Spooky Action at A Distance

Spooky Action at A Distance

The Phenomenon That Reimagines Space and Time--and What It Means for Black Holes, the Big Bang, and Theories of Everything

Book - 2015 | First edition.
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What is space? It isn't a question that most of us normally stop to ask. Space is the venue of physics; it's where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time. The phenomenon-the ability of one particle to affect another instantly across the vastness of space-appears to be almost magical. Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn't quite resolve it, describing it as "spooky action at a distance." But this strange occurrence has direct connections to black holes, particle collisions, and even the workings of gravity. If space isn't what we thought it was, then what is it?In Spooky Action at a Distance, George Musser sets out to answer that question, offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to understand it. Musser guides us on an epic journey of scientific discovery into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers discovering galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. Their conclusions challenge our understanding not only of space and time but of the origins of the universe-and their insights are spurring profound technological innovation and suggesting a new grand unified theory of physics.
Publisher: New York :, Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux,, 2015.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780374298517
Characteristics: 286 pages : illustrations


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Jan 05, 2019

I'm SO let down by this book. It is a run-through of others words and theories. The author never commits to any decision on non-locality. This strikes me as cowardice in the extreme.

SO sad...

Apr 23, 2018

The title comes from a phrase that Einstein himself used to describe physical phenomena that seem to break all the rules of the known universe. This is science that reads like Sci-Fi. "Entangled" particles act upon one another regardless of distance, physical matter escapes from a black hole, galaxies exert impossible influences apparently since before the Big Bang... The various manifestations of "nonlocality" in theoretical physics have spawned decades of debate among some of the world's greatest scientific minds, and may lead to the conclusion (a chapter title in Musser's book, in fact) that "Spacetime is doomed." If you enjoy a mind-blowing experience in radical but real science, in which every few pages sends your head spinning at the possibilities, you have found it! (Or maybe it has always been close to you in a parallel universe...)

Dec 13, 2016

A great review of physicists' attempts to discover what space is, focusing on the concept of non-locality, sometimes referenced as quantum entanglement. The author does a historical review of action at a distance in the introduction, spends a chapter or two describing non-locality and the debates in the early part of the 20th century, and devotes the rest of the book to discussing advances over the last several decades.
He makes it clear that I can never hope to understand the deeper issues, but his presentation is quite lucid and with a fair amount of humor. The footnotes and bibliography occupy nearly 1/4 of the book.
I recommend this book to anybody with even a passing interest in the subject.

Oct 14, 2016

Looks at the past, current and future debate on nonlocality in physics. Well written, this is more of a philosophical look at what reality could be then actual provable science. Nonetheless it is enjoyable and thought provoking. Worth reading if you are interested.

Dec 12, 2015

I love this guy! ! ! !
Does a fantastic job of explaining nonlocality [ya know, quantum entaglement, how a particle with either one type of spin or charge - - at the other end of the Universe - - flips to balance a particle which is altered - - at the opposite end of the Universe - - some call it Magic, some call it Weird, some call it Magically Weird!].
Remember, think local, Imagine Nonlocal! [The one point I wish to make - - which detracts nothing from this book - - is that I believe that Bell's Theorem, or his experiment postulated - - proved superentanglement, not fundamental quantum entaglement, something it took me many years to grasp. Yup, it's that . . . May the Force Be With You . . . thing again. . .]
Of course, if super entanglement exists, does causality actually exist? ? ?

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