Talk:The Fabric of the Cosmos

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Need to divide to sub sections? Sgd

Needs much more then that if you ask me. This article seems to be giving bits and pieces of information while leaving some major points out. Sub sections would be nice. Gagueci 18:44, 14 July 2006 (UTC)


I'm going to start a new summary with sub-heading for chapters, one that is more organized. I have completed parts 1 through 3, so if anyone would mind helping finishing the last two parts, that would be fine. Gagueci 18:11, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

I've done all five parts, feel free to edit. I've also removed the clean-up tag. Gagueci 17:52, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

This is looking way better than it did when I first came across it! Well done! The format is nice and easy to follow. I'm going to make more edits for accuracy, but if I go too far, or get too technical, rein me in.  ;)

It did need a good work of clean up (as the tage implied), such a great book deserves great attention.Gagueci 23:07, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

Agreed, it is a great book, as was The Elegant Universe. •Jim62sch• 23:25, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I think this article has been dusted off quite nicely. I am done with the editing, thanks for your help.Gagueci 16:47, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you've done a nice job. I might throw some stuff into it if I get the chance later, but I think it provides a nice summary of the book. Well done! •Jim62sch• 20:45, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


What happened to the infobox? --The Radio Star 00:10, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Best Seller[edit]

Does anyone know how long this book was on the best seller list? It needs a citation for that. Any help would be appreciated. Gagueci 17:40, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:FabricOfCosmos.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 05:09, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

EPR analogy flawed?[edit]

I'm reading through the book while researching a paper, and I'm trying to reproduce the figures he uses in his Mulder vs. Scully "titanium box" analogue for Bell's Theorem. After crunching through and checking it for hours, I think he's missed something. Can anyone corroborate?

In a nutshell, he sets up an analogy to a Bell-setup spin detector with boxes that have three doors. There are 1000 linked pairs of boxes, each pair entangled, and the pairs are split between two people so that no box can be compared to its entangled partner by a single person. When a door on a box is opened, it flashes either red or blue, but it will not then flash for the other two doors (uncertainty principle analogue). If the boxes selected by person A and Person B happen to be an entangled pair, AND they both select the same door, they will see the same color flash (that's the entanglement). The idea is to test the long-run rate of same-color flashes between two possibilities: 1) each pair of boxes is programmed with a certain flash pattern, or 2) quantum-mechanics style, only measurements of entangled boxes on the same door are correlated, and everything else is left to perfectly uncertain chance.

For "boxes are programmed": I assume infinitely long run, and that all 8 program possibilities (rrr, bbb, brr, rbr, rrb, bbr, rbb, brb) are equally likely to occur. The major interactions are 3-same yielding {0, 1/3, 2/3, 1} rates of same-ness depending on what it's matched against, and 2-same combinations yielding {0, 1/3, 4/9, 5/9, 2/3, 1}. It's an average of 6/8 chance of a 2-same times 5/9 chance of same-ness plus 2/8 chance of 3-same times 1/2 chance of same-ness. What I get, then, is a (roughly) 54% expectation of identical color flashes.

For "boxes are random but entangled": Again assuming infinitely long run, the chances would be a 7/8 chance of non-entangled boxes with, then, a 50% chance of coming out identically (1/4 rr, 1/4 bb). For the remaining 1/8 chance, there's a 1/3 chance identical axes will be selected and the outcome will definitely be identical, and a 2/3 chance that it will be 50/50. Together, this adds up to identical flashes just over 52% of the time.

The problem: Greene states that programmed boxes will have a long-run agreement over 50% of the time, but he says that the random boxes will agree less than half the time. I cannot see how that is possible - if the only outcomes are "the same 50% of the time" and "the same 100% of the time," based on your choices, how could you possibly see a long-run agreement of under 50%?

As well, he suggests that this <50% thing is true for a given entangled pair, which is ludicrous. With 9 outcomes, all the same-door ones (1/3) are the same, and the other 6/9 are a 50% chance of coming up rr or bb, which yields a 2/3 chance of a same-color flash. But this is the reasoning he puts forward to get the "greater than 50%" part of the programmed box prediction, as well; he implies that not only would the rate be over 50%, it would be over 5/9, which 54.1667% is not.

Basically, he makes a correct point incorrectly. Is this right?

Obviously, this can't go in the article, since it's original research, but I'm wondering if anyone can check my logic on this. It would be bizarre to think that I haven't finished a B.S. in Political Science yet I'm out-mathing Brian Greene. Krapitino (talk) 09:17, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

My math was wrong on the "programs" version: long-run expectation of 50%. I'm pretty sure I'm right now, but I'd still welcome anyone's thoughts. Krapitino (talk) 07:33, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
"basically, he makes a correct point incorrectly." Well of course he does; that's what an analogy is. I find it totally plausible that the math of entangled boxes does not perfectly correspond to entangled elementary particles. Particles aren't exactly entangled by aliens, either. While you may or may not be right about the math, I don't think it has much of a significant effect on the argument, since as you say, the result is correct and the math is at least close (54.2% certainly is close to 55.6%), as well as providing a useful analogy for how quantum entanglement works and how the "hidden variables" theory was disproven. Eebster the Great (talk) 02:37, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Wrong Date[edit]

I have a copy of this book in my hands right now that is copyrighted 2004 by Brian R. Greene, while the article says 2005. Further research via the library of congress confirms it: I am changing the date in the article and adding a reference. Phixxor (talk) 23:03, 20 June 2010 (UTC)