Naked Science Forum

Non Life Sciences => Physics, Astronomy & Cosmology => Topic started by: RobC on 21/12/2020 10:45:50

Title: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: RobC on 21/12/2020 10:45:50
Philip Ball, the science writer, whilst giving a lecture at the RI on entanglement said: "Personally, I have never seen an explanation of John Bell's experiment that is at all easy to follow".
Title: Re: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: charles1948 on 22/12/2020 19:05:51
Philip Ball, the science writer, whilst giving a lecture at the RI on entanglement said: "Personally, I have never seen an explanation of John Bell's experiment that is at all easy to follow".

Isn't that a polite way of saying nobody understands it?
Title: Re: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: Halc on 22/12/2020 21:36:11
Isn't that a polite way of saying nobody understands it?
It's a polite way of saying Philip Ball doesn't understand it.
Title: Re: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: charles1948 on 22/12/2020 22:09:49
Isn't this the tragedy of modern Physics - it's supposed to explain things, but it doesn't..  Even the Physicists don't understand it.

Doesn't this show that there's something wrong?
Title: Re: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: Halc on 22/12/2020 23:44:01
Even the Physicists don't understand it.
Quantum physicists understand it just fine. Philip is a writer, essentially hired as a PR liaison between the lay person and the scientists.  Most writers for science seem to pander to their audience more than to their subject matter. Most pop articles are factually inaccurate, demonstrating the lack of understanding of their subject matter.

Most physicists would not be able to understand what I do either. I don't consider that a tragedy. Nobody is expected to be an expert in all fields.  I personally don't even know what specific experiment of Bell's is being referenced by Philip in the OP. Most of the context is missing. And no, I do not consider myself an expert on quantum physics, but that doesn't mean I don't know some of the basics.
Title: Re: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: RobC on 23/12/2020 11:04:53
The lecture can be viewed on YouTube by searching:-
Phillip Ball Understanding Quantum Entanglement
Title: Re: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: Colin2B on 23/12/2020 14:48:45
Isn't this the tragedy of modern Physics - it's supposed to explain things, but it doesn't.. 
Physics is not supposed to explain anything. It describes what we observe and derives models which allow us to predict future observations and behaviour.
Newton never explained gravity, but his predictive equations were accurate enough to allow men to land on the moon.

Even the Physicists don't understand it.
I have to agree with @Halc here.
The majority of technical subjects in many fields are very complex and not easy to explain in simple terms. That doesnít mean that people who study them in detail donít understand.

Title: Re: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: RobC on 24/12/2020 08:17:03
Quote
It's a polite way of saying Philip Ball doesn't understand it.
Phillip Ball did understand it and proceeded to offer his own explanation which I thought joined the category of 'not at all easy to follow'.
Title: Re: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: Colin2B on 25/12/2020 23:46:15
Phillip Ball did understand it and proceeded to offer his own explanation which I thought joined the category of 'not at all easy to follow'.
I watched the video and agree that he does understand it. I thought his explanation was good and very clear, Iíve used the glove analogy myself on occasions.

Title: Re: Is there a simple explanation of Bell's experiment?
Post by: RobC on 26/12/2020 09:49:39
It's only 'good and very clear' because you understand it. I posit that it is not 'good and very clear' for the majority of the target audience.