MUME Ansible

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Parrafin
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MUME Ansible

Post by Parrafin » Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:07 pm

Anyone know anything about quantum entanglement? And if you had a faster-than light connection to MUME, would you ever quit playing? I think as a human race, we should aim for worldwide faster-than light communications, but the one caveat to that would probably be multiplying MUME's addictive quality...

Timodeus
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Timodeus » Mon Jun 02, 2008 6:24 pm

The problem here is that the "faster than light" transmission of information does not work. It just does not work and all experiments that claimed to "have done it!" were cheats (well, at least when they started to give their results to some magazines that are meant for the open public).

Maybe the time comes when someone finds a way to transmit information faster than light but I fear we are pretty far from it (even with those "successes" as quatum entanglement).

But I do not really guess why "faster than light" connections would be much different from "ping 1ms connections" (assuming you do not get some fancy time-travel- and breach-of-causality-issues with faster-than-light-connections).

Vortenos
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Vortenos » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:44 pm

Is quantum entanglement where a pair of particles always has the opposite charge, no matter how far apart they are?
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coyote
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by coyote » Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:40 pm

It's the idea of two particles which mimic each other's state, no matter what distance they are separated to. In theory, you could split an atom or w/e, take one piece to one location and another to another location anywhere in the universe (and possibly outside) and use it to transmit data between two points instantaneously by manipulating the state of one or the other to force it to mimic the "signal" at the other end, most likely using binary or an equivalent mathematical system to encode and decode information. The "Ansible" name is from Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" universe, where this was used as a means of interstellar communication, and terminals which were capable were known as Ansibles, and located on starships and interplanetary colonies and stuff.

I never really considered this to be truly "faster-than-light" in that most people begin to go off on time-travel related tangents as soon as you say the phrase FTL, and instantaneous state mimicking is not really in the same vein as propelling something at speeds greater than C, imho.

In addition, to actually use an Ansible, you'd have to split a whole truckload of atoms/molecules/whatever, and physically deliver them to differnt physical points. This would make it prohibitive for everyone to have one, and you'd still pretty much be forced to have slower-than-light landline connections from the Ansible points to every terminal connected, just like the way the 'net is distributed today, but with less big, long cables going across the ocean..

dianos
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by dianos » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:41 am

Coyote, that is not what quantum entanglement is. It is not possible to use quantum entangle to send signals faster than the speed of light. Quantum entanglement is not much different to ordinary classical correlations. It's just about the state of one system being related to the state of another. The only different between entanglement and classical correlation is that with quantum entanglement the two systems can be in a superposition of different correlated states. I know all about these things. I'm currently doing a PhD on quantum computing. :)

As far as I know, there is no way to send any information faster than the speed of light (unless general relativity is wrong). Quantum mechanics certainly does not introduce any loopholes to get around this. It is possible for certain abstract things to move faster than light but no information can be sent.

In case someone is interested, here's an example of how something can go faster than light: Imagine a lighthouse with a laser used as the light source. That is, a laser that just shines out of the lighthouse and rotates at some constant rate. Because it is a laser, the light doesn't spread out. It can shine a very long way and wherever it hits it will just make a spot of light. Suppose now that there is a brick wall that faces the lighthouse, very very far away. As the spot on the wall from the laser will move across the wall as the laser turns around. If the wall is far enough away from the lighthouse, the spot will move across the wall faster than the speed of light. (The speed of the spot will be equal to to the distance to the lighthouse multiplied by the angular frequency of the rotation. So just by increasing the distance we can make it go as fast as we like, even faster than c.)

Vortenos
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Vortenos » Wed Jun 04, 2008 2:05 pm

I think what he was saying is that if you misunderstand quantum entanglement you will think of it as faster-than-light (its instantaneous). There really is no travel (velocity) though so relating it to speed doesn't make sense.
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Parrafin
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Parrafin » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:09 pm

Transferring data from one place to another instantaneously is certainly faster than light, right?
But since it's just data and not particles, that does not have much to do with relativity. "Two systems in different correlated states" sounds to me as if a transfer of data somehow occurs. This is the 'spooky' action? I don't know much about all this, I'm just grasping.

If I was playing MUME on Mars through an instantaneous data transmitter my link would be similar to playing at a terminal right next to the server. I don't see how this would defy causality or be affected by relativity. Now if that transmitter didn't worry about relativity and was somehow able to beam faster than light it would possibly arrive on earth before I even thought of typing anything on Mars, so a device like that obviously could not exist.

coyote
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by coyote » Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:28 pm

Parrafin wrote:Transferring data from one place to another instantaneously is certainly faster than light, right?
But not when it's being done with quantum principle, and not over "true" distances, imho. If I hit my toe and my twin who lives in New York feels a pain in his toe at the same moment, is that FTL communication? No. It's a sympathetic reaction, and I was under the impression that quantum entanglement is pretty much precisely that - an invisible tether between two objects, which doesn't traverse normal space, potentially by being linked across an extra dimension, to borrow my admittedly poor terminology.

The transporter bay on the starship Enterprise moves peolpe instantaneously between two points and reconstructs them, obviously faster than the sped of sound. Does that mean that they are moving at supersonic speeds? Not necessarily, because they aren't really "moving" at all, by my understand..?

dianos
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by dianos » Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:29 am

Coyote, if you hitting your toe caused your twin to feel pain at the same moment as you described, that would be faster than light communication. If you wanted to, you could hit your toe in some particular pattern, Morse code for example, to make your twin feel the pain in that same pattern and thus communicate faster than light. No such communication is possible in real life.

Send any kind of information faster than light would violate causality. That is, stuff that hasn't happened yet could effect what happens next - stuff from the future could effect the past. This is true not just for particles, but for any kind of abstract information. It is fun stuff to think about, but it would cause serious problems for anyone trying to understand how the universe works! To see why this would violate causality, one has to have a good understanding of the details of special relativity.

Quantum entanglement really cannot be used to send anything faster than the speed of light. Entangled particles may have correlated states, but if I have one of these particles and you have the other one on the other side of the world, there absolutely nothing I can do to my particle that will effect yours. Because of the entanglement, I might be able to predict what you will see when you try to measure you one (because I've already measured mine), but I cannot effect what measurement outcome you will get.

Here's an example of something similar to entanglement: I have two coins which I put in small separate boxes. I give one coin to Bill and one coin to Bob. I tell Bill and Bob that I've placed the coins so that both of them have the same face up, but I don't tell them which face it is. That is, either they are both heads or both tails, but they don't know which. Bill and Bob can then take their coins to opposite sides of the world, know that the states of their coins are correlated. But there is nothing that Bill can do to effect what Bob will see when he looks at his coin. Bill can predict what Bob's coin will be by looking at his own (he know that they are the same) but he can't effect Bob's coin. -- The subtle difference between this example and quantum entanglement is that with quantum entanglement the state of the coins can be a superposition of heads and tails, rather than just one or the other. In the coin example this doesn't really mean anything, but in similar situations (with small particles or something) there is a different way to measure the "coins" which will kind of tell you the difference between it being either head or tails, or being in a superposition. That's where the strange quantum effects come into it. It's pretty weird, and certainly not easy to understand. But the main point I'm trying to get across is that at no time does any information travel faster than light. Sometimes it is described in a way that makes it sound like there is, but that's just a trick of the description. No faster than light signalling is possible through standard quantum mechanics.

Vortenos
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Vortenos » Thu Jun 05, 2008 2:42 pm

No-communication theorem from Wiki (fwiw)
"In these experiments, the no-communication theorem shows that failure of local realism does not lead to what could be referred to as "spooky communication at a distance" (in analogy with Einstein's labeling of quantum entanglement as 'spooky action at a distance')."
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dianos
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by dianos » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:06 am

I've got a clarification/correction to make about something I said earlier. It's a bit off topic, but maybe someone will be interested anyway.
dianos wrote:Sending any kind of information faster than light would violate causality. That is, stuff that hasn't happened yet could effect what happens next - stuff from the future could effect the past. This is true not just for particles, but for any kind of abstract information. It is fun stuff to think about, but it would cause serious problems for anyone trying to understand how the universe works! To see why this would violate causality, one has to have a good understanding of the details of special relativity.
I turns out that I don't have a sufficiently good understanding of the details of special relativity... After I posted that I thought about it some more to try to come up with some simple examples of how that could happen. I did a lot of thinking and a little bit of research. What I discovered was that "shortcuts" don't really count as travelling faster than light. For example, if there are two planets that are 100 light years apart and I happen to have a magical warp-gate thing that can instantly move me from one planet to the other; I can get to the other planet via the warp gate 100 years before light would get there via the normal route, but this warp-gate cannot be used to violate causality. The warp-gate is fine. If you like, you can just send light through the warp-gate, and then the light wouldn't have to travel the full distance either.

Actually, such warp gates can be described with curved space-time. In general relativity they are called "wormholes" (I'm sure you have heard of them). Furthermore, I don't think that the empathetic-twins example would violate causality either. You can imagine that each twin carries one end of a wormhole with them all the time, and they use it to send their toe pain to the other twin whenever they need to. I don't know a lot about moving wormholes around, but I'm pretty sure that it is not a problem as long as the wormholes are not moving faster than the speed of light! However, I'm not sure about this yet. I've got a book called "Black holes and time warps" which I might consult later to see if the twin example would be ok or not.

So I was kind of wrong about some of the causality stuff I said in my other post. It turns out what counts as "faster than light" in that context is more subtle than I originally thought. But still, regardless of whether or not it would violate causality, quantum entanglement cannot be used to send information faster than classical light signals. And there are no real world examples of magical empathetic twins with wormholes attached to their toes. :)

Vortenos
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Vortenos » Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:23 pm

dianos wrote:You can imagine that each twin carries one end of a wormhole with them all the time, and they use it to send their toe pain to the other twin whenever they need to.
I was under the impression empathic twins communicated via the Ethereal Plane... :P
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coyote
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by coyote » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:13 pm

dianos wrote:And there are no real world examples of magical empathetic twins with wormholes attached to their toes. :)
There are many accounts of this type of connection between people.

Then again..

dianos
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by dianos » Sun Jun 15, 2008 1:20 pm

coyote wrote:
dianos wrote:And there are no real world examples of magical empathetic twins with wormholes attached to their toes. :)
There are many accounts of this type of connection between people.

Then again..
Yeah, well, there are many accounts of all sorts of stuff that never actually happened. I advise you to keep an eye out for people with special twin powers like this (or whatever). If such powers could be reliably demonstrated it would be of enormous scientific value. There would almost certainly be big $$$ value to whoever could demonstrate the powers.

Parrafin
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Parrafin » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:24 pm

You'd never hear from them again, they'd be put inside some machines made by the US government for top-secret communications that would be impossible to intercept.

Vortenos
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Vortenos » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:40 pm

Kind of like in "Minority Report" where the precogs were basically are prisoners of the system.
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Parrafin
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Parrafin » Sun Jul 27, 2008 5:02 pm

This thread ruined Ender's game for me, thanks a bunch-possibly ruined the whole series too
;)

Timodeus
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Timodeus » Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:22 am

Wormholes, if they exist, have other issues. You must survive the approach and the passage.

Some people have the theory you could find a wormhole in the center of some black holes. Let's assume that is correct. Let's assume the said wormhole leads to another place (if the other place is also in a black hole you have a problem and can totally forget about the whole issue).

So, you approach your black hole and the forces rip your spaceship and you in pieces, as you get closer, the atoms and molecules you and your ship became cause friction (as you travel at 99% of the speed of light) and insane heat (that heat causes radiation, which is the way we can see black holes, btw). I won*t mention - since "you" travel nearly with the speed of light - that it will take you nearly an eternity to fall into hole from and outside-perspective.
Even IF you reach your wormhole, you are dead and you do not get much from the fact your atoms (maybe you even get reduced to neutrons if you get even closer to the core of the hole) passes the hole eventually.

Apart from that: Let us assume you find a wormhole that is NOT in or near a black hole. Even in this case you can assume there will be a lot of something I now call "physical stress" involved when travelling it (= you can grinded to pieces and burnd to ashes). The only hope there could be is sending light through them, I fear there's not going to be some sort of over-c-travelling for physical objects (includings people in ships).

Wobbler
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Wobbler » Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:45 pm

Parrafin wrote:This thread ruined Ender's game for me, thanks a bunch-possibly ruined the whole series too
;)
The series was ruined by the author's hippie-bunny-hugging ending.

There was a female sci-fi author whose name I cannot recall who used the idea of FTL-ships with multi-dimensional interiors encased in three-dimensional hulls. She also wrote a fantasy series about some magician from a country consisting only of a large number of small islands.
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Parrafin
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Re: MUME Ansible

Post by Parrafin » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:04 am

A magician from some islands? That doesn't sound promising at all!

Empire of the East (Fred Saberhagen) is where it's at. It's some sort of a Tolkienish world set in our own post apocalyptic future. It is juvenile compared with LOTR, but I found it entertaining nonetheless.

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