Spooky Action at A Distance by George Musser
Published by Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2015
Finished reading on May 21st, 2016
Have you ever heard of nonlocality? I’m pretty sure that I should have heard it mentioned in one or another class, but I’ve no recollection of it, so maybe it wasn’t mentioned.
This book is about the concept of nonlocality and what it has to do with quantum mechanics and relativity.
I bought this book since it seemed to be everywhere (I mean as much as a book classified as Space and Time – Philosophy and Relativity could be expected to appear in places).
So as much as I gathered locality, the opposite of nonlocality, means that an object or matter is influenced only by the matter in it’s immediate vicinity, so that (basically) you can try as much as you want but you can’t influence someone to bring you an icecream on a hot day just by thinking about it. So nonlocality – the exact opposite in a way, means that matter can be influenced by something that is quite a distance from it – think of an entangled pair of photons that appear to send/receive information faster than at the speed of light.
The book deals with a rather philosophical side of physics, which is great in a way because it doesn’t require higher mathematics, but it’s also quite a difficult book because it requires the reader to use logic to go from one concept to another without feeling like you’re missing a couple thousand of entangled neurons or so in your brain.
It is fascinating – you get a decent amount of background information on the history of the idea of locality and nonlocality and a bit of relativity and quantum physics. There are also some interesting theories that one might not come across normally – like how tiny black holes might be to blame for the entangled photons faster than light speed information exchange.
I feel like I might have to read it again at a slower pace with more coffee.
If you’re looking for more information about this book before diving into reading it visit the book’s webpage.