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Today I am going to tell you about one of my favourite results, Bell's theorem, that
answers the EPR paradox. But instead of proving the thing here, I've decided to push that
to the next video, and instead just tell you the result and explain what it actually means.
That's because this is the most misunderstood theorem of science that I know of. I have
heard it claimed by so many sources, from popular books, to lecturers, to serious research
papers that Bell's theorem proves quantum mechanics is right Let's see if that's true
We've already seen that quantum mechanics has a few disturbing aspects. I'd argue that
a lot that comes done to one statement in quantum mechanics, the superposition principle;
that is that if we have a particle that could be in several possible states at a certain
time and we can't tell which one its in, it's in all those states at once. That means that
while we have our backs turned, things act way differently to how they act when we're
looking. But do we have to really believe that? I mean, we can never, by definition
actually catch the objects in the act. The EPR paradox tried to prove that superposition
is wrong.
I won't go through the EPR argument in detail again because you can just watch that video
once more if you need a refresher
Remember for the EPR video, we had our two entangled objects and we knew one was red
and other white, but we didn't know which was which. Quantum Mechanics insists that
all possible things happen so each particle is both red and white. But if we open one
box and the object is white, then when we open the other we must have the red one. The
only way is if, somehow or another, the particles can talk to each other.
We'll call any theory where entangled particles are able to communicate while they're separated
like this, a theory with "talking particles"
But the EPR argument then showed that
If a theory has talking particles, then those messages go faster than light.
So what does this mean? If Einstein and the majority of physicists
at the time where right and nothing can ever faster then light, then EPR tells us that
all theories with talking particles are wrong. That includes quantum mechanics.
If nothing truly can go faster than light, how can we explain the fact that entangled
particles always have opposite colours to each other? They can't talk talk to each other
while they're seperated as EPR shows, so they must decide which colours to be while they're
still together. That means that instead of acting all crazy and going into superpositions
while they're behind our backs, they instead act pretty normal with just one colour. SO
you see, if nothing can go faster than the speed of light, not only is Quantum mechanics
done for, we can go back to believing the world isn't doing such crazy things while
we're not looking. I.e if particle's can't talk faster than light,
then superposition is wrong.
What about the other possibility? What if entangled particles do talk faster than light
to each other? This is where lots of people get it wrong so I urge you to be careful.
if entangled particles do talk faster than light that doesn't necessarily imply superposition
is right.
That would be like saying If an animal is a raven it is black
Means that If an animal isn't a raven then its not black.
That's clearly not true. If an animal isn't a raven, all you can say is that its not raven,
you can't infer anything about its colour. In the same way, if particles talk faster
than light, all you can say is, they do talk faster than light.
SO finally we get to the point. What is Bell's theorem. Bell came up with an experiment that
would give different results in a world where particles can talk faster than light and one
where they can't. This got people really excited because there was a chance to disprove quantum
mechanics. 15 years later, people finally came up with the technology to do the experiment.
There result? Particles do actually do talk faster than light. Quantum mechanics survived.
But like I said before, this doesn't prove Quantum mechanics is right, only that it isn't
wrong in this way.
This brings up a lot questions. Firstly, what about relativity? Remember I told you that
the biggest assumption in relativity is that nothing goes faster than light, but apparently
that's not true! I don't know enough relativity to teach it to you, but in relativity, if
it's possible for Alice to send Bob a message faster than light, all kinds of crazy stuff
can happen. For example, to some people it will look like Bob gets Alice's message before
she sends it. It's even possible for him to reply before she sends it- but then -what
if she decided not to send her original message afterall?
That is an aweful logical mess. So what's the solution? Physicists say that they have
come up with it. They claim that it's impossible to manipulate our entangled talking particles
to send the messages we want. This is called the No Communication theorem. I don't know
if we should just trust though, so we'll have a closer look at it later.
Another question is that, sure, this experiment doesn't prove that superposition is true,
but is it really possible to explain all the weird experiments we've been talking about
with out it? Turns out it might be. There is at least one very promising alternative
to quantum mechanics that does have talking particles so it's not ruled out, but doesn't
have superposition. It's called Bohmian Mechanics, and I might make a video about it cos it's
pretty amazing.
So that's the end of this video but if you want to see how Bell's theorem proves that
particles can talk faster than light, then I will be putting up videos about that. They'll
be one to explain something called Spin and then the actual proof. If you don't know too
much about spin, you should watch that one first.
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Is Quantum Mechanics True? Bell's theorem explained | Quantum ep 9

852 Folder Collection
林婉蓉 published on May 1, 2015
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