Quantum Entanglement – Back to the Future

“The fateful slumber floats and flows
About the tangle of the rose;
But lo! the fated hand and heart
To rend the slumberous curse apart!”

Quantum Superposition

The diagram below illustrates an interference pattern which is produced when a stream of particles , such as photons or electrons , are fired through two slits .

Using a single particle accelerator we would expect that the single particle would do one of three things :

i) Hit the barrier
ii) Pass through the upper slit
iii) Pass through the lower slit

Either way you would not expect to see the interference pattern , which should only appear when a series of different particles interact with each other as they exit the barrier .

Not true .

Let’s assume that a single particle passes through one of the slits , the interference pattern still appears , why is this ? It is as if the single particle has split into two and passed through both barriers , or even spookier , it is as if the single particle is in two places at once . This is quantum superposition . In quantum mechanics a particle can be in one , two , or maybe even several places at the same time , or maybe even none at all . Further , it is theorized that a particle may even exist in every variation of it’s state and position , until it is actually observed .

An interesting aspect of quantum mechanics is that when you try to measure whether the particle has split , or whether it is in one place or the other , the whole system collapses and the interference pattern does not appear . The act of attempting to measure where the particle is , or how it behaves , directly affects the whole system . Even looking at a quantum system can affect it , so how do you measure something if you do not even know where it is ? This disruptive effect is known as Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle , if anything it illustrates that we are more connected than we care to imagine .

To simplify this idea , imagine tossing a coin , looking away and letting it land , the coin can land on heads , tails , or even on it’s edge (unlikely , but possible) . Quantum superposition says that the coin now actually exists in all three states simultaneously , only when you look at the coin does the state of superposition collapse and the coin is revealed in a single position , i.e. heads , tails or on it’s edge .

Back to the Future

Recent research takes a different approach in that it measures a quantum system from both a forward perspective (preselection) and also take a retrospective approach (postselection) . The quantum system is presented with a specified outcome which can hopefully ‘measure’ where the particle superposition occurs . This is known as ‘Two-State Vector Formalism’ .


The image shows that the particle , in this case a photon , is in ‘some of the places some of the time’ , as opposed to all of the places all of the time . Which on the face of it does deflect from the theory that a particle does exist in all of it’s states at any given time .

What does this experiment and other similar experiments prove ? Not a lot really .

What it does show is that the act of choosing an outcome for the quantum system seems to affect the end result .

In real world terms it can be compared to selecting a result for a particular sports match ahead of the event , when the match ends , the result is exactly what you have previously predicted .

It may also hint at the possibility that what we imagine time to be in the real world , i.e. a linear concept unfolding in front of us , is something completely different in the quantum world .

The full article can be found at the link below :

A few related experiments can be found at the links below :

The video below may help to further explain this .

The Future

Quantum mechanics promises to revolutionize communications and computing , it also promises to connect the two together via artificial intelligence .

It appears that God does play dice .

It also appears that there are organizations that want to play God at dice .

Related :


  1. Curiouser and curiouser as the Quantum Cheshire Cat appears
  2. Young’s Double Slit Experiment
  3. Two-State Vector Formalism (PDF)

Also related :



  2. Quantum Entanglement in Physics
  3. Quantum Superposition And Entanglement Explained
  4. Physicists find quantum coherence and quantum entanglement are two sides of the same coin

Further related :

  1. NASA Crashed Probe Into Dark Side Of The Moon, Then Returned To Take Pictures Of The Impact
  2. Laser communications set for Moon mission
  3. LADEE: NASA’s Moon Mission to Study Lunar Dust Secrets
  4. Quantum Entanglement: Love on a Subatomic Scale
  5. Quantum Communications at NASA (PDF)
  6. China Launches Relay Satellite for Mission to Moon’s Far Side


  1. What exactly is the ‘spin’ of subatomic particles such as electrons and protons?
  2. Quantum probes dramatically improve detection of nuclear spins
  3. Quantum teleportation of patterns of light
  4. Experimental Quantum Teleportation (PDF)
  5. Complete quantum teleportation using nuclear magnetic resonance
  6. Nuclear magnetic resonance


  1. Approximate Quantum Cloning with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (PDF)
  2. Quantum Computing and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (PDF)
  3. How Quantum Computers Work
  4. Quantum Computing Has Applications in Magnetic Imaging
  5. A New Spin on Quantum Computing: Scientists Train Electrons with Microwaves
  6. New Magnetic Resonance Technique Could Revolutionise Quantum Computing
  7. Quantum Game Theory & it’s applications

Further reading :

  1. Time’s Arrow Traced to Quantum Source
  2. Why the Many-Worlds Formulation of Quantum Mechanics Is Probably Correct
  3. Quantum Coherence and the Hidden Secret Behind Our Bodies
  4. Nature’s Mind: The Quantum Hologram
  5. Quantum Biology: Algae Evolved to Switch Quantum Coherence On and Off
  6. Birds measure magnetic fields using long-lived quantum coherence
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