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Are All fields instantaneous like gravity

Robert Zwilling

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If the sun is plucked out of the solar system and thrown away, all the planets will instantly start traveling in a straight line. The gravity "field" is instantaneous. Does the electric field associated with an electron and the magnetic field generated by the movement of an electron appear and disappear instantaneously as well. I am assuming in this case the electron stops instantly or the electron disappears instantly like plucking the sun out of the solar system.
 

Ursa major

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If the sun is plucked out of the solar system and thrown away, all the planets will instantly start traveling in a straight line. The gravity "field" is instantaneous.
I think you're going to have to justify that last statement, one that I don't believe is true.
 

Dave

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The Conservation of Mass-Energy means that the Sun or an electron cannot be "plucked out... and thrown away," therefore the question has no basis on which to answer.
 

Venusian Broon

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If the sun is plucked out of the solar system and thrown away, all the planets will instantly start traveling in a straight line.
Our current understanding of nature (or should I say our current models of physics) is that all forces, Gravity included, are limited at maximum to the speed of light.

So removing the sun in this hypothetical example should still see the planets orbiting despite the missing mass, until the new gravitational situation has propagated. The oft quoted line about how long it takes sunlight to reach the earth (just over 8 minutes) is relevant here. If the sun were to stop shining, we'd still see sunlight for 8 minutes her on Earth.

In quantum mechanical terms, forces are represented by intermediate particles that mediate the force between particles. Said intermediates, even although they are technically virtual, still obey the speed of light restriction. If the electron were to 'disappear' other recipients interacting with this electron will only catch up when the virtual particles stop coming - therefore there will be a delay as above.

However, there is the case of the EPR paradox or Quantum Entanglement. In this information (but not forces) travel instantaneously as a quantum wave function collapses, re: Copenhagen Interpretation. Apparently, from our experiments, the universe allows this. But was not liked by Einstein who was very keen on this 'speed of light limit' thing. So perhaps there is a doorway for instantaneous interactions in certain circumstances.

@Dave Yes, Energy-mass conservation is correct as far as we know, but actually one can imagine real world situations where very dramatic situations can actually get you somewhere towards the OP's 'sun-less' situation. For example, a system that has two black holes orbiting each other, could have a solar system of planets happily orbiting the centre of mass of these objects, away from their event horizons. However if both black holes were to collide and combine (They would be unlikely not to) then the resultant collision generates huge amounts of energy and I believe would likely form a black hole with a lot less mass than the total mass of the two black holes that started it - the loss in mass being converted directly into energy. Hence (assuming said planets were indestructible in some manner) they would have to adjust to the new (lower) mass.
 

Robert Zwilling

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Thanks for the info. Just trying to figure out if it was possible for entanglement to be instantaneous. Is it true that you can only see it happening by seeing what it did in the past? Seems like if the speed that the information can be conveyed is limited to the speed of light, there is no way to know if it could be instantaneous in the present?
 

Venusian Broon

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Thanks for the info. Just trying to figure out if it was possible for entanglement to be instantaneous. Is it true that you can only see it happening by seeing what it did in the past? Seems like if the speed that the information can be conveyed is limited to the speed of light, there is no way to know if it could be instantaneous in the present?
Yeah, frankly I find it all a bit 'hazy' :)

The reason is that there are a wide number of different interpretations of QM, some of which demand instantaneous wavefunction collapse in their definitions and others that don't use said collapse and therefore don't have this problem and don't demand it.

The one Einstein was railing against in 1935 was, I'm sure, the Copenhagen interpretation. However I believe they tested QM entanglement at a distance of ~1200km quite recently and QM (of all interpretations) passed with flying colours.

The way I see it for Copenhagen. Entanglement is broken by making a measurement. So you start with a pair of entangled particles, say a pair of electrons with opposite spins. As you separate them, but don't observe them, what you actually have is a superposition of wavefunctions for electrons - a mixture of both the spin up and down variety. Only by taking a measurement and seeing that, actually you have one, say the spin up electron, causes the other down spin electron to instantaneously appear in the other location. So it's not really looking at what it did the past. As for how they know it's instantaneous...I'd have to look up the experiment. I can only assume that the experiment can make some sort of pronouncement on the issue.

(Note this is not as simple as saying, 'hey, I've got the spin up here, so now we know that spin down is over there." QM (Copenhagen) is telling us that until we make the measurement the universe is using a superposition of wavefunctions to 'calculate' what the behaviour of this entangled system is - see for example of the weirdness that is the double slit experiment using particles like electrons. So before measurement we use a superposition of wavefunctions, instantly after measurement we pin two specific wavefunctions to specific locations.)

With regards to speed that information can be conveyed, I believe the conventional approach is to assume that you cannot convey info faster than speed of light using such entangled states. Because, I think, we haven't seen any evidence to suggest that FTL communication could exist and General Relativity says so and that appears to be correct as theories go too.

However...both General Relativity and QM appear to be incomplete and Quantum Gravity may, if it exists or computable by us humans, have surprises in it . Also I'm relatively sanguine about time travel. (Well, I suppose I am writing SF...) In fact time travel paradoxes have solutions that, if one is willing to really change our assumptions about reality, don't make them problems at all.
 

RJM Corbet

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If the sun is plucked out of the solar system and thrown away, all the planets will instantly start traveling in a straight line. The gravity "field" is instantaneous. Does the electric field associated with an electron and the magnetic field generated by the movement of an electron appear and disappear instantaneously as well. I am assuming in this case the electron stops instantly or the electron disappears instantly like plucking the sun out of the solar system.
No, I believe since the confirmed discovery of gravity waves in 2016, that gravity is obliged to keep the cosmic speed limit.

Entanglement is a mathematical construct which does not allow faster-than-light transfer of information. But Leonard Suskind thinks he's found a theoretical way that infomation may be transferred via wormholes:


It's long, lol ...
 

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Robert Zwilling

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Quantum Entanglement. In this information (but not forces) travel instantaneously
I am trying to use entanglement in a story. I would like to mix fact with reasonable fiction. Can you tell me how bug the holes are in this scenario.

Particles that make up atoms deform space time. The particles are made of quarks that apparently don't deform space time by themselves. Is there enough gray area in the current understanding of the structure of the universe that I could reasonably say that individual quarks are dimensionless projections, from another dimension that contains space time, and that these quarks don't do anything until they join together to form particles that deform space time. The individual projected "quarks" are programmed to be what they are and that information about their parameters is contained within the deformation of space time and is available instantly anywhere in the universes without any delays. The individual quarks programming has nothing to do with what happens after they join together to form particles. The particles are free to do what they want. That would avoid the possibility of everything being preset up and is a "movie" of a past, present, and future that can't be changed.

This scenario would be to set up a communication system that would appear to be faster than light.
 

Brian G Turner

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Particles that make up atoms deform space time. The particles are made of quarks that apparently don't deform space time by themselves. Is there enough gray area in the current understanding of the structure of the universe that I could reasonably say that individual quarks are dimensionless projections, from another dimension that contains space time, and that these quarks don't do anything until they join together to form particles that deform space time. The individual projected "quarks" are programmed to be what they are and that information about their parameters is contained within the deformation of space time and is available instantly anywhere in the universes without any delays. The individual quarks programming has nothing to do with what happens after they join together to form particles. The particles are free to do what they want. That would avoid the possibility of everything being preset up and is a "movie" of a past, present, and future that can't be changed.

This scenario would be to set up a communication system that would appear to be faster than light.
You don't actually need all that background hand-waving - the basic physics says that if you have a material of entangled particles, and share it between two sources, then any change to any particles at one source will collapse the wave function at the other source. This has already been used in fiction to allow "faster-than-light" communications in SF.

However, Vertigo explained some of the limitations of it here: Physics discussion: FTL drives, Speed of Light, Life in the Universe, etc
 

Venusian Broon

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I am trying to use entanglement in a story. I would like to mix fact with reasonable fiction. Can you tell me how bug the holes are in this scenario.
Firstly I should clarify the statement that you quote from me. I wrote it down quickly without thinking (showing the old adage that information can not be transmitted faster than light, but rubbish can :)).

So...I think virtually all physicists would say that quantum entanglement does not allow information to travel faster than light. Rather, in quantum interpretations like the Copenhagen interpretation, the mechanisms of QM invoke nonlocality that contradict the assumptions of local realism. As part of this, in entanglement, there is an instantaneous rearrangement of quantum states, no matter how distant they are, required to explain the phenomena. And this is really what I mean by 'information' in the above statement! (i.e. I was wrong, it's not :giggle:)

Any attempt to take advantage of this to transmit information however is assumed to fail.

This is explained, I think, because it is assumed that quantum mechanics must in the macro limit become identical to classical physics. And classical physics is assumed to be causal and from special relativity this causality is limited to the speed of light. So quantum field theory is formulated to so that this causality is 'built' into it.

Now you can bolster this argument by saying that there has been no experimental evidence of faster than light transmission etc. And from this one could argue that faster than light transmission of information or time travel, would lead to paradoxes. Which is a reasonable starting point. However in mathematical terms I believe that we have formulated all our laws on the assumption that the above is correct - and thus it becomes a circular argument really. These laws won't show any superluminal transmission because we built assumptions that they can't in from the start.

However, to give you a chink of possibility, we know that our understanding of the universe is incomplete. What if under very specific conditions superluminal travel would be possible - say with wormholes? Then we'd need to recast our laws. And the paradoxes? Well, we'd see what happens I suppose. Like I said before, if we break certain assumptions about reality, many of these paradoxes can actually be easily solved.

Right, to your post, sorry about the diversion. Just trying to be as clear as possible (in my mind at least).

Particles that make up atoms deform space time. The particles are made of quarks that apparently don't deform space time by themselves. Is there enough gray area in the current understanding of the structure of the universe that I could reasonably say that individual quarks are dimensionless projections, from another dimension that contains space time, and that these quarks don't do anything until they join together to form particles that deform space time.
Now I know that quarks cannot be directly observed, only as part of composite particles. This comes about because the strong force that keeps quarks together is assumed to be asymptotic (is ~zero when the quarks are close to each other in a hadron, but grows exponentially as you try and separate them. And grows so fast, that you have to put so much energy to break the bond, that you create new quarks that 'cap the broken ends' and keep the split quarks in hadrons.) And that this behaviour seems to explain the results of our experiments in atom smashers such as CERN.

So the fractional charges and intrinsic masses that these quarks have must be assumed and taken from indirect measurements. Perhaps this is just a mathematical trick to explain some atom smashing results? So perhaps what you've outlined above could be possible.

However in defence of the standard model, quarks are still assumed to be fermions and thus have a whole lot of other properties in common with other fermions, such as electrons. Your dimensionless quarks seem to add a new layer of complexity to this. What is the thing that causes quarks to all of a sudden make mass? Why does it not apply to electrons?

However I understand that your purpose is to try to find a way to make faster than light communication somehow, not solve reality. :)

The individual projected "quarks" are programmed to be what they are and that information about their parameters is contained within the deformation of space time and is available instantly anywhere in the universes without any delays. The individual quarks programming has nothing to do with what happens after they join together to form particles. The particles are free to do what they want. That would avoid the possibility of everything being preset up and is a "movie" of a past, present, and future that can't be changed.

This scenario would be to set up a communication system that would appear to be faster than light.
Now getting aside from the problem of how we observe or produce a stable single quark. I'm not entirely sure what information can be encoded into a quark (is it like a designer quark?) or why it would, as a particle, be instantly available in the entire universe. Do we 'go up a dimension', a dimension that does not obey our physics, and then cause some process that imposes an entangled quark pair on the lower dimensions. (But if we can do that, why not just transmit the information in this higher dimension? Perhaps the act of using these higher dimensions causes an artefact of entangled pairs - it's not the cause of the transmission but the result of our lower universe trying to make sense of what we've asked it to do???)

I do agree, to get rid of a great deal of paradoxes that superluminal travel and communication could cause, that past and future could be unalterable. It's what I'm exploring in my WiP. ;):)

Hope the above helps.

EDIT: Was typing the above when @Brian G Turner gave his reply. Yes lots of SF devices use this property, but fundamentally I think they made the same mistake I made in the quote and can't work. So fine for hand-wavy Space Opera, but not for hard SF ;)
 

RJM Corbet

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Sorry guys: Leonard Suskind in the above video proposes that although information cannot be projected intact from one end of a wormhole to emerge from the other (faster than light), that two 'information particles' could be manipulated to meet each other at the mid-point of the wormhole.

Apparently not much can be done with the fact, as far as superluminal information transfer is concerned, but somehow a 'triple wormhole' could somehow theoretically enable a super-luminal information transfer, where two particles are manipulated to meet at a mid-point and then manifest at the exit.

Perhaps I need to watch it again, lol.

NB: Don't fear the math equations, they are not essential to understanding
 
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Robert Zwilling

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Thank you for the clarifications. This is very helpful. Trying to read about quarks only gives me information that leads away me from a centralized conclusion. A rabbit hole that is 8 miles wide with no end in sight. I am going to check out wormholes and strings to see how I might use them to "hook" things up. Can strings hook up to make a long string? If I was going to say that entanglement helps "form" space time, would the arrangement first be strings, then entanglement, resulting in space time?

The information the quarks show in my scenario are just the flavors and colors of the quarks. They wouldn't be carrying or transmitting any other information. The combination of quarks would create a code from the flavors and colors the quarks are, that would "spell out things" which would be seen in the deformed space time that surrounds the object. I'm looking at it like the quarks are writing their composition on the bubble walls of space time that surround the object the quarks make up. Which opens another rabbit hole. Are the space time deformations set up like each atom has a bubble it sits in, then each clump sits in a bubble and then all the clumps together ( for example Earth) sits in one big bubble. Or there is there just one big bubble Earth sits in that contains all the particles so that there is no sub bubble structure. I would like to set it up so there would be bubbles within bubbles type structure. Or am I making the space time deformation too literal to fit the model.

any change to any particles at one source will collapse the wave function at the other source
Does this mean that the entanglement connection disappears? Is this like saying an entanglement is 1, and no entanglement is 0? Once an entanglement is broken, can it be restablished?

In the story there would be a mass of something, guess it would weigh a couple of pounds, that automatically creates entangled particles which would be used to make things. Like the goose that lays the golden eggs. People would be chasing after the entanglement goose.
 

CTRandall

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Here's an article that helps explain some of the funkier things about entanglement and, towards the end, discusses one possible reason why quantum effects look weird to us yet don't really break any rules. Be warned: this ups the freakiness by discussing temporaly nonlocal particles, i.e. particles that are entangled despite the fact that they exist at different points in time. Here's a quote:

"Just a spoonful of relativity helps the spookiness go down, though. In developing his theory of special relativity, Einstein deposed the concept of simultaneity from its Newtonian pedestal. As a consequence, simultaneity went from being an absolute property to being a relative one. There is no single timekeeper for the Universe; precisely when something is occurring depends on your precise location relative to what you are observing, known as your frame of reference. So the key to avoiding strange causal behaviour (steering the future or rewriting the past) in instances of temporal separation is to accept that calling events ‘simultaneous’ carries little metaphysical weight. It is only a frame-specific property, a choice among many alternative but equally viable ones – a matter of convention, or record-keeping.

The lesson carries over directly to both spatial and temporal quantum nonlocality. Mysteries regarding entangled pairs of particles amount to disagreements about labelling, brought about by relativity. Einstein showed that no sequence of events can be metaphysically privileged – can be considered more real – than any other."

Discuss...
 

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I've watched it again. He seems to be saying that if two black holes A and B are entangled (via a wormhole) at a distance from one another, the way to move someone named Charlie from A to B is thus:

Throw Charlie into black hole A.
Charlie is now entangled with both A and B.

Next DEFINE A.

This 'collapses the wave function' of the entanglement and 'snips' the wormhole..

This means that the wormhole has 'closed up' and Charlie is now stranded with no way back home behind the event horizon of black hole B -- which can be in a different galaxy.

The task now is to extract and reconstruct Charlie from black hole B. In effect Charlie pops out of the wormhole at B.

This amounts to instantaneous quantum telrportation.

But it supposes the ability to reconstruct Charlie from the black hole B. Which isn't possible. So it's just a mental game, really.
 
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Robert Zwilling

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Thanks for the The Wire tip, it has a lot articles worth reading, none of them appear to be without consequences.
particles that are entangled despite the fact that they exist at different points in time.
The funkier things about entanglement was like a comic relief. A quick summary for me is that the problem of things happening faster than light can be easily be explained now. Time is not constant, so the starting time for an entanglement event can be happening before or after the entanglement event actually happens. So what appears to be happening at the same exact time is not happening at the same time because it's not the same time frame for the supposedly instantaneous events. I could visualize it as if time was washing ashore like the tides, it comes ashore, goes back out, comes ashore again. The waters edge represents the fluidity of time as the universes inhales and exhales, changing the stationary goalposts into moving targets. The entangled golf course would have the holes moving around the whole time the golf tournament was running and the distances from the tee to the hole would also be fluctuating. The only fixed thing would be walking between those points.
 

RJM Corbet

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Once an entanglement is broken, can it be restablished?
This is part of the Copenhagen vs Everett debate. Copenhagen says that once the 'wave function is collapsed' and the cat is revealed to be either alive or dead, that is permanently irreversible. Everett says it is possible to reverse the process back along the timeline and bring the cat back to life?

I think.

In case of the black holes mentioned above, they can be two already entangled 'things' -- A and B -- located apart in distant galaxies from one another, that are collapsed to make black holes, to demonstrate how Charlie's information can be teleported from A to to B?

Sort of ... I think ...
 
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CTRandall

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the problem of things happening faster than light can be easily be explained now
I think that's pushing it a bit far. Having a different sense of time based on your frame of reference doesn't mean that time is completely fluid, nor does it solve faster-than-light problems. Light's velocity is, after all, measured in metres-per-second. Seconds may stretch or squish but they are still there and still limiting speed.

I'm not a physicist but I suspect it's more likely that taking "frame of reference" into account can help resolve apparent violations of speed limits and reveal how some phenomena do indeed comply, despite appearances to the contrary.
 
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