Quantum entanglement is just one of many aspects of quantum theory that cannot be understood or 'pictured' very well, perhaps most so by those who are capable of 'best' understanding it. Fundamentally, it means that 'things' (experimentally, 'particles') that were once part of a single entity or system somehow remain connected thereafter; and if one makes an 'observation' that determines the properties of one 'part' of the former entity or system, the other part will instantaneously exhibit the opposite but equal property.
"Quantum entanglement is a property of the quantum mechanical state of a system containing two or more objects, where the objects that make up the system are linked in such a way that the quantum state of any of them cannot be adequately described without full mention of the others, even if the individual objects are spatially separated."In simpler (and more illustrative) terms, when two particles come together and form a 'system,' thereafter "they behave like one object, but remain two separate objects. It is as if they now sit on the same teeter-totter seesaw. No matter how long the seesaw is, even if it is one million miles long, if one end is down the other end must be up, and this happens instantly." (Source: Simple English Wikipedia, "quantum entanglement.")
(Source: Wikipedia, "quantum entanglement.")
|The "EPR paradox" (Einstein/Podulsky/Rosen) unsuccessfully |
challenged the notion of quantum entanglement. (Wikipedia)
Einstein was unsuccessful, however, and Scottish physicist John Bell showed in 'Bell's Theorem' that such 'super-liminal' (or "faster than light") connectivity must exist. This was proved, experimentally, in 1972; and thereafter the notion that one particle or 'thing' over 'here' is an integral part of a system with some 'thing' over 'there' - even when over 'there' is a distance of thousands or millions of light years - fell away, and it began to seem that Western physics and cosmology was looking more and more like the cosmology and 'physics' of Eastern wisdom traditions.
The ideas of Buddhist 'dependent origination' (that everything that 'is' arises from interrelated and prior causes or phenomena) and "Indra's Many-Jewelled Net" from Hinduism (in which every bit of the universe is connected to and holographically "reflects" every other bit of matter) are beginning to look more and more like how Western physics was beginning to model the universe.
Perhaps this is just speculative and coincidental, but many informed scientists suspect that it is not. In any event, it has given great impetus to people who would classify themselves as 'spiritual but not religious' to question further the traditional notions of outwardly religious beliefs and dogma. More and more, it appears that the scientific and inner religious or spiritual traditions, as well as Western psychology are beginning to meld and overlap. Perhaps, they are destined to merge, as the following video on "Where Science and Buddhism Meet" suggests.
Or, as Gary Zukav observed in his now classic book, "The Dancing Wu Li Masters,," (at page 31), "(P)hysics is (becoming) the study of the structure of consciousness."