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Monday, June 9, 2008

Beware Of Quantum Entanglements



Finally the International Space Station may actually do some real science. Who knew? I was not alone in thinking the orbiting white elephant's sole purpose was to devour tax money and act as a homage to it's envisioner, Ronald Reagan. Not the brightest bulb on the marquee, Ronnie thought a space station would be all sciency and stuff. Now the European Space Agency is putting an experiment together that will attempt to communicate using quantum entangled photons and their nature to demonstrate "spooky action at a distance". Physicists have shot entangled photons the length of the Canary Islands and instantly (faster than light) communicated. Now ESA will use a lab on the station to repeat the experiment, but this time between orbiting targets. This can be up to 200000 Km given the low earth orbit of the ISS and a high orbit of the ancillary satellite.

So what you may well say, but even if we can just dispense with the annoying satellite lag that is displayed when a signal has to bounce off an orbiting transceiver. If it could be made reliable, instant communications would make the current batch of rovers and explorers as effective as having a live human on the surface of any planet, without the risk or expense of danger of using an astronaut.

I think this is all way cool and that's not a term I use lightly, and it uses that worthless boondoggle the ISS. Don't get me started on the Shuttle.

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