Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Quantum Entanglement test for Sentience

Quantum Entanglement was called "spooky action at a distance" by Einstein. For example you can "split" a photon and create two entangled photons, separate them by a great distance, and then what happens to one happens instantly to the other. "Instantly" means faster than it would take information traveling at the speed of light to get from one to the other.

What is interesting for us today is that the "happening" is done by a conscious mind. A photographic plate is examined, a phase filter is set, etc. In every article I've seen, the conscious mind is a human mind.

For purposes of this argument we'll call humans sentient. And we'll say the collapse/resolution of the quantum state is due to examination by a sentient being.

So here is my question. What if you trained an animal to "examine" the quantum state? Maybe with different lights for the state being up/down, and the rat or the bird or the dog has to push a lever to indicate they have "seen" the resolution one way or the other.

If the animal mind does cause the state to collapse, then do we say the animal is sentient? Or is it simply that being able to collapse a quantum state is not proof of sentience?

If the animal does not collapse the state then it is easier to say they are not sentient.

1 comment:

  1. Huw Price has shown -- if the macroworld (human) concept of a time-direction deriving from the thermodynamic behavior or large bodies simply does not exist in the microworld of individual quantum particles -- that ideas like "quantum entanglement" "nonlocality" and "wave-collapse" are misguided concepts. He shows how this works simply in the case of EPR in his book from 1996 and also here:

    The world is really simpler than the quantum-entanglers ans wave-collapsers would have you believe, if he is right.