Though we are at peace with the idea that the quantum world is dominated by randomness, recently spotted quantum oddities may hint at an orderly universe. Researchers believe that quantum mechanics may be the key to proving that the Universe is interconnected after all.
The idea belongs to an American theoretical physicist called David Bohm who suggested several decades ago that despite quantum physics’ weirdness, the reality behind it is astonishingly orderly. We fail to perceive this reality as it is because we lack the proper understanding of how quantum physics really works, Bohm argued.
A Canadian researcher Aephraim Steinberg explained that Bohm had a strong belief in a universe where quantum particles have definite trajectories and act according to some rules we currently fail to fully grasp.
On the other hand, recent research dismissed the possibility of the reality described by Bohm to exist in the quantum world. Yet, recent experiments were conducted only locally, so, the famed physicist’s theory may still stand if we take into account long-distance interconnectivity.
According to Bohm, we live in a universe where everything has an impact on everything. For instance, what we do here influences distant galaxies and vice versa no matter how small the effect is.
Bohm also solved the dispute over whether an electron on a quantum level is a wave or particle. He believed that it is both since an electron acts like a particle whose trajectory can be measured, while it rides on a wave to get to a certain point. But the wave can be altered by the surrounding particles which have an influence on the electron’s trajectory.
Still, in the early 90s an experiment dubbed ESSW dismissed Bohm’s view of the quantum world. The experiment discovered so called ‘surreal trajectories’ in photons. Yet, recently a group of researchers conducted by Steinberg repeated the experiment and found that Bohm may be right after all.
Scientists learned that entangled photons could influence one another by changing polarization. In the experiment, a photon traveling through an apparatus at record speeds was able to influence its partner’s polarization from a great distance. In fact the changes in polarization observed in the still photon reflected the moving photon’s trajectories, despite the apparently hazardous nature of the latter’s journey.
The recent experiments have shown that the ESSW analysis in the 90s might have got things wrong because the detector used to measure photons’ trajectories was unreliable on a quantum scale.
A study on the new findings was published Feb. 19 in the Science Advances.
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