Q: If all matter originated from a single point, does that mean all matter is entangled?

The original question was: All matter originated from a single point, does that mean all matter is entangled? If it is why do you need to create new entangled practices when doing experiments? Are there different types or degree’s of entanglement?


Physicist: There are absolutely different degrees of entanglement!

The degree you usually hear about are “maximally entangled states”, but basically everything is a little entangled. Not because of the big bang, but because every-day interactions generate and break a little entanglement all the time. Entanglement has a lot in common with correlation: if you know something about one thing, you’ll know something about the things it’s correlated with.

Correlations crop up all the time when things interact. For example, if you leave your car in a parking lot and come back to find a dent with a little red paint in it, then you know that somewhere nearby is a red car with another dent.  The random things about your dent (the height above the ground, the severity, etc.) will be similar to those properties of the corresponding dent on the other car.  You and a damnable ne’er-do-well have correlated cars because looking at the dent on one tells you something about the dent on the other; not because they have a spooky cosmic connection, but because they physically ran into each other. Entanglement is a little more subtle (what with all the quantum mechanics), but not a hell of a lot more subtle. Nothing fancy.

Just to be over-precise, when we say that things are entangled what we really mean is that some of their properties are entangled.  For example, the polarization of two photons might be entangled while their positions are not, or vice versa.

The homogeneity of the universe (the “more-or-less-the-same-everywhere-ness” of the universe) is often cited as evidence that all the matter in the very early universe briefly had a chance to mix around, but that doesn’t have too much of an impact on entanglement. There’s something called “monogamy of entanglement” that says that maximally entangled qubits only appear in pairs, and maximally entangled states are the ones that really do interesting things. This can be generalized a bit to say “the more entangled two things are, the less they’re entangled with anything else”. Unfortunately, in order for such a pair to persist until today it would need to be left almost entirely unharrassed by everything else for billions of years. However, if the universe is anything, it’s old and messy.  The entanglement we (people) create on purpose requires careful isolation and control of the stuff in question.

Even worse, if you have access to only one entangled particle, there’s no way to tell that it’s entangled. All of the fancy effects you hear about entanglement always require both, or at least most, of the entangled particles.

So you (every bit of you) can be entangled with other stuff in the universe (you kinda have to be). Entanglement is generated and broken by interactions, so you’re more entangled with stuff that’s nearby (in an astronomical sense). But most importantly, it doesn’t matter; random atomic-scale correlations are a lot like random atomic-scale noise.

Even less exciting, if you (personally) are the thing that’s entangled, your experience is entirely ordinary; the thing you’re entangled with will always be in a single state (from your point of view). All of the fancy experiments we do with entangled particle always involve particles being entangled with each other, because when they become entangled with the person doing the experiment it looks like “wave function collapse” (suddenly it appears to be in only one state) and that’s boring. Similarly, if you and a distant alien are entangled it does not mean you have a spooky connection (groovy, spiritual, or otherwise), it means that they will already be in a single state (from you mutual points of view) before you ever meet each other.

Which is exactly the sort of thing you’d never notice.

This entry was posted in -- By the Physicist, Physics, Quantum Theory. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Q: If all matter originated from a single point, does that mean all matter is entangled?

  1. Flavian Popa says:

    Happy New Year Physicist!

    Nice post, I would have one question: I recently stumbled across one idea of a great physicist, Nassim Haramein, stating all is entangled through the vacuum, and that everything is sort of an infinite array of black holes at different scales from micro-cosmos to macro cosmos. Now left alone any meta physical speculation about this preached connectedness, how do you consider it? Would it be relevant if we had access to the “singularity” to retrieve information from no matter what corner of the Universe in the twinkle of an eye? Since all would be correlated, that is, entangled

    Thanks a lot and all the best throughout 2015!

  2. Miske says:

    There is no such thing as a single point. Singularity does not exist in nature/cosmos. It is contrary to human reason. It is a mathematical fiction. Only a very very small volume can exist, but finite. The creators of black holes theory are now calling them brown, and are trying to develop a quantum theory of gravity. Zero is a mathematical tool that originated, they say, from India. To old Greek and Roman philosophers the existence of zero was, in my mind rightfully, contrary to reason. Once we settle the question of Big Bang originating from zero volume or extremely small but finite volume, then we can discuss all other aspects of the origin of Cosmos.
    Dark energy is a proof that even the “Einsteinian vacuum”, whereas all values were zero was also a misconception.

  3. Matter is formed by objects that curve space. This ranges from elementary particles to galaxies. Entanglement involves the elementary particles. They are often considered to be point-like particles. As long as is not known how these point-like particles can curve their surrounding continuum it is not possible to say anything smart about the relation with entanglement. Only suggestions exist about how curvature is established. Quite probably the process of embedding the point-like object into the surrounding continuum does the job. This can be comprehended when the embedding itself is very short lived and reoccurs with a very high frequency at nearby locations. Each embedding occurrence is supposed to cause the emission of a spherical wave front at the embedding location. The wave front keeps proceeding, but its amplitude quickly diminishes as 1/r with distance r from the emission source. This is indicated by the gravitation potential. The continuum is curved likewise.
    In this way a swarm of individual embedding locations is generated. These locations may be involved in entanglement.

  4. Marceli says:

    Can be laser beam use for quantum entanglement communication on very long distance as to Mars to make it fast?

  5. meraj says:

    simply dear,

    point (.) is itself a line, a greatest circle.

    A line will never be visible if mixing of dots not occured.
    ……………………………… ________________
    a point (.) is always vaccume and cann’t be filled.

  6. ravenwood says:

    If you and a distant alien are entangled that does not mean that nothing “spooky” is going on. No, it only means that some of your properties and the alien’s properties are connected instantaneously across (perhaps) billions of light years and that the strength of the connection is not in any way decreased by that distance. Of course, we should never derive any excitement from this or think it is amazing or intriguing or out-of-the-ordinary or make us want to study physics or think science is “cool” and certainly not to think that the universe is wonderful or awesome (anymore than that your girlfriend’s hair is awesome). So, shut up and calculate and remember that Feynman commanded us to never ever think about the “fancy” things of quantum physics… Oh, and also remember, that the collapse of the wave function is boring.

  7. Harry Ellis Cairns says:

    Hi to everyone…

    My question is about a Block Universe..

    If everything is laid out; past ; future and present…are there a huge population of “me’s” residing in it….

    And one more question i just thought of :

    In a block universe, if time is a resource /commodity ; what happens when the time is depleted. …what is the absence of time ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *