Thought Experiments are ways for us to imagine things that we can never see. It’s a special property of humans that we can deduce a truth without actually having to stand in front of something. Einstein proved that gravity effects light using a thought experiment. Bell opened up a big can of worms with another thought experiment. Here’s a quick tour of Bell’s theorem…
Imagine we’re a photon, a little piece of light. We’re floating around, there’s not too much going on. There’s another photon next to us. Now imagine that we’re spinning clockwise. Our partner is spinning counter clockwise. So, we’re floating around, spinning with our partner, and everything’s good. The other photon decides to zip over to the other side of the Universe. It’s our thought experiment; we can do whatever we want. Now, we’re lonely on our side of the dance floor, and our erstwhile partner is all the way over there. We’re both still spinning, though. Just to spite that other photon, we decide to reverse our spin… now.
Even though that other photon is on the other side of the Universe, it knows instantly that we changed the direction of our spin. There’s no fooling the other photon.
The problem that this poses is that the Universal speed limit is supposed to be the speed of light. Nothing goes faster than that. So, how can that other photon, on the other side of the Universe, change its spin instantly? It does, though. The concept has been proven many times since Bell postulated his theorem. Now what? How do we reconcile this?
Well, there are two ideas. Either there is something that can go faster than the speed of light… or the Universe is connected in a new and interesting way. This new way is called a Seamless Whole. Think Yoda lifting the X-Wing out of the swamp. No kidding! Life isn’t quite like the movies; I still have to replace the batteries in my remote control. There is good evidence that the universe does have some kind of… of… Force connecting everything together. That idea works better than getting a Mulligan from the Universe on that speed limit thing.