Best Explanation of Quantum Entanglement

By Anupum Pant

I don’t know a lot about Quantum entanglement, but I still think it is very interesting. So much that a PC game which contained of this concept, immediately landed on the list of my most favourite games. Yet, it sure is a tough thing to get into your head.

Fear not. Associate Professor Andrea Morello of  University of New South Wales (UNSW) is here to explain it to you, in this video which people have started calling – “The best explanation of quantum entanglement so far”. I have to admit it, I am still not sure if I really understand what the professor tries to explain in the best explanation ever video.

In very simple words entanglement works like this. If two objects are entangled with each other, and if you separate them by any distance (even place them at the opposite ends of the universe), then they’d still remain connected very peculiarly. Entangled particles even separated by a massive distance would still be connected – as in, whatever you did to one of the particles would instantly happen to the other particle at the other end.

The instantaneous reflection of changes done on the first particle to the other particle happened faster than light. And Einstein didn’t like that, he called it “spooky action at a distance”. Tom me, this video explains it better…

Cutting a Round Cake on Scientific Principles

By Anupum Pant

Background

For years the phrase “cake cutting” has conjured up just one image in my brain – A triangular section of the cake. This way of cutting a cake is so normal that even the tools (especially the spatula) that are made for cake cutting are made in a way that’d work with best when you are making that traditional triangular cut. Turns out, this method of cutting a cake which we’ve all know for years is totally wrong.

Why is it wrong?

It’s wrong mostly for mathematical loners. People who, on their birthday, have no one around to share the cake with, and cannot finish off the whole cake. For them and the ones who have to store the cake after cutting it, are extremely careful about how moist the edges remain when they next eat it, this right way to cut a cake might be of great importance.

The way we’ve always know is “wrong” because when you cut off, say a single section of the cake and decide to store the larger piece in the fridge, some internal part of the cake remains exposed and it dries off. So, the next time you cut off a piece near the area where you started, you’d get a freshly cut moist wall of cake on one side, and a repulsively hard dried up wall on the other. That, some think, is extremely unpleasant.

What’s the Right way?

About 100 years back, a brilliant Polymmath (and a mathematician), Sir Francis Galton, faced a similar annoyance. So, instead of cursing others for having invented an absurdly inefficient way to cut a cake, he decided to develop his own. He ended up developing a very simple and efficient cut which helped him keep the cake wall relatively moist. Here’s how the cut works. (Cut along the dotted line)

the right way to cut a cake

Describing his new way of cutting cakes, he got an article published in the Nature magazine (dated December 20th, 1906). “Cutting a Round Cake on Scientific Principles

Alex Bellos from the Numberphiles describes it in a video below:

Superfluid Helium is One Strange Liquid

By Anupum Pant

Helium can’t be frozen into a solid (at atmospheric pressure) – the very property which allows it to go from a simple liquid Helium state (warmer) at minus 269 degree C – where its boiling and evaporating quickly – to a much calmer Liquid Helium II stage (cooler).

Liquid Helium  II is obtained at a temperature lower than minus 269 degree C, at about minus 271 degree C – known as the Lambda point.

Liquid Helium II is a superfluid. Superfluid Helium has no viscosity. It behaves extraordinarily. As a summary of how extraordinary superfluid Helium is, here is a list of things it can do:

  • Superfluid Helium will leak out of solid ceramic containers which have extremely tiny pores that no other liquid can penetrate.
  • If it is taken in a container and the container is spun around the central axis, the superfluid will not spin.
  • Somehow if you manage to spin it, because it has no friction, it won’t stop.
  • It can climb walls of a container by forming an extremely thin film and defying gravity.
  • It can produce an eternal frictionless fountain.
  • It can conduct electricity better than some of the best metal conductors like Copper! It’s a big thing for a liquid to be able to do that.

Here is a summary video you can watch below.

But, I’d suggest watching the whole documentary here. It explains everything that superfluid helium can do in nice detail. Also, the researcher makes sure it is in a very simple language…