Posts Tagged ‘quantum tunnelling’

You Can’t Get Entangled Without A Wormhole

December 6, 2013 Leave a comment

Quantum entanglement is one of the more bizarre theories to come out of the study of quantum mechanics — so strange, in fact, that Albert Einstein famously referred to it as “spooky action at a distance.”

Essentially, entanglement involves two particles, each occupying multiple states at once — a condition referred to as superposition. For example, both particles may simultaneously spin clockwise and counterclockwise. But neither has a definite state until one is measured, causing the other particle to instantly assume a corresponding state. The resulting correlations between the particles are preserved, even if they reside on opposite ends of the universe.

But what enables particles to communicate instantaneously — and seemingly faster than the speed of light — over such vast distances? Earlier this year, physicists proposed an answer in the form of “wormholes,” or gravitational tunnels. The group showed that by creating two entangled black holes, then pulling them apart, they formed a wormhole — essentially a “shortcut” through the universe — connecting the distant black holes.

Now an MIT physicist has found that, looked at through the lens of string theory, the creation of two entangled quarks — the building blocks of matter — simultaneously gives rise to a wormhole connecting the pair.

The theoretical results bolster the relatively new and exciting idea that the laws of gravity holding together the universe may not be fundamental, but arise from something else: quantum entanglement.

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The Quantum Secret To Alcohol Reactions In Space

Image credit: Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin

Image credit: Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin

Chemists have discovered that an ‘impossible’ reaction at cold temperatures actually occurs with vigour, which could change our understanding of how alcohols are formed and destroyed in space.

To explain the impossible, the researchers propose that a quantum mechanical phenomenon, known as ‘quantum tunnelling’, is revving up the chemical reaction. They found that the rate at which the reaction occurs is 50 times greater at minus 210 degrees Celsius than at room temperature.

It’s the harsh environment that makes space-based chemistry so difficult to understand; the extremely cold conditions should put a stop to chemical reactions, as there isn’t sufficient energy to rearrange chemical bonds. It has previously been suggested that dust grains – found in interstellar clouds, for example – could lend a hand in bringing chemical reactions about.

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