
could be along with–
and this is crucial–
along with a logic
of the relationships
between those coulds
and the probability
that it could be this.
So if this, then that.
And what this means is
that to truly describe
the features of
quantum mechanics,
as far as that’s
possible at the moment,
I think we should replace
all the conventional isms
of quantum mechanics that I kind
of started off at the beginning
with ifms.
For example, we couldn’t
say here it is a particle,
there it is a wave.
Rather, we should say
if we measure things
like this, then the quantum
object behaves in a manner
that we associate
with particles,
but if we measure it like
that, behaves in a manner that
is like a wave.
We shouldn’t say the particle
is in two places at once.
We should say if we measure it–
if we measure it–
we will detect this state with
probability x and this state
with probability y.
Now this ifness is
kind of perplexing
because it’s not what we’ve
come to associate with science.
We’re used to science
telling us how things are.
And if there are
ifs that arise, it’s
simply because we
don’t know enough.
We’re partly ignorant
about those how things are.
But in quantum
mechanics, it seems
like those ifs are fundamental.
Well, OK, but what’s the stuff
that this ifness is all about?
Quantum mechanics doesn’t,
obviously, tell us
anything about that, and
all we have right now are
hints and guesses.
And to try to bring
them into sharper focus
is a tricky business,
which I think
means we have to use sometimes
an almost poetic level
of expression, the
kind of thing that
will send a lot of physicists
scurrying for cover.
Take this attempt, for example,
by the physicist Chris Fuchs.
He says “Perhaps the world
is sensitive to our touch.
It has a kind of zing that makes
it fly off in ways that were
not imaginable classically.
The whole structure of quantum
mechanics maybe nothing
more than the optimal method
of reasoning and processing
information in the light of
such a fundamental, wonderful
And what Fuchs means here
is not the mundane truism
that the human observer
disturbs the world.
Rather, he’s saying quantum
mechanics may be the machinery
that we humans need, at
a scale pitched midway
between the subatomic
and the galactic,
to try to compile and quantify
information about a world that
has this incredibly
sensitive character
so it embodies what
we’ve learned about how
to navigate in such a place.
Well, at any rate,
I think it’s vital
that we understand that
this ifness doesn’t imply
that the world, our
world, our home,
is holding anything
back from us.
It’s just that classical
physics has primed
us to expect too much from it.
We’ve just become accustomed
to asking questions and getting
answers, getting
definite answers–
what colour is it?
How heavy is it?
How fast is it moving?–
forgetting the almost
ludicrous amount
that we don’t know about most
things around us in detail.
We figure that we could
just go on forever asking
questions and being answered
at ever smaller scales.
When we discovered
that we can’t, we
felt shortchanged by nature,
and we pronounced it weird.
Well, that won’t do anymore.
Nature does its
best, and we need
to adjust our expectations.
We need to go beyond weird.
Thank you.

100 thoughts on “Why Everything You Thought You Knew About Quantum Physics is Different – with Philip Ball”

  1. UPDATE: A few of you were asking about the Alice and Bob analogy used in this talk so we asked Phil Bill if he'd be happy to explain it in more detail. He was, so here's the follow up – https://youtu.be/5_0o2fJhtSc

  2. Being able to "tweak" the spins will allow faster than light communication & eventually faster than light transportation!

  3. I believe that the answer to quantum entanglement lies within other dimensions (such as the eighth) and finding ways of determining how these dimensions work will be crucial to understanding quantum mechanics.
    This “if”-ism and the “hey we may never know” is lazy and defeatist and not even worth a peer review 👎

  4. 16:48 Oddly enough, his rules B 1=> rabbit and B2=> rabbit do not follow; they only follow given A1. So, A2B1 only implies A=B; for this case, the rules can be satisfied in two ways but there is no inconsistency.

  5. Excellent video. Thank you for the upload. Watching on the equator next to Indian ocean. Damn mosquitoes keep interrupting…. whack!

  6. I other words the problem is the model or hypothesis you began with (wanting to predict which animal comes out of the box, without communication), this is mistakenly (wanted) used as an analogy to the "information faster than light exchange", but since thought and communication is restricted to and relys on the bottleneck of the speed of light too, the model of these advanced quantum physics may be thought through deeply but clearly not clearly (sane), since it is not applyable anywhere.

    To quote Tesla in my words.

    I mean what kind of state of reality should this apply to? Electro magnetism? Logic gates? but wtf why not talk with eath other in the first place even before putting a coin in?

    There you were faster than the speed of light, because you didn't have to wait for the signal of what the other person has put in, because you come back to making the simultaneous input (under a previous made agreement), thus it results in 100% predictability if you know the rules and toss the bad experiment.

  7. It's a great lecture. But what he continually calls "real" is by scientific definition "material reality." This leaves out human consciousness entirely. And science continues to do this at its own peril.

  8. So, I'm just a dumb guy. I just wanted to ask something silly: How can there be an up or down if we cannot perceive the floor or ceiling of the universe? Likewise, if time propagates forward, is it possible for anything in the physical universe to move backward?

  9. quantum physics – every time you learn something you realize you dont know shit and now need to learn another 10 things

  10. I think of waves as causative and particles as an effect.
    Is there a conflicting duality of properties or simply two perspectives being observed?

  11. Wait—didn't you already give this lecture a few years from now, in one or more of an infinite number of possible ways?

  12. In some way, the first two of the 3 principles at 32:01 simply restate and refresh Aristotelian law of identity.

    WHY ??

  14. Professor Ball fell in one trap very quickly. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states that one cannot measure simultaneously two properties (which by the way are not just any two properties) with exactly the same accuracy. Of course you can measure both position and lineal momentum simultaneously but the precision of the measurements won't be the same.

  15. We struggle with the concept of entanglement because we have the wrong idea about time. Time is an illusion created by our experience, which is very unreliable. Our imagination and our memory play tricks on us, like a mirage in a desert. Time does not exist as an independant entitity. The future does not exist, nor does the past. Even the present is not to be expressed as time related. What we experience as time is the illusion created by the perpetual change of things happening (events). Gravity, which comes along with matter, slows down all events. In the presence of a very heavy mass events slow down until they eventually may come to a full stand still. This is what is going on in the gravity of a black hole. Even photons, who travel at the speed of light, 'freeze' and can no longer move once they have been caught by a black hole. Photons can not escape the black hole because they simply can not move. In the black hole it looks like time has come to a full stop. Though, that is just an illusion. It is gravity that prevents anything from happening. In the realm of quantum physics, time has no meaning. The concept of entanglement and simultaneous action at a distance is not an issue once the concept of time is set aside.

  16. why do we need to know..just live…..stop screwing things up..we only have a few years left, if that long….

  17. So Quantum Mechanics states that when there's a choice, every possible outcome is chosen. It's rather like a Quantum Magician saying "Pick a card" and then whatever card you pick, the Quantum Magician says "I knew you'd pick that card!". So if it's always correct, it's also always incorrect at the same time?

  18. Quantum Mechanics is the interaction of particles that might or might not exist following rules we will never understand.

  19. He does explain some of the concept quite simply (to my most basic understanding). He quite clearly states that non-local reality is distinguishable from local reality due to the effect of our perspective as a human observer. The world we observe isn't the result of collapsing waves into particles to form matter, but is merely the world formed of our measurements and observations of seemingly distinct and localized phenomana within this non-local reality of the level quantum physics, from the macroscopic human perspective , and therefore quantum physics should be re-understood as a better map of this process (of information), rather than of the nature of reality. 'The map is not the territory'.

  20. First Principles
    RMCM : 5 … Mathematics is the manipulation of Function and Form to elucidate Cause and Effect.

    First Principles
    RMCM : 6 … Science is the manipulation of Cause and Effect to elucidate Function and Form.

    First Principles
    RMCM : 7 … In the cases of Mathematics and Science, Technology is the final proof.

  21. I like that, he definitely is one step closer to the mystery without taking away any of its allure. Very paradoxical stuff we are dealing with here.

  22. I don't get the John Bell experiment. If you have detectors at the same distance of the source of the particles that always behave the opposite way then they would always give the opposite result at the same distance.

  23. It's a wonderful lecture, but it doesn't address all the weirdnesses of QM, only some of them. The quotation at the end about the "sensitivity" of nature at small scales still admits of a vital weirdness! I think what is missing is understanding that measurement has a quality, not usually addressed, of whether or not it is destructive. I think the mistake that makes QM impossible to understand is assuming that measurement is non-destructive, that it is an innocent observation that does not perturb the system being measured. In reality, at the scale of a photon or electron, it is impossible to make a non-destructive observation, just from energy considerations alone. It is like throwing a rock to see where someone is standing; by the time the measurement is complete, the person may have been hit by the rock and jumped. So the question of whether or not a human being observes a result is not the right question. The question is simpler: whether the measurements are destructive. That is what determines whether fringes are formed or not, in the double-slit experiment. When we admit that measurement is destructive, then we see that QM experiments are consistent and only strange to the extent that nature REALLY works quite differently than our intuition, conditioned by the Newtonian large-scale behavior, would predict. Therefore, it should be straightforward and perhaps elegant to codify a QM theory that includes the effects of destructive measurement. This theory should then explain the experiments AND derive Newtonian mechanics by simply scaling up the size.

  24. Virtual reality computer games today were beyond 1965 imagination, imagination is key in the quantum realm.

  25. Doctor: I have my patients life in my hands, one slip and they die.

    Engineer: I have everyone’s life in my hands I forget to carry a 1 and a plane crashes

  26. is it possible that quantum physics is the answer on how humanity was created like the missing part science cant explain?

  27. Are objects islands in the sea of possibility or potentiality? Like, the bits we know about, because the interacted? I am a little confusing….

  28. I'm not ready to accept his whole "if" perspective of QM and I do understand that hes claiming it appears that QM really does behave in that manner but that's a conclusion you come to because you cant figure something out, humans have came to that conclusion on many other things in our history and then some nerd steps in 1000-100000 years later and explains precisely how it works…

    Maybe were just not advanced enough yet to understand it, maybe were missing some tools that would allow us to easily understand it.

    Maybe QM seems so wierd cause theres so many other things at play that were not aware of yet

    I'll start looking into this whole "if" thing and give it a chance but I really think it's just a case of us humans not being able to comprehend it yet or not advanced enough to gain a proper perspective on QM.

  29. Why not many worlds, if the universe is infinite then there will be many worlds, when you interact the quantum with classical then wave collapses and particle appears , in quantum there's more than one position ,in classical sometimes only one, eg:( manufacturing cas) small bit of steel can belong to many parts of car but once small bit of steel becomes part of car door then it can only belong on a certain position on the car. The reality comes into existance from quantum to classical when foccoussed on with consciousness ( there is only one consciousness of humanity, if there were more consciousness in universe then you would be conscious of it) a world from many worlds only becomes real when your consciousness is focussed on that world , same as making past and future real. (This is my guess )

  30. All physicians know that nobody knows the exact speed of light. And why is there a race in building (mechanics) the first quantum computer (Google is now at 75 Qbits – 25 to go…). Anyway: double slid on the thumbs up.

  31. Thank you for this presentation. Im just a cook and ive been making these connections and using this logic and asking these questions. Nice to see a certified thinker doing the same.

    If you want to put physics to it, you are catching waves because its 3d movement of particles. The wave is the effect of the matter….moving so fast its just a blur. The wave and the blur are perceptions, not properties.

    The ups and downs are the expansions of matter. The spins are implicit to the order of the universe. All this matter moving, and crossing, and expanding out, and in, will reach stasis…if it did not spin itself into units. The spin, and the spheres they create, stop the expansion from conglomerating, which it's 'trying' to do. The amassed conglomerations of matter are smaller versions of the whole, amd they need more spin to seperate, making an engine of our universe…the expansion, coming back together, and then seperating itself by spinning into spheres, so it can keep moving/expanding.

    the electric force of movement, in all directions equal and opposite at once, this bi polar force, and the spin to seperate it from itself, while expanding still within the sphere, is gravity. Gravity is the polar force of electricity spinning in a sphere, of which matter is expanding into, as well as out of. Light (energy) is the effect of the electric force of movement amassing its matter in smaller volumes and higher density. It's can be a particle (straight line polar force) coming from rotating spheres (waves), which are like light speed rainbows of illunination to sensors like eyes. Waves are just parts of spheres, perceptibly. The waves are spheres, coming in photon straight line bursts, from 3d locales of origin and received 3 dimensionally, and picked up in illumination by sensors like eyes, adjusted to certain wavelengths.

    We dont do a visual 'flip' in our eyes. Its not an up and down refraction, its a rotation refraction, with the damn other side always behind its 'horizon'. It would be like watching the earth go from night to day in a time lapse so fast that you assume its just flipping up and down, not rotating. Not the best example of what vision is detecting maybe, but a good example of how the perception is wrong. Remember, illumination os an aspect of light, not lights energy source. The waves are perceptions of the spgeres below. It's all very lighthouse-like.

    Anyway. Nice vid. Sets my mind on fire.

  32. Deepak Chopra has been telling us for years about quantum mechanics and the human soul…which are one in the same.

  33. So the quote that he used: ""The very notion of there being an answer only makes sense when you play the game". Isn't that consistent with the Copenhagen interpretation wherein you do not know the "answer" or the location of a particle until you "play the game" or make a measurement? Before you "play the game" or make a measurement, there are various possible answers with different probabilities as given by the wavefunction but after you get an "answer" the wavefunction collapses and there is one specific position of the particle.

  34. Where can I buy the Quantum Physic App that will work on my computer (Windows 10) Where can I buy it at? Thank you.

  35. You assume the audience, who vote have the same level of knowledge in the universe in which the other members exist with them.

  36. I like how he demonstrated reason, or deduction, as a form of quantum entanglement if the subjects are privy to the information.

  37. Man in Janitors Outfit: Excuse me Mr. Ball, what are you doing at this convention?
    Mr Ball: I'm here to discuss why no one understand quantu-….

    Rips janitor outfit off and whips out a gun

  38. Except things like quantum entanglement, waveform collapse, and the uncertainty principle have all been tested and demonstrated. I don't care for the fact that quantum behavior isn't intuitive, but experimentation proves it isn't. This speech seems like a mathematician trying to make the world fit his theories, instead of changing his theories to fit the world.

  39. Wins a Nobel prize for quantum mechanics and now they give them away for skin color. Sounds like a participation trophy to me.

  40. Maybe it's fine for quantum but this analogy is confusing – 15:53 Why are rabbits appearing in Alice's two pound column? If the result is depicted before payments are calculated, might as well have shown dogs. The column should not produce anything until both payments are received.

  41. 10:25 "What's changed is our knowledge" – This implies there is a specific truth and thus measurement gives us that knowledge. This is an interpretation itself. Something Copenhagen would say. This is simply not what quantum mechanics says. QM says there is no particle but only wavefunction.

  42. There is a little problem concerning the two boxes problem, which is that it is not said that each box "knows" what coin is put in the other, before getting each result. In other words we accept in advance that the two boxes in fact form ONE system, not two, so that the only problem REMAINING is to decide (why not pseudo-randomly) if there will be two dogs or two rabbits when Bob puts 1£ and Alice 2£. So there is a problem of definition of how does the system work initialy, which is not clear. In fact what is "impossibly implicite" in the conclusion given here is that there can only be one solution, despite the fact that it's required to know what is the result in each respective box when it's "dog and rabbit" too (boxes must also "know" what comes out from the other to decide what comes out of themselves, OR it's decided for both independently, so that it's NOT different. There is nothing MORE in the fact that there must but two identical animals than two different ones) ! In other words saying that in the case of "dog and rabbit" we don't care about knowing what is where is an error.

  43. Hello, my name is Andrew and here it is.
    (unifying theory + key to darm matter adn fater the light communcation)

    i want to share with you, something i wasted my time on. The “First rule” of this universe.
    Eh…. it sound strange, but stay with me for a second. It deep, it really deep.
    This rule is – when energy exchange between two relative points occur, it happens along the path of least resistance. Everywhere, every time.
    The depth here – everywhere, every time. Even in black holes, the guide for evolution, for human behavior, every energy exchange, every time.
    Understanding this depth allow me to predict tomorrow much more precisely.
    Just think about it, how you move through your life, how the brain works. the behavior of animals and insects, any science. This rule in the core of absolute all.
    No one else can show it to you now.
    I want to shout about it from the highest bell tower! It will help people to move forward!

    a key to dark matter or no time for energy exchange
    short version
    Energy exchange limit or limit for two point to interact.
    it is a bit hard to write down this thought for me.
    if two points have relative speed more then speed of light, they not able to interact.
    but they can interact through the third point. (exactly like dark matter)

    1)You know how space can expand faster then light? And it also can curve?
    soo, it most likely can curve true it selfe. and this how it not interacting with it selfe.
    (in black holes space curveture length is extremely small)

    2) How many time need for Sun to exchange energy with you? soo every energy exchange take some "time".
    There for if two point have speed difference more then C, they will have no "time" to exchange energyx, have no "time" for exchange to occure.
    Even if they will share same place.
    also you may see it as, FLT parts in more then one place at a "time" compare to us. For FLT part we in less then one place at "time". (why mass go up)

    it more about interaction limin then about speed of light.
    can be tested, if we will represent a third point.

    long version
    -dark matter in our galaxy, (most likely particles emitted by central black hole)
    is particles that moving faster than light. (most likely you do not "belive" in this)
    if i assume it is correct, then big amount of hydrogen on edge of galaxy, is where this "dark matter particles" decay after losing speed. (decay like new particles from hadron collider)

    -parts of dark matter alredy found, but we do not about it. (perseption(particles from hadron collider))
    -particles found with hadron collider behave like a dark matter after loosing speed.
    -most likely there is a energy exchange speed limit in betwen two points (not sound speed),
    most likely it is a speed of light. (that about why we do not see dark matter, but see it interction with other(slower for it/faster for us) particles)
    -particles from hadron collider will be stable if placed in faster then light speed.

    whant to tell more, I hope this is enough to contact me.
    the key is a energy exchange speed limit
    (i want my Nobel for showing you dark matter)

    Best regards Dynin A.I.

  44. Without imagination, IQ is nothing, ie. Einstein was great because he had a bit of both. IQ 167(+-), imagination; he did thought experiments which made his IQ work harder.

  45. I liken quantum entities to lumps of clay. There's a lump of clay on the table – what is it? Well, it's not anything yet. It becomes something when you shape it – maybe it becomes a cup, or maybe it becomes a plate. Or maybe a work of art. Until you interact with it it is just potential. Not unlimited potential – there's a certain amount of clay, and there are only so many things you can make with it. But it's really nothing until you do something with it. Asking "cup questions" about it before it's a cup really makes no sense.

    Don't try to push the metaphor too far, but it does seem to capture the "interactivity" of quantum phenomena.

  46. said a whole bunch of words just to say QM isnt weird we are weird…my man said it works different on a quantum level from regular size…hasnt that already been established?

  47. 21:14 i really hate this explanation or way of saying it. I don't fully understand it, but using this type of analogy just frustrates me because it feels like it's burying the problem or hiding the true underlying principle for the sake of a simple explanation that sounds very misleading or simply ignoring something entirely. it's okay that information was transferred faster than the speed of light because we can't verify that it was transferred faster than the speed of light faster the speed of light. what? why is that okay? why is that different? can we actually even call that information transferred? can we actually even call that influence or spooky action at a distance when no action was actually taken? the follow up is much better and clears it up a bit and basically says that's not what actually happens and that's the wrong way of thinking about it. but I just really hate the statement "it doesn't violate special relativity when information is transferred faster than the speed of light if we can't verify that it was transferred faster than the speed of light faster the speed of light." that doesn't make sense. why would the universe care if information can be verified?

  48. I get labeled as a conspiracy theorist but when people use theory to prove another theory they are called a doctor. Sun is 93 million miles away. Lmao

  49. One of the best presentations on a misunderstood topic. Awesome discussion, really helped clear up my misconceptions.

  50. Anything called theory could just as simply be called pseudo how could anything on the quantum level be completely opposed to the physical partsworld. It is the nature of the being that gives birth to theory, and of sciences that are ancient religions hiding their worship of their gods

  51. sppky action at a distance is not that spooky if you understand that Time-Space are a field of gravity!

  52. Information is not adequate at any moment in Nature. Unless asked specifically, Nature does not have the exact location of particles such as light with no mass. Light is revealed as wave, which is a probability description of a group of light particles. When properly screened (asked specifically), exact locations of particles are shown. With exact locations, they become individual particles. This is particle-wave behavior.
    In the double slit experiment, the small mass particles are in wave form because Nature does not know their exact locations. The outcome of the experiment is a interference pattern. When asked specifically which particles go through a slit, the exact locations of the particles are revealed.
    Nature does not have all information at any moment to determine everything at the moment. This is exactly the behavior of a simulation.
    In a simulation, an event in the future can determine what is the past as a result of inadequate information of the past. This is shown in the quantum delay choice experiment.
    Our reality is information. It behaves similarly as a simulation. Quantum mechanic is merely an intelligent system in Nature to shown more information, which do not exist when not asked

  53. Quantum physics and quantum theories are not scientific nor theory. The problem is those percentages(probabilities). If something is 85% correct it is not correct!

    Why even pursue something that is "true" 85% of times? Is that science?Just imagine Newton thinking:

    "To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction.I know it. 100%. 1/1.
    But,fuck that.I got some new theory that is 85% correct and I'm gonna work on that for next 80 years".

    That is how quantum physicists sound when they are talking about their theories.They just don't want to deal with complicated mathematics anymore.
    "Look we found some new properties,should we work on new mathematical model?
    -Nah man,let's just call it color " …
    "Look at this,maybe we should think about new causality between known forces?
    -Nah, it's flavor."

    They sound like Einstein on mushrooms.
    And they love their kindergarten mathematics(it is really kindergarten compared to Einstein General Relativity),and their semantics.
    And probabilities are story of itself…so the story goes:
    Married couple is laying on bed.Alice and Bob.But Alice is quantum physicist.
    Bob gets up every Thursday night and goes to sleep with Jane.
    Alice is reasoning:"My Bob is very loyal to me.I know that he is cheating on me every Thursday,but it doesn't matter because he is loyal every other day,and it is 85,71% of all time.It doesn't matter that he spends 14,29% time with Jane,because 85,71% of time is more important than 14,9% of time.
    And 85,71% is way above 50% and that is all that matters.
    And therefore my husband is not a cheater. He is very loyal to me,because I'm quantum physicist.

  54. From what I’ve read elsewhere is that … you can’t just arbitrarily entangle two particles that have no common history. Is it fair to say that particles are only entangled (by God or Big Bang, you pick) when the particles were created and by separating them they are now ‘detangled’ (but now are still aware of each other some how. Magnetically?) . How does one photon become two in this description of entanglement? “A laser beam fired through a certain type of crystal can cause individual photons to be split into pairs of entangled photons”. When you have resulting photons, how do you match the pairs up?

  55. so basically this guy says:
    1. Electrons stay as particles the whole time, they do not change their density into wave like matter.
    2. The wave function is merely a mathematical field that tells us a probability in exchange for a position guess.
    3.Quantum entanglement is when two particles interact and become linked in a way that can only be explained as becoming one system, not transmitting information between them, but actually being affected as if both of them were at the same place under one quantum system.
    4.*not sure if i got this one right*- A measurement does not change reality and affect what is being measured, it simply changes our level of knowledge.. the path of an electron is determined already before measuring, its just that before measuring, the position cant be known for sure by equations.

    but in the double slit experiment we can see that electrons are actually waves because of the spread outcome that cannot be attributed to particles. so 1 is not correct. 2 is not correct.
    about 3- if thats true (if not then special relativity is wrong) it means that there is a dimension in which these two particles stay together, unaffected by space-time and its laws, maybe a dimension though time in which the past affects the present is ways that make certain past events meaningful, which makes every quantum particle have a memory in a way..
    about 4- i have no clue.
    Help here?

  56. Feynman's supposition about the general public's understanding of Quantum Mechanics is still correct as we approach 2020.

  57. Very little of this makes sense to me. But I keep watching videos, and I wind up getting more confused.

  58. My wife attained her MBA while attending med school. She had no clue what he was talking about. I pretended I knew the subject. She soon caught on she married a comedian.

  59. Adding information to describe the physics of reality – and not to build a computer science application – is a dereliction, as information just pushes the question to those entities which can recognize information, that is a consciousness. Non-conscious entitles do not know about information: in other words, non-conscious entities have no information about information, and are completely uninformative if questioned about it. Falling into the practical implications of quantum information theory is no less a dereliction of explanation than was Fenyman's focus on predictive success.

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