5 Scientific Theories That Will Make Your Head Explode
The Theory: Quantum Entanglement
The Crazy Part:The part where you jiggle an electron on one side of the universe and an invisible force traverses millions of light years and smacks another electron into wiggling instantaneously, which is about a million years faster than is technically possible without time travel. What It Says: That if two electrons are created together, they are forever “entangled,” much like you and your high school sweetheart according to some shitty poems you wrote in tenth grade. And, also like you and your ex-love, regardless of the distance between the two electrons, a change in quantum spin in one electron will immediately cause the other electron to change spin as well. So like, when she has sex with Bob Feeney, the team’s QB after the first date, even though you’re home alone playing Tetris, your heart will ache with a sudden and unmistakable pain. That’s the pain of entanglement, my friend. So What Does This Do For Me? Teleportation, holmes. Only really tiny. In theory, you could separate two electrons by as much space as you wanted (say, the breadth of the universe), and they’d still be linked in such a way that actions taken on one would affect the other instantaneously. Meaning information is being transmitted at speeds faster than light. Meaning, if you want to really go nuts, time travel. And though the party pooping scientists have been busy coming up with limitations on the kind of information that could be transmitted (it seems super-fast computers that allow you to play
The Theory: The Copenhagen Interpretation
The Crazy Part: The part where the furniture in your house behaves differently when you're not around. What It Says: Besides sounding like the subtitle of The Da Vinci Code II, The Copenhagen Interpretation is probably the most widely accepted explanation for the observations made through quantum mechanics. It came about in part to explain the infamous “Double Slit Experiment,” which is the one your physics professor probably made you do. The Double Slit Experiment shows that an electron, fired at a wall with two slits in it, will sometimes go through sometimes go through one, sometimes through the other, and sometimes it will go through both slits simultaneously (meaning, a single thing will be in two places at once). In short, it goes batshit fucking insane. The twist is, if you try and observe the electron at the moment it passes through the slits—you know, to figure out what the hell is wrong with it—the electron goes back to behaving like a normal electron, and innocently shoots through one of the slits while giving you, and reality, the finger. The details of why this happens are sort of technical, but this simple diagram should explain it:
The Theory: The Many Worlds Theory
The Theory: The Universe Is Big
In case you’ve still got some bits of gray matter clinging to the shards of your fractured skull, here are some links to information about further scientific theories conceived to make neural cortex dribble out your nostrils.