The Weird Link

According to very recent researches on “teleportation” (A. Zeilinger, Innsbruck, Austria), a quantum state can be moved from one particle to another by exploiting the so-called “entanglement”. An “entangled state” is a kind of mysterious connection between particles so that they have not a separate existence, even when they are separated by a huge distance. As Ch. Bennett of the IBM puts it, “In an entangled state distant particles (e.g., one on the Earth and another one on the star Sirius) are linked in a way that they classically (i.e., non quantum mechanically) couldn’t be unless they were in the same place”. All that stems from the fundamental equations of Quantum Mechanics and holds true in principle. A. Zeilinger and his team in Austria were able to show that entanglement is a tool that allows a quantum state to be moved in practice from one particle to another. The following sketch relates to “teleporting” photons, which means “moving” them across a gap without really moving them physically, exploiting an entangled pair as a resource for such teleportation. In Zeilinger’s lab, they are routinely teleporting photons, and they think that they will be able to teleport within a decade macromolecules and even small viruses.

The following sketch illustrates A. Zeilinger’s trick allowing quantum information locked in a quantum state in an unwieldy way (measurement of the exact state of a quantum system would be otherwise impossible because of so-called “collapse” of quantum states) to be moved from particle C to particle B:

A and B are entangled particles; measurement on A and C gives some classical information on C, while quantum information on C slips along the entanglement and is carried over to B, where classical and quantum information can be combined; so, B is brought into the same state as C was originally. This amounts to having moved photon C to the place occupied by B, without moving C across the gap separating C from B.

quantum information travel path
measurement
on A and C
classical information
path
From all that, the idea has been introduced of information as consisting of particles, like elementary particles, whose interactions underlie all quantum happenings: the smallest pieces of information are called qubits (the 2-states quantum system) and ebits, the latter being “the amount of entanglement in a maximally entangled pair” (Ch. Bennett). An ebit has been pictured as “virtual” information (N. Cerf and Ch. Ademi at CalTech), like virtual particles of matter, and just like these ones, they are revealed through their interactions with real particles.

Entangling a pair of particles corresponds to creating a virtual pair of information particles, a qubit and an anti-qubit out of the information vacuum. So, in the language of Feynman’s diagrams used for charting the interactions of material particles, teleportation is described as a qubit interaction with one ebit of an entangled pair, creating real information which travels to interact with the anti-ebit at the receiving point, and the original qubit is thus remade:

Particles of Information

qubit
2 classical bits
ebit
entangled pair anti-ebit qubit remade
As shown, the qubit is worth 2 classical bits, because of the quantum phenomenon of “superposition of states”: a quantum system can be at the same time in different (“superposed”) states.

Accordingly, information looks like being the most fundamental level of reality. Recent nanoscale and fundamental level investigation of life and biological intelligence are leading to the ultimate melding of logic, physics and information, as further discussed in the following.

Life and biological intelligence might thus draw on interactions between energy-matter and the quantum vacuum, e.g. through electronic-conformation interactions in biomacromolecules for control and evolution.

This is reminiscent also of the Einsteinian concept of

“intuition relying on a sympathetic understanding of the state of affairs”

in the Universe and the cognitive system as a subsystem containing a functional model of its own interaction with the rest of the Universe; in the mathematical language, a homology between some definite patterns of the external world, and the software categories of the brain.