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What is the name of instantaneous communications of quantum particles?

There was a show on TV about quantum physics, I think narrated by Brian Greene. In one part he described instantaneous, faster than light communications between two particles and he named the person that came up with the theory that everything is connected. What was the term he used for this instant communication and what was the name of the person that came up with that connection theory?
Although quantum entanglement is a valid answer to the first part of my question, I’m not sure it’s the correct answer. In the TV program the explanation implied a universal connectiveness by the originator of the theory and some people have tried to use this person’s theory to point to an intelligence at that level. I’m looking for more information about this universal connectiveness, not FTL communications.

5 COMMENTS

  1. The name perhaps has been given by Scythian1. What I would like to point out here that the phase velocity of the individual waves making the wavepacket for the particle indeed comes out to be higher than velocity of light. The velocity of light limit is for the group velocity of the wave packet.

  2. This would be due to Quantum Entanglement of States. Physical systems have states (specific information which describe the energy, momentum, spin, etc…of a system) For example an Electron will have a spin and a magnetic moment associated with its spin. Until we take a measurement, all that we know for certain is that the electron may be in a superposition of quantum states (spin up + spin down). Once we take a measurement we disturb the system and one of the wave functions (or quantum states) collapses (refer to Copenhagen, Hidden Variables and Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics for some interesting viewpoints on reality). The electron will be forced to be either in spin up or spin down.
    The idea of Quantum Entanglement is to manipulate two systems to get their quantum states entangled (or linked). So if we have two electrons whose quantum states are entangled, and we subject one of the electrons to a magnetic field to measure its spin forcing it to be either spin up or spin down, the second electron, no matter how far away from the first electron whose quantum states are entangled with the first electron, will instantaneously be forced into a particular quantum state (spin up or spin down). This makes for some very interesting thought (gendanken) experiments concerning information theory. Because until recently information could not possibley travel faster than c (speed of light in a vaccuum). c is the group velocity of a wave packet of light (photon). It is also the speed at which gravitational waves travel. (Up until Einstein came up with his General and Special Theory(s) of Relativity: Physicists thought that the effects of gravitational forces between two or more bodies occurs instantanesously: Einstein dismissed information traveling instantanesously as “spooky action” at a distance.) It seems that he was both right and wrong…there is a “spooky action”, it just involves changes in quantum states.

  3. Refer to the previous answer – quantum entanglement.
    I would just like to add, that contrary to your question, communication cannot be propagated instantaneously – only random, observable interactions, so far – but further study is being done as I write this as to possible applications of this phenomenon. (So far, there’s just too many arbitrary factors and “loop holes” in the present theories, however, experiments are ongoing to develop a better understanding.)
    Thus far, the speed of light is holding strong as the fastest possible transmission of any communication.
    The theory was originally developed in 1900 by Max Planck.

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