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garymrssn

I just read an article stating that a group of researchers have confirmed quantum entanglement experimentally. What this means for SF writers is now you have a scientific basis for a lot of SF technology, such as instantaneous intergalactic communication.
http://news.discovery.com/tech/spooky-quantum-action-confirmed-in-landmark-study-151023.htm

Replies:   Crumbly Writer  Gauthier
Crumbly Writer

@garymrssn

Yeah, I saw that (as I do most science stories). I've already used quantum entanglement in one published/posted story, and in another two still in development, each time getting a little more advanced. Even my fictional technology gets more advanced as each story progresses!

Gauthier
Updated:

@garymrssn


such as instantaneous intergalactic communication.


Except that quantum entanglement can't be used to transmit information (faster than light).

garymrssn
Updated:

@Gauthier

"Except that quantum entanglement can't be used to transmit information (faster than light)."

Research in that area is ongoing. A definitive yes or no on the subject has not yet emerged.
Once science answers the question, FTL communication will no longer be science fiction. It will be either science or fantasy

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@garymrssn

Research in that area is ongoing. A definitive yes or no on the subject has not yet emerged.
Once science answers the question, FTL communication will no longer be science fiction. It will be either science or fantasy

Plus, it provides a nice work-around for those intractable issues in sci-fi land. In my case, the communication isn't across the galaxy, so it's not necessarily FTL, but in one story, it's across dimensions (a short cut, in effect)and within a specific galaxy. As to whether you can 'bundle' millions of quantum entanglements to provide ftl communications, that'll be determined at some point much further in the future. We're still grappling with whether it idea exists at all at this stage.

Ernest Bywater

@Gauthier

Except that quantum entanglement can't be used to transmit information (faster than light).


At the least, they could use it like an inter-stellar morse code device and have it switch states in a controlled pattern to send a message using morse code style comms.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

At the least, they could use it like an inter-stellar morse code device and have it switch states in a controlled pattern to send a message using morse code style comms.

Forget Morse code, if you can string together bundles of quantum entanglements, linking one site to multiple other sites, you could duplicate our current digital telephone/Skype phones (which all rely on 1s and 0s), allowing instantaneous communication across the galaxy.

We'll have to see whether it's possible or not, but it makes enough sense to get away with it in a story, and it can avoid many of those intractable story-telling problems.

Replies:   Gauthier
Gauthier

@Crumbly Writer

Forget Morse code, if you can string together bundles of quantum entanglements, linking one site to multiple other sites, you could duplicate our current digital telephone/Skype phones (which all rely on 1s and 0s), allowing instantaneous communication across the galaxy.

Nope doesn't work like that at all:
take a pair of entangled particle (A and B), separate them, then make a measurement of a quantum property of A, you got an absolutely random value.
later or simultaneously make a measurement of the same property of particle B you got the opposite value of A measurement. A big surprise to the classical thinking mens, I see nothing exciting about that it's an absolutely normal quantum behavior easily derived ages ago from the very simple equations. However while doing the measurement collapse the wave function of "both" particles the result of the measurement is simply a random number.
- You can't know if the other side made a measurement before you.
- You can't extract information from pure random number.

The recent excitement, is that we finally can play with it at will and prove that Einstein opposition to the concept was totally bogus, the quantum theory is once more as always proved solid.

Note that the non FTL transmission of information is also solidly proved by the basic equations.
So providing a "quantum" way of transmitting information FTL would prove quantum theory to be wrong.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Gauthier

So providing a "quantum" way of transmitting information FTL would prove quantum theory to be wrong.

Shoot!

Do me a favor, don't mention this to my readers.

Actually, I realized that was how it worked. But I guess I was selectively acknowledging certain details (unconsciously).

Replies:   richardshagrin  Gauthier
richardshagrin
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@Crumbly Writer

This is for story ideas so the story can be written convincingly, as "hard" science fiction (or not, maybe "soft" SF). Its good to examine constraints to ideas, but lets not rule out perfectly good stories because there might be a fatal flaw. Like after the apocalypse everybody will starve since nobody knows how to farm under those conditions.

In theory (Major General Relativity) you can't travel faster than light. Lets not accept that for hard science fiction or we will lose a lot of good stories.

I suggest some (hand waving) method that gives all the males who travel FTL erections. The story will be how they deal with that issue. I suggest dedicated sex slaves, but then I read most of my stories on SOL. My suggested approach won't work for one on Fine Stories. Is the opposite of Fine Stories Coarse Stories? Remember, I wanted Hard science fiction stories.

Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin


In theory (Major General Relativity) you can't travel faster than light.


It's a few years since I last checked on the scientific community's agreed peer position on this subject, but when I did the theory on General Relativity was you can't travel faster than light in this particular dimension of the universe; and that's been the case for many decades. It's why so many sci-fi stories have the FTL travel work via the use of either a sub-space or an over-space or some other option of stepping outside of the restriction applicable within the theory of General relativity. One old series of sci-fi book step outside of the General Relativity theory restrictions by using a device to make the ship inertialess and thus no longer restricted by the normal scientific restrictions of this dimension.

Gauthier

@Crumbly Writer

In theory (Major General Relativity) you can't travel faster than light


That one is in fact false, it is true in the former Special Relativity, but in general Relativity you could "Theoretically" exploit or manipulate space curvature to take or make shortcuts while still obeying the light speed limit.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Gauthier

That one is in fact false, it is true in the former Special Relativity, but in general Relativity you could "Theoretically" exploit or manipulate space curvature to take or make shortcuts while still obeying the light speed limit.


Actually, Einstein simply defined faster than light as impossible because under General Relativity in curved space the past and the future become indistinguishable at faster than light speeds.

This problem doesn't exist in flat space.

However, I have had an interesting thought on this matter. There are a number of interesting dual natures in modern science (light as both particle and wave for example)

What if space is both curved and flat. Specifically, what if space acts as curved at normal speeds, but once you go FTL (or hit a certain percentage of light speed) space acts as flat instead of curved?

Crumbly Writer

@richardshagrin

In theory (Major General Relativity) you can't travel faster than light. Lets not accept that for hard science fiction or we will lose a lot of good stories.

In one of my stories ("Stranded"), I borrowed several ideas written by physicists who postulated about how FTL travel might be possible. The story explored how the advances changed how the ships interacted with the world (no 'continuity of motion').

That's the advantage of hard science fiction. You're not locked into any one position (a story about a 100-year-journey to a nearby solar system with no life would be incredibly boring!). Instead, you take new ideas and mold them, imagining how the new information might change older understandings of fiction.

One limitation of science is that, after everything is said and done, the story must come first. We all run roughshod over the facts, the key is to do it delicately enough that we don't alienate those who'd be the most interested in the stories.

aubie56

"We all run roughshod over the facts, the key is to do it delicately ..."

This statement is certainly a kind of science fiction; namely, how can you run "roughshod" over anything and do it "delicately" at the same time? Or is that part of showing, not telling?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@aubie56

how can you run "roughshod" over anything and do it "delicately" at the same time?

By that, I mean we're twisting what's physically possible, cut we need to be careful about how we phrase it. As most of us know, the craziest things about both Star Wars and Star Trek were easily accepted, while the real sticking points were the everyday details. It's the same here. The physics doesn't need to be exact, but reasonable, and readers will still follow along. Inconsistencies are a bigger no-no than screwing up technical facts.

aubie56

CW-Actually, I agree with you. I was just trying to make a joke, lame as it was.

Replies:   Dominion's Son
Dominion's Son

@aubie56

I was just trying to make a joke, lame as it was.


Lame? It was DOA.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Dominion's Son


Lame? It was DOA.


Not DOA but DOI - Dead on Issue, like a lot of CW's attempted jokes on the forum.

Gospodin

The word you are all searching for is "ansible".

You're welcome!

garymrssn

On a related issue; please note that rockets returning to earth and landing vertically is no longer science fiction. I'm delighted I lived long enough to see it.

http://www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/spacex-takes-revolutionary-step-toward-reusable-rockets-180957609/?no-ist

Perv Otaku

It's amazing that that's even a thing. I would have thought some sort of airplane/spacecraft hybrid would have been more practical for a one-stage reusable ship.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@Perv Otaku

I suspect Rocket Scientists did not want to have to work with aeronautical engineers to design a combination airplane/spacecraft.

Or if they did, we got the lifting body unpowered sort of glider called the Shuttle.

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