# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Entanglement - Is this Real or a mathematical statistical model?  (Read 1079 times)

#### Fluid_thinker

• Full Member
• Posts: 54
##### Entanglement - Is this Real or a mathematical statistical model?
« on: 10/09/2012 15:03:48 »
Having listened to some podcasts on this, I appear to get the sense this is a statistical mathematic model.

#### JP

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 3366
• Thanked: 2 times
##### Re: Entanglement - Is this Real or a mathematical statistical model?
« Reply #1 on: 10/09/2012 17:21:56 »
It's hard to tell without knowing more, but it sounds like there might be confusion in these podcasts between probability and statistics.  Probability deals with predicting the possible outcomes of a single event.  Statistics deals with analyzing the data from many events.

Quantum mechanics is, by its nature, probabilistic.  Therefore, entanglement, which is a quantum phenomenon, is also probabilistic.  It is not statistical, since it doesn't require you to account for a lot of events.  In fact, in the simplest case, you can link 2 particles together via the laws of quantum mechanics and using only one event (measurement of one particle), you can write down the probabilities of later measurements of the second particle.  That's probabilistic, but since it deals with only one pair of particles and 1 or 2 measurements, it's not statistical.

#### yor_on

• Naked Science Forum GOD!
• Posts: 11652
• (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
##### Re: Entanglement - Is this Real or a mathematical statistical model?
« Reply #2 on: 13/09/2012 18:58:41 »
Ahh JP :) but only after it being confirmed by subsequent experiments, assuming this to be the first original test. And that will put it into statistics to me. To find a probability you will need a 'knowledge base', no matter if it is in a textbook by an author you trust or if that base has accumulated in other ways. You can not draw conclusions from using one original, never done before, experiment, one time, more than 'this time it did so' unless you have this knowledge base supporting you, as in similar, although not the exact same experiments.

I say it all goes back to statistics.

#### JP

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 3366
• Thanked: 2 times
##### Re: Entanglement - Is this Real or a mathematical statistical model?
« Reply #3 on: 13/09/2012 19:42:17 »
Yeah, you always have to test theories by using experiments, and experimental results can only be trusted once you've done a proper analysis of the error in them, which generally requires statistics and repeated measurements.

But the theory itself doesn't have to be statistical, and in the case of entanglement, the underlying quantum mechanics is probabilistic, not statistical, since it predicts the probabilities of outcomes from a single event, not the statistics of many events.

Statistical mechanics and thermodynamics are examples of statistical theories, which predict the statistics of large collections of particles and do not deal with the motions of each individual particle.

#### yor_on

• Naked Science Forum GOD!
• Posts: 11652
• (Ah, yes:) *a table is always good to hide under*
##### Re: Entanglement - Is this Real or a mathematical statistical model?
« Reply #4 on: 14/09/2012 05:12:05 »
It's maybe a question about how we look at it?

You are using a knowledge base to predict outcomes on single particles. And using it you find it fitting. I looked at what I see as making it possible. Given enough outcomes, looking for some sort of logic, not necessary classical, you build a model. And QM is a hundred years old too, give or take some years. It has a extensive knowledge base.

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: Entanglement - Is this Real or a mathematical statistical model?
« Reply #4 on: 14/09/2012 05:12:05 »