Normally,  if you give your tea cup a push, you expect that cup to move on the table top.

Locality

After all, if you push something at a given spot or locality, it will react. This is the principle of locality. However in the quantum world things move in connection with other things at a distance…even when there was no obvious push!  In other words, your tea cup might move if a friend of yours in another city merely thinks of drinking tea with you! That sounds like magic, that is, it violates the principle of locality.

Nonlocality

In quantum systems, physicists call such action-at-a-distance, “nonlocality,” that is, something can affect something else without any sort of noticeable push.  It seems as if there is no  space, no locality, as if something about nonlocality connects things…or that these things are all part of some inherent oneness. We don’t want to go into the details  of the physics here. (The reader interested in a popular explanation can see http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=was-einstein-wrong-about-relativity&print=true )

At this point people divide up into at least 2 schools. One school says, “Ok that is quantum physics but people are not quantum objects.” The other school says, “People have always known about this kind of magic.”

Arny goes into this debate in his new book, ProcessMind (coming soon) and we explore these questions in our seminars. But we want to put these ideas out again to the general public so that together, all of us can ponder, who are we as human beings?  How for example can we know that one of two particles is  happy and excited, while at the same time neither of them is definitely excited.  :-)

Find that hard to understand? Try thinking nonlocally :-) . Or begin to think psychologically.

—————-Thanks to Magdalena Skoczewska and Alexandra Vassiliou for pointing out the above mentioned Scientific American article to us.