Quantum Entanglement Explained

by Nancy Atkinson on February 18, 2014

Confused by how particles can be in two places at once? Wondering how particles can instantly communicate with each other no matter what the distance? Quantum physics is a field of study that defies common sense at every turn, and quantum entanglement might lead the way in the defying common sense department. Entanglement is the unusual behavior of elementary particles where they become linked so that when something happens to one, something happens to the other; no matter how far apart they are. This bizarre behavior of particles that become inextricably linked together is what Einstein supposedly called “spooky action at a distance.”

This new video from PHD Comics provides a combination of live action and animation to try to explain entanglement.

“Not surprisingly, it was really hard to draw this video,” says animator Jorge Cham. “How do you depict something that has never existed before? And more importantly, do you draw alligators differently from crocodiles?”
Yes, that sentence actually makes sense when it comes to entanglement. And the advice at the end of the video from physicist Jeff Kimble is applicable to entanglement — and life in general — as well: “If you know what you’re doing, don’t do it…”

A frame from the 'Quantum Entanglement Animated' video, via QuantumFrontiers.com

A frame from the ‘Quantum Entanglement Animated’ video, via QuantumFrontiers.com


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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