back to article Quantum traffic jam of atoms could unlock origin of dark energy, physicists claim

It may be possible to crack the mystery of why the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, if gravity can be measured through a “quantum traffic jam” of ultracold atoms. A paper published in Physical Review Letters [paywalled] proposes a hypothetical experiment that could provide scientists with a new way of measuring …

  1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    I've figured it out...

    Musk and others claim that it's all a huge computer simulation. Everything.

    But modern compilers are optimized, so a clever compiler (i.e. God's) wouldn't bother calculating a result if it doesn't matter. Therefore, "If a tree falls in the forest..." etc. = silent. (Finally got that answered.)

    But the same thing explains quantum physics. There's no need to compute if Schrödinger's Cat is dead or alive unless somebody can be bothered to look.

    See?

    1. Brian Miller

      Re: I've figured it out...

      Right, so the tree falling in the forest does not, in fact fall. It exists in its state only when it is observed, and otherwise fails to exist. Therefore, two separate observers may observe the same tree at the same time, and observe different states. And they may also share their bong and raspberry tabs...

      Or we can have a lot of fun, pack C4 around the cat's box, and place everything into a known state: chaos!

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: I've figured it out...

        It exists in its state only when it is observed, and otherwise fails to exist.

        You are Bishop Berkeley and I claim my five pounds.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I've figured it out...

          " for the existence of an idea consists in being perceived"; GB

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: I've figured it out...

      But the same thing explains quantum physics. There's no need to compute if Schrödinger's Cat is dead or alive unless somebody can be bothered to look.

      How long does the compiler delay the computation of the original quantum state if the chain of decoherence doesn't matter to someone for millennia? At what point is it more efficient to simply carry out the computation and deal with the result rather than store the situation and only resolve it and all the things it affects when they intersect with the simulated awareness of a human being?

      In other words, when does the cat start to smell?

    3. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: I've figured it out...

      "Musk and others claim that it's all a huge computer simulation. Everything."

      In which case we can postulate that the anomalous rate-of-expansion is a bug, possibly some kind of buffer-overflow being exploited by another deity against this universe's operating system.

      Hopefully our universe's deity won't decide to "turn it off and then on again" or install the equivalent of Norton AntiVirus...

    4. boltar Silver badge

      Re: I've figured it out...

      "Musk and others claim that it's all a huge computer simulation. Everything."

      Quite so. And the expansion of the universe is simply a floating point rounding error in the program which wasn't spotted in testing (well, they didn't have the time obviously).

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've figured it out...

      "Musk and others claim that it's all a huge computer simulation. Everything."

      In that case presumably there is no actual point in using FaceBook...Oh wait. There never was!

    6. PyLETS

      Re: I've figured it out...

      If it's all a simulation we're living in, then presumably there is no need to simulate what exists at a distance from observation to a finer resolution than it can be observed. Perhaps an experiment for this will detect pixellation (or a coarser quantum grain) of more distant galaxies than closer ones. You may laugh at this idea, but setting up experiments to detect or disprove it is similar to the problem of writing a program to detect that it's running inside a virtual machine setup as a honeypot. If the honeypot is clever enough, it will know about all means of testing it's nature. This fails in the real world when the abilities of the test program outrun the capabilities of the defensive one.

    7. swm

      Re: I've figured it out...

      David Brin has a better explanation - all of the simulations have already been run to completion and we are living in pseudo time.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    The IoT in Extremis with Codes taken to XSSXXXX

    Yes, well, Vapourware doing ITs Real and Virtual Thing.

    It may be possible to crack the mystery of why the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, if gravity can be measured through a “quantum traffic jam” of ultracold atoms.

    Does that hypothetical question state/not state an improbable possible and probable impossible and be in a closely related parallel to a quantum traffic jam of improbable impossibles?

    And are such endeavours a monumental waste of time and effort/blood and treasure? Or .... in the Greater Schema of Things, is Nothing and Anything and Everything a Matter to Jot and Explore and Expand/Catch a Wave and Travel to a Hypothetical Destination ....... Seventh Heavenly Spaces.

    And would IT and you conceive to perceive and receive an Alternate Space with Hellish Places and scary terrified monsters to match and make up a population held captive and spellbound by Mad Sad Media spinning Tall Tales and False Trails with Austere Narratives leading to Nowhere Rich and Fruitful? Now surely that, and be truly honest with yourself, would be certifiably crazy and not worth a Jot. And in some states and jurisdictions would it be akin to treasonous activity requiring deadly consequences.

    Capture and Driver AIViable Imagination and the World of Worlds and Words is Yours to Remotely Command and Autonomously Control with Words both Freely Shared and Privately Purchased with Public Purses and via Market Bourses.

    Haven't you figured that out yet? How everything works so perfectly well together in madness and CHAOS?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: The IoT in Extremis with Codes taken to XSSXXXX

      And if you are thinking any or all of that above is farcical fanciful and/or errant nonsense [and there are at least two who have registered a down vote], think again and wonder at the persistence and insistence of your arrogant ignorance in the face of pertinent impertinent facts freely shared ……

      It would be easy this week for decision-makers in narrative industries across the English-speaking world – the movies, the TV networks and the big theatres – to take comfort in the delusions peddled by the US media. That Trump is just Reagan with bad hair. That the establishment will tame him. That, anyway, it is just four years and then back to normal. …….Guardian Telling Truth

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: The IoT in Extremis with Codes taken to XSSXXXX

        Yes, y'all are badly led, comforted and terrorised by mainstream media mogul puppets who be junkies to flunkies with more money than sense to share and spend wisely.

        Or would you like to disagree and posit an alternate effective remote command and control module/lever/meme in daily dangerous play?

  3. Harry the Bastard

    sans paywall

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1601.02549

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "a tiny ring-like structure about 10 to 20 micrometers in diameter"

    On the atomic scale 10 to 20 microns is far from tiny. You're dealing with things this sort of size: http://www.psmicrographs.co.uk/_assets/uploads/hazel-pollen--corylus-avellana--80015210-l.jpg which are about 25 microns across and showing much finer structures on the surface. They're easily observable with the light microscope with the fine structure being just about at the limit of resolution.

    1. ravenviz Silver badge
      Angel

      Re:

      How many angels can fit inside it though?

  5. Pat Harkin
    Coat

    Quantum traffic circles...

    Didn't Howard, Leonard and Sheldon just patent this?

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. xyz

    did a similar experiment years ago

    "Traffic jammed" electrons....you get some "weird shit" results which I'm still trying to work out. Hint: look for a mach cone. Not being smut, just sayin'

  8. David Pollard

    ... hasn’t been experimentally proven yet

    The mystery of why the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate might well be solved in a rather different way. The idea of accelerating expansion was based on observations of supernovae that had been available in 1990. A recent paper by J. T. Nielsen, A. Guffanti & S. Sarkar using the larger dataset that is now available suggests that expansion may in fact be constant.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161021123238.htm

    http://www.nature.com/articles/srep35596

  9. Cubical Drone

    Traffic can be both good and bad...

    ...but you don't know which until you are stuck in it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some mixed up units I'm that article. It's using 10 micrometers for both the width of s human hair and the side of the quantum ring.

  11. Bob Wheeler
    Joke

    Does this explain...

    ... that the M25 is just an big experiment?

    1. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Does this explain...

      "... that the M25 is just an big experiment?"

      Yes, it tests the superposition of motoring states; you're parked and driving at the same time...

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Does this explain...

        And filling part of the dark sigil Odegra.

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