Price, Lew Paxton
Quantum Theory / Particle Physics
April 13, 2014
There was an experiment first performed by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen in 1935 - later called the EPR experiment. It was a thought experiment in quantum mechanics which produced results so strange that Einstein rejected them as a flaw in quantum theory. In 1980, the experiment was physically performed by splitting a single photon into two, each of which had half the energy of the "mother" photon. These two "entangled" photons were polarized at ninety degrees to one another. Whenever the polarization of one of the two was detected (absorbed), the polarization of the other would always be at ninety degrees to the first. The first polarization could be detected as either horizontal or vertical, and the experimenter had that choice - but once the detection occurred, the second detection would always be at ninety degrees to the first. Einstein's objection with this experiment was that the removal of one polarization (by detecting it) made the second one predictable instantaneously, regardless of the physical distance between the locations of the two detections. This is an example of faster-than-light (FTL) communication. In 1992, an experiment was performed by Ming Lai and Claude Diels. In this experiment, it appeared that a single photon traveled in two directions simultaneously even though the two directions were almost ninety degrees from one another. This was explained in quantum mechanics as photons being probability waves.