“How little we know of what there is to know. I wish that I were going to live a long time instead of going to die today because I have learned much about life in these four days; more, I think than in all other time. I'd like to be an old man to really know. I wonder if you keep on learning or if there is only a certain amount each man can understand. I thought I knew so many things that I know nothing of. I wish there was more time.”
― Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bell Tolls
Knowledge is not something that you possess. It is a flowing river of information that runs over you, under you, and through you. What you know now is only in this moment, and in the next, you will become something different. We are not computers, geniuses, or masterminds of any kind. We are observers being swept along through time’s currents and though we have a pen, paper, and maybe a camera to record what we see, ultimate we can only know what is right in front of us, and everything else is fleeting.
Sorry if I made your head spin there, but that’s the kind of thought I had today when I was reading about the concepts of quantum entanglement and more importantly, a recent breakthrough in the field. Until this morning, I was fairly certain I knew how the world worked. Not in a profound and scientific way, mind you, but a lofty kind of understanding that made me feel, I don’t know, comfortable.
Then I read this, and suddenly I was uprooted from my place under the tree of knowledge. It started raining apples and it was all I could do not to run for cover. We are not the owners of knowledge my friends, we are simply custodians of its gifts and temporary tenants of the information therein. What we know now will be challenged, changed, and turned into something else entirely. Nothing is set in stone and we need to accept the fact that every discovery, every breakthrough, and every step we take forward is nothing more than the shuffling gait of a toddler taking their first steps.
Alright Confucius, What’s The Point Here?
On a very basic level which is fueled by my minimal understanding of the concept, quantum entanglement represents a phenomenon where two particles become “entangled” at which point they suddenly become exact copies of one another. Whatever characteristics they had individually are now gone.
They exist as a single identity and what’s more, if you change something about one of them, the other one mimics the change instantaneously, no matter how far apart they are. This change happens so quickly that is completely ignores the laws of space and time. It literally occurs without a single measurable increment of delay. Einstein actually first explored this phenomenon, but he didn’t think it was possible. He called it “spooky action at a distance.”
Science fiction likes to throw around the concept of quantum entanglement and apply it to things like teleportation and other crazy ideas. In our world, and in regards to the PS5, it represents something more applicable. One such term that is associated with this is quantum computing which would offer the PS5 an almost indescribable amount of processing power for gaming.
Okay, now that we’ve established that, it’s time to talk about a major step forward that occurred in September of 2014. A research team in the physics department at the University of Geneva, led by Professor Nicolas Gisin, managed to achieve teleportation of a photon’s quantum state to another photon that was encased in crystal 15.5 miles away! The last time this was done, the distance was only 3.7 miles, which makes this a new record.
The experiment began when the scientists stores a single photon particle in a crystal, which created a solid-state memory bank. They sent another photon with a different wavelength through an optical fiber, where it interacted with a third photon. The first two particles were entangled, like I explained earlier, which meant that the interaction caused the date to appear in the other memory bank where the scientists could retrieve it.
That’s word for word what happened, not sure exactly how it worked, but they tried to explain it with an analogy:
"It is a bit like a game of billiards, with a third photon hitting the first which obliterates both of them. Scientists measure this collision. But the information contained in the third photon is not destroyed -- on the contrary it finds its way to the crystal which also contains the second entangled photon."
Basically, you affect one entangled photon in a group, and the other reflects the change instantly. The implication of this is most exciting when we talk about using quantum entanglement to transfer data so fast that it happens instantaneously. I hesitate to use the word “teleportation” because that’s not really what happens. Another good example comes from a CNET article about the experiment where they use a card analogy to explain the concept:
“For example, if you and a friend have two playing cards -- the ace of spades and the ace of hearts -- and you each blindly pick one, walk into different rooms and then look at the card in your hand, you'll both know instantly know what card your friend has.”
The information isn’t transferred or sent anywhere, it just exists in two place at once whereas it originally only existed in one location. Incredible, right? So how does this affect our PS5 theories?
How Can Quantum Entanglement Be Utilized in The PS5?
While the biggest focus for this kind of technology resides in communication, the potential for using it in gaming is huge. Scientists have already started talking about a quantum internet that transfers data between routers instantly. Think about it, no more downloads, no lag, no waiting, just instant satisfaction. It seems crazy, but if the scientists were able to transmit data through a modern day fiber optic cable, then technology doesn’t have too much farther to go before we can start utilizing quantum mechanics.
We would never have to worry about waiting for downloads, or lag when we’re streaming games or movies ever again. With data transfers occurring instantly, there’s literally no time or space involved, despite the fact that there’s a distant between point A and B. The state of the particles are changing and reflecting one another, completely ignoring the distance between them, acting as a cohesive whole.
When you scour the gaming boards and comment sections of these articles, you see plenty of people talking about this concept being used with the PS5 and I for one agree wholeheartedly. It all depends on how quickly we can establish something like a quantum internet, but with leaps and bounds like these being made everyday, I would say that it’s not going to be much longer. We've already seen other quantum theories suggested for use on the PS5.
There's also quantum computing which we mentioned earlier. This concept involves processors that use quantum entangled qubits to process multiple equations and tasks simultaneously since they are entangled. Think of it like the power of multiple PS4 systems all working together in perfect rhythm. It's like teamwork, only with science and "spooky action" as Einstein called it.
What do you think about the concept of quantum entanglement? Do you think it could be used in the PS5? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!