Tired of Your Life? Well, Reverse Your Reality Through Quantum Psuedotelepathy
Here’s how scientists are cheating reality with the help of quantum pseudotelepathy
A group of Chinese scientists recently used what is essentially the quantum physics equivalent of stage magic to demonstrate how brittle our concept of reality is. To begin with, the key concept at work here is known as “quantum advantage.” This is usually discussed in the context of quantum computing. The hypothetical point at which a quantum computer can outperform any existing classical computer at a given task is referred to as quantum advantage. Outside of quantum computing, the term “quantum advantage” refers to a situation in which the use of quantum mechanics allows a person or system to outperform a person or system using a classical equivalent. Last month, a team of researchers working with scientists at Nanjing University in China published a pre-print research paper indicating they had discovered a simple but effective method for demonstrating quantum advantage, to cheat reality through quantum pseudotelepathy.
The team used a long-established experiment called the Mermin-Peres game, in which two players conspire to measure photons, to demonstrate quantum advantage in the real world. The players measure the photons independently and record their findings on a 3X3 grid. Then a judge arrives and selects a position on the grid. They win if both players have the same measurement. It’s a lot more complicated than that (here’s a really good explanation by Science’s Adrian Cho), but the rules make it so that there’s a mathematical limit to the accuracy that any two people could achieve using classical methods. The Nanjing experiment showed that independent observers measuring quantum entangled matter states could exceed the classical accuracy limit.
This appears to be due to the measurements causing the outcomes rather than the other way around. In other words, we couldn’t exceed the classical accuracy threshold if base reality existed when it wasn’t being measured. However, because the measurements clearly influence the outcome, we can use quantum physics to simulate telepathy. The measurement of player one is sent directly to observer two, who confirms it with theirs. Classical physics explains the laws that govern the world we live in. Gravity and thermodynamics affect everyone the same way, whether you’re a physicist or a newborn baby.
That also implies that we are all constrained by the same probabilities. All else being equal, we all have a 50/50 chance of correctly calling a coin toss. However, quantum physics is a universe cheat code. When scientists began experimenting with matter at incredibly small scales, they discovered that the quantum world did not strictly adhere to the rules. When physicists say things that imply they don’t believe in objective reality, they aren’t necessarily joking. The truth is that reality does not stand up to the scientific method. The Nanjing experiment shows that you could probably use quantum physics to boost your 50/50 chance of correctly predicting the outcome of a coin toss to full confidence.
You’d already know the outcome if you entangled two coins and secretly measured the first one before the second one hit the ground. Entangling coins is, of course, science fiction for the time being (though, theoretically, anything in the universe could be entangled under the right circumstances). However, quantum pseudotelepathy appears to be real. As with all pre-print research, we take it with a grain of salt. But this appears to be pretty solid, and it’s based on a long-running experimental regimen. Experiments like this make it appear as if objective reality as we know it is only a small portion of the overall “reality pie.” We can’t wait to see what physicists come up with next!