One of the most fascinating phenomena of the quantum world (to me) is quantum entanglement. How is it possible that an action (‘event’) in one place -on one particle- IMMEDIATELY (violating relativity and the speed of light limit) affects another particle, how ever distant that may be… How are those particles intrinsically interconnected? What binds them together? Are they in a way inseperable? And how? Which role does causality play here? (As causality -as we know it- is always linked to specific actions that cause other effects following a Newtonian common sense lineair path in space and time).

 

This phenomenon reminds me of the way certain phenomena described by psychoanalysts violate our common sense space and time patterns. How can the Freudian concept of Nachträchlichtkeit () be understood, without ignoring the (lineair) direction of time, follwing a path from past through present to future events? Here causality still seems to follow some kind of lineair cause and effect rules, be it in the ‘opposite’ direction: the future determines the past. (The term ‘determines’ is quite important here).

While in Nachträchlichkeit, we’re still talking about a lineair time frame (be it in the opposite direction) and clear causality (somehow still linked to fragments of determinism), the Jungian concept of Synchronicity gets rid of causality, (offers itself as an alternative to causality even, be it complementary) and linearity. In 'Synchronicity' there is an intrinsic connection that works over huge distances, a connection between a subjective (thought, dream,...) and an objective event ('in the material world'). As in quantum entanglement, there is some kind of (invisible) intrinsic meaningful connection, that linkes different events, transcending time and space.

 

 

The disturbing, counterintuitive character of Quantum Entanglement is clearly illustrated by its history of discovery. Albert Einstein ‘discovered’ it as a result of the mathematical assumptions of quantum physics, but for him, this was not a ‘discovery’ but rather proof that quantum physics (with its ‘irrational’ behaviour, probabilities, the role of chance,…) were absurd, and probably only showing a lack of knowledge. According to him, this result of his calculations and reasoning (the phenomenon of quantum entanglement) showed clearly that ‘Quantum Physics Must Be Wrong’. He called quantum entanglement ‘spooky action at a distance’. (Yes, he had a way with words too).

 

Another utterly fascinating aspect of quantum entanglement (and the quantum universe in general) is that it imposes one of the most crucial questions there are to ask: what is real?

© Elize Rausch 2020.