This week we have a bunch of exotic news on quantum entanglement and space-time physics. As always, here’s a short overview of the top news of physics. If you’d like to receive these news straight to your email box, register for our email newsletter.
1. A Link Between Wormholes and Entanglement? (December 3)
Quantum entanglement, or, in words of Einstein, spooky action at a distance is one of the most exotic phenomena in quantum mechanics. Similarly, wormholes, which could theoretically form a shortcut between two places in space-time, are one of the most exotic phenomena in the theory of general relativity. But what do these things have in common? Most scientists would answer — nothing, but not Juan Martín Maldacena at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and Leonard Susskind at Stanford University. They recently argued that wormholes could be viewed as pairs of black holes, which are entangled with one another.
How would such black holes be created? According to Susskind and Maldacena, such black holes, in principle, could be created simultaneously and thus get entangled or the radiation from a black hole could be captured by another black hole. If all of this is theoretically true, this discovery could bridge quantum mechanics and GR.
Could wormholes explain entanglement?
2. Reevaluation Deepens the 2005 Neutron Lifetime Discrepancy (December 6)
Two different techniques were used to measure the lifetime on neutrons, back in 2005, and gave incompatible results. Now, a group of US physicists reevaluated the results from 2005 and found an even bigger discrepancy.
Neutrons, theoretically, should have an infinite lifetime inside a stable nucleus. Outside the nucleus, however, neutrons decay in around 15 minutes. Physicists seek to find out a much more accurate lifetime, which could be useful in particle physics and cosmology. Unfortunately, the two used methods to measure the lifetime give different results. Still, most physicists agree that the problem hides in the accuracy of the measurements rather than physics of neutrons.
3. Cloning Quantum Information from the Past (December 6)
Here we have another exotic news story about quantum mechanics and time travel. In this story Mark Wilde from LSU showed that, in theory, it would be possible for time travellers to copy quantum data from the past. This is related to the work of David Deutsch on quantum mechanics and time travel. Deutsch tried to cope with the paradoxes of time travel by employing a slightly changed version of quantum theory. For instance, Deutsch solved the grandfather paradox by proposing that it is possible to change one’s past as long as you do it in a consistent matter (more about this here).
Another important part of quantum mechanics, which is relevant to time travel is the so-called no cloning theorem, which states that one cannot copy certain quantum data at will. However, if Deutsch’s work is correct, the no-cloning theorem could be wrong. In this article Wilde analysis such a claim. To read more, use the link above.