Perhaps one of the most intriguing and interesting phenomena in quantum physics was that Einstein called “an eerie action at a distance,” also known as quantum entanglement. This quantum effect is at the heart of the work of quantum computers, since quantum bits (qubits) rely on entanglement for processing data and information. This phenomenon also underlies the theory of possible quantum teleportation.
In short: entangled particles affect each other regardless of distance, since measuring one state instantly affects the other. However, this process remains “creepy” because – despite being subject to the strict laws of quantum physics – entanglement seems to be associated with a deeper but not yet open theory. Some physicists try to undermine this profound theory, but so far nothing has been found.
As for the most intricacies, in 1964 physicist John Bell developed a famous test in order to determine whether the particles actually affect each other. Bell’s experiment included a couple of entangled particles: one was sent to point A and the other to point B. At each of these points, the device measured the state of the particles. The measuring devices were tuned in a random way, so at the time of measurement at point A, the settings of point B (and vice versa) could not be known at all. The Bell experiment supported an eerie theory.
And so, Lucien Hardy, a theoretical physicist at the Perimeter Institute in Canada, suggests that A and B measurements can be controlled by something that is potentially detached from the material world: the human consciousness. His idea stems from what the French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes called the dualism of reason and matter, “in which the mind is outside of ordinary physics and interferes with the physical world,” Hardy explained.
To test his idea, Hardy proposed to conduct a Bell experiment involving 100 people, each of which is connected to the EEG headset, which reads the activity of the brain. These devices will be used to switch the settings of the measuring devices for A and B installed at a distance of 100 km from each other. “The key opportunity that we want to investigate is that when people (and not different types of random number generators) are used to determine the settings, we can expect a violation of the quantum theory in accordance with Bell’s inequality,” Hardy writes in his paper.
If the correlation between the measurements does not correspond to previous Bell tests, then there will be a violation of the quantum theory, which suggests that A and B are controlled by factors outside the standard physics area. “If we see a violation of quantum theory in a system that can be considered reasonable, human or animal, it will be incredible. I can not imagine a more exciting outcome of the experiment in physics. The conclusions will be far-reaching. ”
What does it mean? That the human mind (consciousness) does not consist of the same substance that obeys the laws of physics. That is, consciousness can surpass the laws of physics at the expense of free will. Such a result will allow physicists to closely approach the problem of consciousness for the first time. “It will not solve the issue, but it will give a strong support to the issue of free will,” Hardy says.