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FQXi BLOGS
August 23, 2019

CATEGORY: Blog [back]
TOPIC: Quantum of Love [refresh]
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Blogger William Orem wrote on Jul. 15, 2009 @ 18:21 GMT


Earlier this summer I heard a piece on NPR – generally known for fine science reportage -- that suggested two people in love may be in a state of macroscopic quantum entanglement. Through this entanglement, the positive sentiment that one person evinces can bring about measurable physiological changes in the other.

What a charming idea! . . . But no.

Not to skew the conversation, but I wanted to get my cards on the table right off. In the studies referred to, a woman sits inside a closed room while her partner sits in another. When the partner sees her picture flash on a screen he thinks loving thoughts. Within two seconds of that emotive state, the test subject in the room experiences changes in such physical parameters as blood pressure, skin conductivity and perspiration. QED.

Well . . . I doubt it. But even if I’m wrong, there are various reasons a QM interpretation can’t be right. The first that comes to mind is that “entanglement” is a fragile condition that only applies to microscopic systems that have yet to decohere (although . . .). Enormous objects like people sitting in rooms can’t (thus far) be described in quantum terms. To say it another way, the woman sitting in the chair is sending all kinds of data about her state, all the time. Her various information-bearing collisions with the surroundings, from the simple thermal background the scoop of spacetime she is distorting to the very fact that an experimenter is watching, immediately collapse whatever wavefunctions we might choose to describe her state. It’s not even clear that a conscious system *could* experience superposition, even if you could super-isolate all its atoms it in some way without immediately killing it.

Granted, some credible thinkers take the quantum approach to consciousness seriously, and maybe there’s something in what brains do that will be explained by what waves do. But this looks like a classic (although not classical, ha-ha) instance of folks using terms like “entangled” and “uncertainty” and “spooky action” in ways that don’t apply. Readers of this blog know that’s a pet peeve . . .

From the article:

# # #

"So how do you explain this? No one really knows. But Radin and a few others think that a theory known as "quantum entanglement" may offer some clues.

Here's how it works. Once two particles have interacted, if you separate them, even by miles, they behave as if they're still connected. So far, this has only been demonstrated on the subatomic level.

But Radin wonders: Could people in close relationships — couples, siblings, parent and child — also be "entangled"? Not just emotionally, and psychologically — but also physically?

'If it is true that entanglement actually persists, by means of which we don't understand," he says, "if they are physically entangled, you should be able to separate them, poke one, and see the other one flinch.'"

# # #

As I said, it’s an appealing idea. Still, entanglement has nothing to do with positive affect, other than a certain metaphorical suggestiveness in the name. If Schroedinger had named it ‘quantum clinginess’ or ‘quantum codependency’ we probably wouldn’t confuse it with love.

And there are good reasons entanglement has only been demonstrated on the subatomic level (actually the atomic level), though researchers are producing larger and larger entangled states all the time. Still, the fact that this story ran on NPR itched at me. (Full disclosure: I write from time to time for A Moment of Science, a popular science radio show that runs on various NPR-affiliate stations.) And the article makes strong claims:

# # #

"After running 36 couples through this test, the researchers found that when one person focused his thoughts on his partner, the partner's blood flow and perspiration dramatically changed within two seconds. The odds of this happening by chance were 1 in 11,000. Three dozen double blind, randomized studies by such institutions as the University of Washington and the University of Edinburgh have reported similar results."

# # #

Thirty-six double blind studies showed this happening? Out of curiosity I contacted Washington but couldn’t find out who was doing this work; chime in if you have.

To be sure, the All Things Considered article includes a splash from Columbia University’s Richard Sloan:

# # #

"This idea — that we may be connected at some molecular level — echoes the words of mystics down the ages. And it appeals to some scientists.

But it infuriates others — like Columbia University's Sloan. The underlying idea is wrong, he says. Entanglement just doesn't work this way.

"'Physicists are very clear that the relationship is purely correlational and not causal," Sloan says. "There is nothing causal about quantum entanglement. It's good to be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out.'"

# # #

Amen. More importantly, though, this sort of claim obscures the fact that there really is something philosophically deep about quantum entanglement. It’s a real phenomenon, as we’ve known since the first half of the last century. Could we use it build unbreakable quantum cryptography in *this* century? Infinitely fast processors? Quantum teleporters?

And then come the Foundational questions: Does quantum entanglement make possible superluminal information transfer—which means, from some inertial frames, sending messages backward in time? Does it suggest that the separation between particles—even their vast separation--is only apparent? If so, does *that* suggest that space itself is, in some sense, illusory?

Whatever your feeling about nonlocality, hidden variables and the like, none of those possibilities is off the table right now. And that’s plenty.



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Matt Leifer wrote on Jul. 15, 2009 @ 21:51 GMT
The interpretation of this result in terms of entanglement is obviously wrong, because it contradicts previous rigorous research on the quantum properties of people. As was convincingly demonstrated in this preprint, only women exhibit quantum behavior, and we can therefore conclude that entanglement can only play a role in lesbian relationships (and only if both parties have consumed a lot of mushrooms).

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paul valletta wrote on Jul. 15, 2009 @ 23:11 GMT
What are the observation paramiters used in the test? If one looks at observation, this is a 3-Dimensional physical process. QM asks that you try and transfer the observation paramiters from a 3-D macro environment down to a 2-D micro environment. This is where intepretations are blurred?

Observation occurs in a 3-D realm, but QM is occuring only within 2-D realms! if you measure something in a 3-D spacetime, there is distance available, this is actually one cconsequence of the proces of obsevation in 3-D. There is no comparable distance in a less than 3-D environment, thus there is never any distance paramiters available to observers residing within a higher dimensionsl platform?

You cannot detect a 3-D entity/bit, from a 3-D veiwpoint.

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Chuck Sweet wrote on Jul. 16, 2009 @ 00:35 GMT
The more likely explaination is telempathy: Empathy at a distance. Since the brain works on electrical signals, induced by chemical states, and the chemical states affected by electrical activity, it is easy to see that if two individuals who are in love Could actually be on the same "wavelength." If this is the case, then the focused unconcious sending of one individual would affect their partner by electrical activity forming electromagnetic waves of some sort to the other and that affecting the partner's chemical state.

In order for there to be a Love Quantum then there would have to be proven that there are quantum states for various emotions, and we are Barely able to prove that certain Chemical and Electrical interactions have something to do with emotions, let alone be able to quantify those emotions to begin with as emotions and the strengths of them presently depend on the individual feeling the emotions in question to describe them, from their biased viewpoint, in our very imprecise language.

So rather than say that they are entangled, I would rather say that they are attuned to each other instead, and thus this experiment is more of a proof of classical empathy at a distance between a pair of finely tuned individuals. Further, since women seem to tend to be more open to allowing their emotions to affect them than men, who tend to repress their emotions due to social constraints, it would be natural for the women in the experiment to show more of such an effect than the men. Generally speaking of course, as all pairs of couples differ. It would be enteresting to see the same experiment conducted with gay couples, of long standing, of both sexes just to see what differences or similarities there may be compared to heterosexual couples.

The same relationship may well be present in family units where the parents 'know' something is wrong with their children even before the bad news phone call.....I know my mom had this sense as I could never get away with anything, and she always seemed to know before I even got home that something was wrong, and even into adulthood, she and I tended to know when and where the other was in heavy pain, as we would feel each other's pain, although mirror imaged in ourselves compared to the origination in the other.

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Peter Morgan wrote on Jul. 16, 2009 @ 01:03 GMT
I was interested that Sloan suggests that "Physicists are very clear that the relationship is purely correlational and not causal". This is quite an operational attitude to quantum theory that is not as typically true of most Physicists as it used to be. Such an operational approach removes a common demand that is placed before psychic cranks by scientists, that they must demonstrate a causal model for correlations, for example to show that the correlations are not "accidental", always assuming that statistically significant correlations are observed for experiments of a psychic kind.

If the empirical data fits an n-dimensional Hilbert space model under the Born rule fairly accurately, then the data is quantum, in that sense, to the extent of whatever accuracy is deemed acceptable. This makes no claim that the state evolves under a Schrodinger equation, nor that there will be every other feature that is typical of Quantum models in Physics. Planck's constant, which is an important dimensionful scale in Physics, likely plays no part, in particular. Of course a classical random variable model for the statistics may also be possible, at some level of accuracy and significance, potentially undermining the significance of whatever quantum models are of sufficient accuracy to be of some use and interest.

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jul. 16, 2009 @ 16:33 GMT
The idea of quantum consciousness is probably hogwash. Brains and neural tissue are warm and full of thermal decoherent physics. The notion got going by Penrose back in 1989 or so, and all sorts of speculations about microtubules as quantum conduits were spun off.

The apparent nonlocality of emotions is probably due to subtle visual cues and body language. The mouth and lips are high inervated with sensitively controlled muscles. Look at the humumculous diagram of what parts of the body are controlled by what parts of the brain. The lips look enormous. So sublte changes in expression are registered by a human observer. We may not be fully aware of them at the time, and sense these as "vibes" from the other person. The nonlocal effect is then most likely an illusion of sorts.

Lawrence B. Crowell

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Jul. 17, 2009 @ 14:42 GMT
LOCOMOTION NUTRITION REPRODUCTION ..................EVOLUTION COMPLEXIFICATION

On the other side if we consider what all is linked since the begining of the big polarization,indeed in the ultim quantum architecture and its fields some very strong forces are foundamentals .

If we take the universal link and the harmonization of complementarity ,thus we can extrapolate the love like a foundamental ,but an universal love ,

Between two humans it's totally different ,an attraction is indeed a reality due to our hormons .

What I beleive interesting is the polarization (sense of rot)but I think it's more complex about the love between a man and a woman .....if some wavelenghts are correlated thus in attraction correlated with the sense too (el part)thus we can made a model,

but these interactions are near the very very weak interactions on Earth where many parameters interact between animals vegetals minerals thus it's impossible.

There are somethings which are like they are .The Universal love and the love between two persons ...hihihi one is easier than an other lol .

Friendly

Steve

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Ray Munroe wrote on Jul. 18, 2009 @ 19:28 GMT
LOL Steve,

Leave it up to our resident Biologist/ Botonist/ Geologist Steve Dufourny to explain the "birds and the bees" to the Quantum Physicists.

I think entanglement could be related to many worlds and hidden variables, but we shouldn't extrapolate too far when simpler explainations (such as hormones) work perfectly well in most applications.

Next week, someone will probably blaim the fall of the world economy on entanglement...

Have Fun!

Dr. Cosmic Ray

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Jul. 19, 2009 @ 09:57 GMT
Hi Dr Cosmic Ray ,

Happy to see you again .

I think the same ,our hormons ,amino acids ,proteins,enzyms are well like that .

Lol an the economy and its entanglement now ,a main central spheres and its codes ....some superimposings of algorythms with some cryptographic codes and a specific information created with some very weak errors.

A oriented architecture for economy and business ,lotus ,SOA,....,tivoli ....,rational ,unix ....the datas centers and the codes ,the informations and the methodology like a perfect operator mode .Hard ware middle ware and software ....Step one ....the computer and its laws under the sun and its moon and the humans the eyes in the sky .

friendly

Steve

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Lawrence B. Crowell wrote on Jul. 20, 2009 @ 03:04 GMT
We might suppose that a nuclear war could start with quantum entanglement. You put the state of some logic gates in the C^3 architecture in an entanglement with another state. You do the typical pi/2 rotation and teleport your q-bit through the EPR pair and set the C^3 system to start WWIII. Eary right? Not really, for without a classical key things would be garbled, and your intended command will not be executed. Whew!, the world saved by quantum mechanics because there is no entanglement of love.

Lawrence B. Crowell

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Steve Dufourny wrote on Jul. 20, 2009 @ 18:22 GMT
And after the WW3 WW4 the strings attack ....and BOUM

The next conference will be and the winner is ....and the team is and the strategy is ....all between imaginaries and reals and the quest of the notoriety ....a big joke .

Conclusion ,the stupidity is the big human invention and the most incredible ,some people try to proof that waww WW end .

Steve

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