How’s this for tantalizing: a PopSci article today talks about how researchers at Vienna managed to measure particles being entangled, before they were actually entangled by a distant observer. Thankfully, I found this piece on Ars Technica that breaks the experiment down into something more detailed.

There are two lines at the conclusion of the Ars Technica that I’d change:

1. “…there’s no way to communicate faster than the speed of light” — but something is clearly happening here that transcends our knowledge of how information travels. Either a) it’s possible for information to travel faster than light after all, which is highly unlikely right now, or b) we can’t measure anything faster than the speed of light at this point.

2. “…even though there is no mechanism that allows information to travel between them.” Well. No mechanism we know of, right now.

What exactly does this mean for us? It’s obvious cause and effect hold in the macroscopic world. But classical rules break down readily enough in the quantum universe. How does that breakage happen, and even when it doesn’t, would we be able to harness something like this in the real world someday?

PopSci suggests this could help in building a quantum computer. Would we, for instance, receive the result of an answer even before we’ve entered the question for computation? Would that even be helpful?

Speaking of qubits, here’s a nice overview of the field by PopSci again.

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