Science writer George Musser looks at the exotic and near magical phenomena of "Spooky Action at a Distance" that might help us understand how the Universe is made.
Exploring the strange phenomena that spooked Albert Einstein
CBC Radio ·
The discovery of the strange world of Quantum Mechanics, in the first half of the 20th century, created a problem for physics. Quantum mechanics suggested that there were circumstances in which two particles could be connected or "entangled" - and then, when subsequently separated, they would still maintain their connection - so that what happened to one particle would determine what happened to the other.
Einstein called this "spooky action at a distance" and it was the latest shot in a 3000-year-long back and forth dispute in science. The dispute is over a principle called "locality" which, more or less, means that the universe works by direct physical influence - you affect things by effectively touching them with matter or energy rather than through instantaneous, "magical" influences.