Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Inexplicable Behavior of Photons

Quantum physics studies very small stuff -- atoms, photons and other particles. Unlike the cause-and-effect of our physical world, subatomic particles defy common sense and behave in wacky ways. A photon, which is a particle of light, spins in many ways, such as "up" or "down," at the same time. Even trickier, it's only when you take a peek -- by measuring it -- that the photon fixes into a particular state of spin. Even stranger still is entanglement. When two photons get "entangled" they behave like a joint entity. Even when they're miles apart, if the spin of one particle is changed, the spin of the other instantly changes, too. This direct influence of one object on another distant one is called non-locality. More from Wall Street Journal, here:

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