Monday, October 25, 2010

296 / Entanglement

This past weekend, members of the Stanford University Class of 1965 gathered at Stanford for their 45th Class Reunion. During the weekend, I had an exciting conversation with one of my friends from long ago, Chia Tze, who is a theoretical physicist, and who recommended a book that I have already placed on order, The Age of Entanglement, by Louisa Gilder.

This book (which I am assured by Chia can be understood by a non-mathematician) seeks to explain to a layperson the mysteries of quantum theory. Quantum theory propounds, among other things, that separated particles can act as if intimately connected – a phenomenon which Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.” Erwin Schrödinger, whose famous "cat" has always seemed very spooky to me, has christened this phenomenon, perhaps a little more politely, as “entanglement.” Since I am seriously trying better to understand the nature of the world, and reality, I figure that I had better get briefed on "entanglement" at the earliest possible moment.

In the meantime, my 45th reunion did demonstrate that "entanglement" is a reality in human relationships. People with whom I was closely connected forty-five years ago, and whom I hadn't seen since, seemed intimately connected, still, when I saw them again this weekend.

So much for the idea that time and space can truly separate us. There's something going on with that "entanglement" idea!

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