Thursday, March 05, 2009

Quantum madness. Chapter IX.

Lovecraft was wrong.

Madness is not to be taught at Nyarlathotep Academy, it to found in the contemplation of the quantum ...
Quantum physics and reality | I'm not looking, honest! | The Economist

... In the 1990s a physicist called Lucien Hardy proposed a thought experiment that makes nonsense of the famous interaction between matter and antimatter—that when a particle meets its antiparticle, the pair always annihilate one another in a burst of energy. Dr Hardy’s scheme left open the possibility that in some cases when their interaction is not observed a particle and an antiparticle could interact with one another and survive. Of course, since the interaction has to remain unseen, no one should ever notice this happening, which is why the result is known as Hardy’s paradox.

This week Kazuhiro Yokota of Osaka University in Japan and his colleagues demonstrated that Hardy’s paradox is, in fact, correct...
Update: To be fair to physics, I dimly believe that "unseen" is a bit of an overstatement -- just about any interaction with the universe will collapse these indeterminate states.

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