So here’s a turn-up for the books. It turns out that you don’t just get entanglement between individual photons. You can get entanglement between millions of photons simultaneously, all of them within a single object (although not necessarily so).
Sounds like cods-wollop right? What am I, or the scientists who figured this out, smoking here? If you want to know more, check out the research here. But this sounds so esoteric that you could validly ask whether anyone is sane who is even giving this research the time of day.
Well I’m one of those weird people. I’ve posted several times on the issue of entanglement and its implications, most recently with this post: “Quantum economics – can 2 (or more) minds be entangled?” The thesis is that not only can we get quantum effects at the biological level; itself until very recently a heretical idea, but that even brains can be entangled. That means they are communicating in some shape of form.
But this latest research takes this idea one giant step further. Its implications are far-ranging. First it means that teleportation might be possible, at least in its weak form – i.e., not that the object itself is teleported, including all its atoms, but that the state of the object is teleported such that it exactly copies the behaviors of the entangled object, even at different ends of the universe.
And it’s another source of support for the idea that brains can be entangled, not just at the atomic level, but at the macro-neural level. So in principle brains in one part of the universe could be entangled with brains at the other end. So those doughty Mars explorers sent there in an Elon Musk spaceship could literally be on exactly the same wavelength with their controllers back at the ranch in Houston.
This highlights another perspective. Social science is the study of people together, in collectives defined in various ways; sociology, economics, social psychology, anthropology and so on. These have all been seen at many times as the “soft” or even the ‘softer” sciences.
But if entanglement works at the level of the brain, as the new research suggests it might, then social science can be viewed as the study of entangled brains. Then we’re just looking at the various angles of entanglement – their financial, social, collaborative and so-on effects. Now social science shifts into the realm of “hard” science, or maybe the “harder’ sciences and even the “hardest” sciences.
This suggests that the social sciences would all have to adopt new and different approaches, although I’m not suggesting that they drop the old ones. This has already started to happen in some senses. Economics now has a new offspring, neuroeconomics and its siblings, behavioral economics and behavioral finance. How about neurosociology? Of course we already have neuromarketing. But now we need to add MRI studies to the mix of approaches in all the social science disciplines as has been underway for some time.
But that’s just the start. This new finding suggests that social scientists would need to understand some of the theory and approaches to quantum mechanics. Remember, we’re not just restricted to non-biological systems any more. No longer are humans and biology off-limits. We now need to study non-traditional and non-classical ways of communicating. In the old days it was speech, writing, body language and expressions. Now we need to study quantum communications, together with entanglement and uncertainty, not to mention any other weird and bizarre quantum mechanism yet to be found by the physicists, such as the Casimir Effect (please don’t ask)..
Do we need to change the vocabulary of the academic subjects underlying the social sciences? It’s now fashionable to add “neuro” to subjects to show that they are up-to-date and relevant. Neuro-diversity anyone?
But maybe “neuro” is already past its due-date. Maybe the newly fashionable title should be “quantum”. I’ve already added quantum economics. How about quantum sociology? Quantum psychology? Quantum diversity? Is this comedy or the future? Macro-entanglement moves us away from the comedy side.
This might sound all too far-fetched. But we now know for example that bird navigation uses quantum effects and the suspicion is that birds communicate with each other partly through these effects (e.g. the wheeling behavior of birds as they follow each other instantaneously while they are flying in flocks in vast formations).
So maybe some of this entanglement needs to be studied in animals first, maybe even insects which are likely to be easier to study. Do insects have entangled brains too? Seems likely if you think that birds do.
Now I’m sure that many of the readers of this blog feel that I’m taking my usual outré approach to shock them and I’m not really serious. But, you know, the world changes, sometimes very fast. It pays to be alert.
Some time ago I posted on evolution and how it appears that Darwin was wrong on much of it (“Was Darwin wrong? Why it matters”). In that I referred to Samuel Arbesman’s book “The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date”. As I pointed out in the post “All scientific knowledge is time-stamped. It will only be true until we find it’s false”.
In the social sciences, as in everything else, we’re getting terribly close to the next revolution.
Better be ready.