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Question

What is your opinion on Smarandache's hypothesis that there is no speed barrier in the universe?
Asked by: John Gilbert

Answer

The hypothesis you refer to is based on the creation of two oppositely polarized photons, sent in opposite directions. Neither polarization is determined until it is observed, according to the Copenhagen interpretation of uncertainty. As soon as one photon's polarity is measured, however, the polarity of the other is immediately known regardless of its distance from the other.

There is no way to control what polarity a photon will take upon being observed, so there is no way to use this behavior to send information to another observer. It is more like firing a red and blue ball in opposite directions, with random chance determining which color goes in which direction. After travelling any distance, the observation of a red ball by observer A does not mean that A is instantaneously signaling observer B with a blue ball.

The experiment with oppositely polarized photons can be interpreted similarly. The polarization of the first observed photon can be interpreted as nothing more than the measurement of a characteristic that was established back at the time both photons were created (e.g.. seeing a red ball). The 'information' that Smarandache claims was sent instantaneously, therefore, does not violate Einstein's speed barrier. It was information sent from the point of photon creation, NOT the point of photon observation.
Answered by: Paul Walorski, B.A. Physics, Part-time Physics Instructor
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