Tuesday, March 30, 2010
May 8 Quantum Mechanics & Spooky Action at a Distance
Quantum Mechanics & "Spooky Action at a Distance"
Prof. Allen Stairs, University of Maryland, Philosophy Department, Associate Chair
Bethesda Library, 7400 Arlington Rd., Bethesda, MD
Near Bethesda metro
Einstein and Schrödinger both worried that quantum mechanics posits "spooky action at a distance." This was Einstein's phrase, and it referred to the fact that quantum mechanics seems to allow that what an experimenter does in one location can instantaneously affect things elsewhere. While Einstien and Schrödinger found this worrisome, others (mostly non-scientists) have embraced the idea, seeing it as evidence for some sort of hyper-connected reality. This talk will look at the underlying theoretical and experimental situation. We'll examine the notion of "quantum entanglement" and ask whether it's as spooky as it's sometimes cracked up to be.
Prof. Stair's research centers on issues in the foundations of quantum mechanics.