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What is a causal violation?

What is a causal violation?

Science

Causality is a fundamental principle of physics that states that an effect cannot occur before its cause. This principle forms the basis of our understanding of the universe, as it ensures that events unfold in a logical and predictable manner. However, there are situations in which the principle of causality appears to be violated, and this can have profound implications for our understanding of the nature of reality.

One example of a violation of causality we can look at is the phenomenon of faster-than-light communication.

The distance from the Sun to Earth is shown as 150 million kilometres, an approximate average. Sizes to scale.
Illustration, to scale, of Earth’s distance to the Sun. Created using Celestia and some further manual editing. This version has English labels.

According to the theory of relativity, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. This means that information cannot be transmitted faster than the speed of light, as doing so would violate the principle of causality. However, there are certain situations in which information appears to be able to travel faster than the speed of light.

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Spacetime diagram showing that moving faster than light implies time travel in the context of special relativity. Cirosantilli2 – Own work

One example of this can be found in the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. When two particles are entangled, they become connected in such a way that the state of one particle is dependent on the state of the other particle, regardless of the distance between them. As a result, means that if the state of one particle becomes changed. Thus, the state of the other particle will become changed as well. Instantaneously! Regardless of how far apart they are!

Of course, appearing to violate the principle of causality. As it suggests that information is becoming transmitted faster than the speed of light.

Mathematician & Adjunct Columbia Professor Harvey J. Stein used the analogy, “It’s like when someone says ouch before you hit them” to explain the concept of how information can travel faster than the speed of light. 

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The analogy refers to a situation in which someone says “ouch” before they are hit, suggesting that they somehow knew that they were going to be hit before it happened. In the same way, the phenomenon of quantum entanglement suggests that particles somehow “know” what state they will be in before they are observed, even if they are separated by vast distances.

How did Einstein explain quantum entanglement?

This implies that information is becoming transmitted faster than the speed of light, which violates the principle of causality.

In general, the common idea of local causality becomes essentially ‘taken for granted.’ Moreover, one assumes that in the natural world objects only have the capacity to influence other objects only when they become physically close together. Furthermore, correlations between distant objects must have originated in the past when the objects shared the same space. However, the quantum world provides a new understanding of how fast particles can travel. Moreover, distant particles have the potential to become correlated in ways that are impossible for classical objects, unless these distant particles can somehow influence each other.

Physics Nobel Prize Winner MIT Prof Frank Wilczek talks with Rebellion Reserach on String Theory, Gravitation, Newton & Big Bang!

There are several theories that attempt to explain how the phenomenon of quantum entanglement can occur without violating the principle of causality. Some scientists propose that there becomes an underlying mechanism connecting the two particles. As a reuslt, which allows information to become transmitted faster than the speed of light.

Others suggest that the phenomenon is simply a result of our limited understanding of the nature of reality. And that there may be some as-yet-unknown principle that governs the behavior of particles at the quantum level.

Regardless of the explanation, the phenomenon of faster-than-light communication is a fascinating and mysterious aspect of the universe. By studying this phenomenon, scientists hope to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental nature of reality, and perhaps even to unlock some of the secrets of the universe. For further reading on Professor Harvey J. Stein see his SSRN page: 

Author Page for Harvey J. Stein :: SSRN

For further reading on this subject see:

Causality In Predictions : Is Causality the Future of Machine Learning? (rebellionresearch.com)

Deep Learning God Yann LeCun – Facebook / Meta’s Director of Artificial Intelligence & Courant Prof.

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