A chemist friend of mine who enjoys dabbling in frontier physics sent me this note:
Subject: Are you and your sweetie simply “entangled?
Suskind is at it again! Banging entangled particles together and creating new FTL wormy apples. I somehow think old Albert might get spooked and ask God to roll the dice again.
The news account at the link describes an attempt to find a connection between general relativity, Einstein’s great theory of gravitation and space-time, and quantum mechanics, our wonderful, precise, accurate, and mysterious theory of the microscopic world. The attempt is by physicist Leonard Susskind, a well-known, serious thinker, not afraid to speculate beyond the frontier of knowledge.
I’d say that all physicists believe that there must be an unknown quantum theory of gravitation, a quantum mechanical version of general relativity. In this theory, we suppose that space and time will be quantized. There will be smallest intervals of time and separations in space. These are really, really small. I mean, really, really, really small. There are other remarkable phenomena possible too.
Susskind tries to connect relativity and quantum theory by combining entangled particles, black holes and worm holes. Entanglement refers to the peculiar connectedness of separated particles under special conditions. You and our readers can read the article at the link for more.
As my correspondent is up on these matters, as least as far as possible from popular physics books, I didn’t explain them further in my reply, below.
As for the question in your subject, the answer is yes.
Susskind, and the other guy, Maldecena, are serious, creative, and entertaining physicists, so I thank you for sending this reference.
Einstein’s equations for general relativity are 10 non-linear partial differential equations. As with all differential equations there are lots of solutions, and you use initial conditions, boundary conditions, or other conditions or principles to eliminate the solutions that do not apply to your case.
General relativity is the same, but having 10 nonlinear equations means that there are really a lot of solutions. The Schwartzchild metric, which applies to spherical masses such as the Sun, is an example of a solution. Spherical distribution of mass, goes to zero at infinity, and so on.
So far, a hundred years of relativity has led to this: every solution that physicists can figure out and check by observation and experiment has proven correct. The prediction of black holes, for example, or the bending of light by gravitation, or the advance of the perihelion of Mercury. Even the recent observation of gravitational waves, an amazing experimental tour de force.
But, physicists have also found strange solutions. As far back as the 1930s time-like loops were discovered, under peculiar circumstances. Time-like loop is technical lingo for traveling around in space-time and ending up at the same time at which you began. Well, physicists believe that you can’t go back in time to kill your grandfather. So they think there must be some principle that should justify eliminating such solutions. I think that worm hole type solutions, which are there, likely have some reason they should be pruned too, but neither I nor anyone else can see what that is.
Relativity includes solutions with rips, discontinuities, holes, and so on, in space-time. No one has seen such things (except in the recent movie Interstellar).
As for Alice and Bob, and their two pairs of entangled particles, the key to maintaining entanglement is to eliminate interaction with the environment. I wonder how Alice can compress her two parts of the two pairs into a black hole without messing up their entanglement? The same for Bob.
Alice and Bob, by the way, arose in the world of cryptography, and now carry out research in entangled particles. They are good physicists, and have appeared as uncredited researchers in many papers. As an exercise for you, who is the third researcher, a bad guy, who persistently tries to intercept and decipher their communication?
My correspondent replied to my question:
You must be referring to Adam’s unentangled sweetie, Eve.
Adam is not known as a physicist or cryptographer, but his smarter sweetie, Eve, is.
Still, she is not among the usual third characters, all of whose names begin with C.
From the Wikipedia article Alice and Bob, you will learn that the third cryptographer, who may be a curious eavesdropper or a nefarious spy, is usually Carol.
There are a few other C names too.
Eve is among the cryptographic research staff, but Adam is not. He is not known for intellectual pursuits, but earned his bread with the “sweat of his brow.” (Gen 3:19) Adam was working man. Would he have been a Trump supporter? He was from the Middle East, not the mid-West, where all those Trump voters supposedly nurse their hurt feelings. It’s strange, Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge, yet today he scorns experts and other knowledgeable people.