Human eye could detect spooky action at a distance


It’s almost a year since Nicolas Gisin and colleagues at the University of Geneva announced that they had calculated that a human eye ought to be able to detect entangled photons. “Entanglement in principle could be seen,” they concluded.

That’s extraordinary because it would mean that the humans involved in such an experiment would become entangled themselves, if only for an instant.

Gisin is a world leader in quantum entanglement and his claims are by no means easy to dismiss.

Now he’s going a step further saying that the human eye could be used in a Bell type experiment to sense spooky-action-at-a-distance. “Quantum experiments with human
eyes as detectors appear possible, based on a realistic model of the eye as a photon detector,” they say.

One problem is that human eyes cannot se single photons–a handful are needed to trigger a nerve impulse to the brain.

That might have scuppered the possibility of  a Bell-type experiment were it not for some interesting work from Francesco De Martini and buddies at the Universityof Rome, pointing out how the quantum properties of a single particle can be transferred to an ensemble of particles.

That allows a single entangled photon, which a human eye cannot see, to be amplified into a number of entangled photons that can be seen. The eye can then be treated like any other detector.

This all looks like fun. The first person to experience entanglement –mantanglement–would surely be destined for some interesting press covereage.

But the work raises an obvious question: why is Gisin pursuing this line? The human eyeball could be put to use in plenty of optics experiments, so why the focus on mantanglement?

Could it be that Gisin thinks there is more to entanglement than meets the eye?

Ref: Quantum experiments with human eyes as detectors based on cloning via stimulated

60 Responses to “Human eye could detect spooky action at a distance”

  1. When we say that humans can detect a bunch of fotons, it means that not only that a retinal ganglionar cell fires due to such fotons, but also that the psychological sensation of to view a small light spark is activated after visual processing. So, perhaps it is possible to have psychological entangled states (or not, it is important to calculate the duration of the entangled state and if visual processing destroy or could amplify it (in duration and number of particles).

  2. […] Einstein saw it with numbers and equations; modern scientists see it with expensive machines; but could everyday eyes see it? – The Physics arXiv Blog: Human eye could detect spooky action at a distance […]

  3. Henry says:

    When they named our species homo(=man) sapiens they didn’t leave out the women.

    Or to be on the safe side, just use the word “Homo” instead.

  4. Ozra says:

    @Anthony, maybe I missed something? “homo” means “same”, compare homogeneous, homosexual, etc.

    @Henry, LOL!

    And why, there’s the word, how much more exact can you get?: homotanglement! Didn’t sound half as gay as mantanglement. Everybody happy now? (oops! not all the gay attenders who now think I’m homophobic for de-gaying the expression!)

    Nah, enough of this.

    Well back to the more scientific side of things (or not): I’ve actually seen radio waves. And soundwaves. And the sky falling – slowly. And, yes I had ingested a fairly big amount of mushrooms. Beautiful experience. Zooming in on trees and seeing the relational differences of frequency of the waveforms. That’s what I saw when walking in the forest.

    They really should incorporate mushrooms into these experiments 😀

    I also experienced two time-speeds from different senses! While still being syncronized in time (how’s that even possible, I tried and tried to analyze the experience). Woa, mushrooms is the shit 🙂 It’s quantum shit!

    Getting off topic.

  5. Daniel says:

    I agree with Hex.

    However, I can see why mantanglement was used in this instance. ‘man’ is one syllable ‘en’ is one syllable and they both end in the same sound. The author was trying to get a word as close to entanglement as possible that mixed in people, none of the other options had this quality.

    It really is a nightmare for gender conscious grammarians that woman and man don’t have a single grammatical root that doesn’t infer the preclusion of one sex.

  6. grunties says:

    “Mantanglement? Men only? And they wonder why physics can’t attract and keep women in the field.”

    You are not railing against sexism, as you appear to believe. You are railing against your own lack of understanding of English.

    But don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, let the men do all the thinking and we’ll be fine.

  7. andrew says:

    Is homotanglement less gay than mantanglement?

    I think this is actually exciting because maybe we can start testing all the crazy consciousness-quantum theory theories put forth by Penrose and others!

  8. Resofactor says:

    Quantum Entanglement has absolutely nothing to do with FTL communications know-how.

  9. Niven42 says:

    Anytime you use a mechanical linkage to transmit data, the data is sent from one end of the link to the other at instantaneous speed. Given a long enough linkage, you can theoretically send information a long distance at greater-than-light speed. These types of action at-a-distance phenomena are happening around us all the time, it’s just that we aren’t aware of them.

    Entanglement is real, as anyone who has observed diffraction patterns can readily tell you.

  10. Niven42 says:

    You should read what Stephen Lehar has to say about photons and conciousness. In _The World Inside Your Head_, not only does he propose that we experience reality completely inside our brains, but that the virtual reality within our cortex is the ONLY reality there is. As an extension to this, we can infer that the entire spectrum of reality exists completely within our brains, and there is nothing (just an empty void) outside of our own experiences. Heavy stuff. Wonder what will happen to the first entwined human…