Reality check: The hidden connections behind quantum weirdness

时间:2019-03-15 06:02:04166网络整理admin

Sam Chivers By Anil Ananthaswamy IN OCTOBER 1951, physicist David Bohm left the US for Brazil. Branded a communist sympathiser, he had been arrested for refusing to testify to the US Congress. Acquitted, he was still stripped of his Princeton professorship. His departure began an exile that would last until his death, as a naturalised British citizen, four decades later. The theory Bohm was nurturing as he left his native shores has spent even longer in the cold. In part, that’s down to politics. But his ideas also seemed scientifically beyond the pale. Bohm proposed there was a hidden reality to quantum theory, meaning its crazy predictions of a world that doesn’t exist until you choose to look at it are just that: crazy. That went against the established grain, and still does. But more than six decades on, Bohm is getting a fresh hearing, as new experiments are hinting that he might have been on to something. If so, some aspects of reality would become easier to fathom, while others would be harder to stomach. Forget standard quantum weirdness – the world Bohm revealed is a more profoundly and mysteriously interconnected place than we ever imagined. It wasn’t always distasteful to suggest that reality is, well, real. Before quantum physics, our understanding was governed by classical theories in which reality exists regardless of observers. Newton’s laws of motion, for example, say we live in a clockwork, deterministic world that behaves in well-defined, predictable ways independently from what we are doing. The thin end of the wedge came in 1905, when Albert Einstein said that the photoelectric effect,