it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken
matociquala

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universe is shaped exactly like the earth. go straight long enough you end up where you were.

What science fiction writers talk about in their spare time (with free Buckaroo Banzai quote):

[20:11] matociquala: The concept of a quantum eraser hurts my head.
[20:12] matociquala: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_eraser
[20:13] stillnotbored: yeah....
[20:13] stillnotbored: I don't understand any of that
[20:14] matociquala: I kind of understand it.
[20:14] matociquala: but it hurts my head that it works.
[20:14] stillnotbored: I think I used all my brain power at work today
[20:14] matociquala: Okay.
[20:15] matociquala: first, you turn one photon into twins
[20:15] katallen: is pretty
[20:15] matociquala: an entangled pair
[20:15] stillnotbored: OH
[20:16] stillnotbored: got it now
[20:16] matociquala: then you send one to a detector and the other through the classic double slit experiment
[20:16] matociquala: where it generates an interference pattern.
[20:17] matociquala: because according to qunatum mechanics, your one photon went through both slits.
[20:17] matociquala: right?
[20:17] matociquala: right.
[20:17] stillnotbored: right
[20:17] matociquala: Okay, so. Now you take a polarizing plate and put it between the slits and the target
[20:17] matociquala: so you can tell which slit the photon went through
[20:17] matociquala: and the interference pattern vanishes
[20:18] matociquala: because now it only went through one slit.
[20:18] matociquala: In other words, you retroactively erased its path through the other slit.
[20:18] matociquala: THAT is the part that hurts my head.
[20:18] stillnotbored: yeah
[20:18] matociquala: And if you put the polarizing plate BEFORE the slit?
[20:18] stillnotbored: wow
[20:18] matociquala: interference pattern remains.
[20:19] matociquala: because now it went through both slits after you detected it.
[20:19] stillnotbored: wow
[20:19] matociquala: Thus the non-bogus part of the quantum mechanics in Undertow.
[20:19] matociquala: *g*
[20:19] stillnotbored: is this part of the observer effect or what ever its called?
[20:19] matociquala: You really can change the universe by looking at it.
[20:19] matociquala: This is the observer effect
[20:20] stillnotbored: then I did get it *g*
[20:20] matociquala: *g*
[20:20] matociquala: You can change what USED to happen in the universe by looking at it NOW.
[20:20] stillnotbored: and it does twist my head around backwards, but how friggin cool
[20:21] matociquala: It's so damned neat
[20:21] stillnotbored: it really is
[20:22] katallen: I am all about the QM
[20:23] matociquala: You know, I swear I can handle everything except the retroactivity part.
[20:24] stillnotbored: it makes me think time travel
[20:24] matociquala: Yeah
[20:24] stillnotbored: changing the past by looking at the present
[20:24] katallen: well if it helps... you can always work with a different time paradigm
[20:24] matociquala: Actually, I think they have gotten particles to travel back in time
[20:25] matociquala: Well, yeah, it's just a direction.
[20:25] katallen: (and I do not want Kickback and Taya muttering at me)
[20:25] matociquala: But I am a flatlander trying to grok up.
[20:25] matociquala: yanno?
[20:25] katallen: well you can always consider that everything is actually happening simultaneously
[20:26] katallen: and linear time is just the way that a flatlander can reduce the information to a comprehensible level
[20:26] matociquala: *g* Which is why the snide thing about "time is what keeps everything from happening at once" is really a profound bit of wisdom.
[20:26] matociquala: Much like "wherever you go, there you are."
[20:26] katallen: ::grins::
[20:28] katallen: you know... physics just isn't as hard a science as it used to be
[20:28] katallen: it's gone all wishy-washy and feminine ::grins::
Tags: chatroom transcripts, fizzicks, the writer at work
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