# Heisenberg’s uncertainty, quantum entanglement, and the church nursery

Aug 032010

This morning I was reading an article talking about how a group of researches have possibly found a way around the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle.  First, a refresher course for all you who’s science might be a bit rusty.  The Uncertainty Principle states that it’s impossible to know both the position and the velocity of a particle.  The more precisely you measure one, the less precisely you know the other one.  The more you know the position of a particle, the less you can know about its velocity, and the more you know about the velocity of a particle, the less you can know about its position.

So what is the workaround?  Simple.  Introduce quantum entanglement.  Take two particles.  Entangle them.  Measure one for position and the other for velocity.  Refresher: Quantum entanglement is the ability to take two particles and have them act exactly the same.  You can then move them apart as far as you like and anything that you do the one will instantaneously happen to the other, even if it’s miles away.   Or something.  Read the wikipedia article if you want to expand your mind (either by enlightenment or explosion).

By maximally entangling a particle with a quantum memory and measuring one of the particle’s variables, like its position, should snap the quantum memory in a corresponding state, which could then be measured. This would allow them to do something long thought verboten by the laws of physics: figure out the state of certain pairs of variables at the exact same time with an unprecedented amount of certainty.

When two particles are entangled, reading even one variable of one of the particles collapses the wavefunction of both particles, giving finite values to all related variables.

As an aside, when i mentioned this to my wife, she just laughed and said “it’s like the nursery at church.  You put a bunch of kids in a room.  You don’t really know what’s happening inside.  If you peek through the peep hole, you can get an idea, but you don’t know until you enter the room.  But by entering the room, you’ve changed what everyone is doing.  Unless you’re a primary worker.  In which case you’re far too busy wiping snotty noses to measure anything.”

### 3 Responses to “Heisenberg’s uncertainty, quantum entanglement, and the church nursery”

1. See? You prove my point beautifully. Physics explains everything. I’ve thought that quantum entanglement is much more elegant a theory than the butterfly effect, but whatever we call it, we’re all tied together, whether it’s by dark matter or the Spirit of Christ. And the nursery, well, that’s just priceless.

2. Nice connection.

How is it that I read a very similar article lately (without the nursery part)? Not my usual reading, so I wish I could remember why. Did you post something like this recently?

3. I’m thinkin’ being a nursery worker means you’ve been entangled quite effectively.

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