Science is spooky!
Today's big think is what Einstein called "spooky". I'm not sure if that was translated from the German or actually English but those are his words and are very well linked to this idea. By the way, Einstein never embraced the English language and spoke his native German for all his years in Princeton at the Institute for Advanced Studies.
Anyway...action at a distance refers to an unusual correlation between distant events, usually expressed in the context of sub-atomic particles. It seems that there is communication between each event that effects an outcome. I'll leave out all the technical stuff but the bottom line is that the communication is INSTANTANEOUS. Regardless of the distance, the communication happens in ZERO time.
Now, stop and think--FAST!
Zero time. That is faster than the rules allow--faster than the universal speed limit (the speed of light). Now you might begin to see why Al called it "spooky".
Instantaneous communication or action results in a whole group of really cool things...and are some of my favorite "thoughts".
Let's talk about two:
Non-causal reality. When things can happen faster than the speed of light, you can set up certain conditions where actions just don't make sense. For example, if you could shoot a can off a fence with a bullet that goes faster than the speed of light, you can actually set up the right angles and positions to see the can fall off the fence BEFORE you see the gun being fired. Freaky....or should I say spooky! This can play out in many interesting ways...and create a reality that is not linked to causation. What people call non-causal reality.
The second implication of action at a distance is the notion of "interconnectedness". In other words, connections exist that allow this interaction to happen and there is no actual "transmission" from one thing to another. Gravity is a great example. Gravitation was once thought of a force that "pulled" things closer. Actually, gravity is better explained as warped space and the actual movement of things (let's say planets) is just the movement across that bent or warped fabric of space (yea, space/time). But let's push on this concept a bit more. Interconnectedness jumps from physics to philosophy and takes us to the idea on "oneness" or unity. In other words, we are all profoundly connected! This fabric of mind / space / consciousness could be a profound aspect of the reality in which we live...(but more on that later). Any just "thoughts" themselves--are they instant? Is there a human connection between twins that express the action at a distance. Very cool indeed!
Sometimes, connections (like linking physics and philosophy) are real but sometimes just accidents of language. And that is the fodder for great thought!!