Wednesday, October 25, 2006

SF Story / SPAM

WINNING THE LOTTERY THROUGH QUANTUM MECHANICS: A
MODEST PROPOSAL

Gentlemen, at present the financial resources of the
BlackSky Institute for Speculative Science are (as
detailed in annex A) somewhat stretched: to be precise
as the red ink at columns J and Q indicate, we are
broke, and it will be a matter of less than a year
before this is apparent to our external creditors.

The demise of James Prufrock IV, and the passage into
the hands of his executors and heirs of the Prufrock
vegetable empire – executors and heirs who lack James’
long time interest in realising the dreams of
Speculative Science – mean that our main source of
income for bursaries, building mortgages, utility
bills and even salaries are now considerably
curtailed.

We have therefore, an urgent need to ensure fresh
funds. While normal investigations into encouraging
donations and fund –raising should continue (although
at a pace calculated not to alarm our creditors:
Professor Franklin will provide a Bayes Theorem
treatment of the probabilities of success as against
those of ensuring a rapid calling in of our
obligations) I wish to propose a method for combining
our continued work with a direct financial gain.

You will be aware that we are gearing up to a
variation on the split-screen entanglement experiment.
As per the classical form of the
experiment one of two separate analysis methodologies
will be employed 1) a camera which will photograph the
slot through which the paired photons pass, and 2) a screen
which will offer a impact pattern record. You will all
be aware that the choice of which measuring
methodology to follow has a direct effect on the state
of the photon observed. When 1) is used, a single
photon is perceived to pass through the slot and to
function as a particle. When 2) is used a probability
scatter is measured and the photon is perceived to
function as a wave. It is also established that
whatever measure is taken of photon A, photon B can
not appear in the opposite state even if the decision
as to which recording methodology to apply is taken in
respect of A only. That is if at time t option 1) is
triggered for A, and at time t+n option 2) is
triggered for B : the screen will not show a waveform
at B) even if A and B are further apart than a
lightspeed signal between location q (the site of A)
and location p (the site of B) could cover before the
effect is evidenced. This is the problem of quantum
action at a distance.

The new experiment is designed to test if quantum
entanglement operates across time.
As the screen can be triggered after the passage of A
through the slot, or the camera can take a photograph
just after the photon has passed through, it is
possible that the state of a photon B at time t-n can be
determined by a decision about photon A at time t. It is also
possible that by delaying the passage of photon A post
its passage through the slot by a fibre-optic coil the
time differential between the decision and the effect
could be extended into a matter of minutes.

This gives us our opportunity. Now it has been
suggested that quantum entanglement can by pass the
lightspeed barrier because no actual information is
transmitted, that is the state of A (particle or wave)
at location q or time t-n conveys nothing about
location p or time t.

However this is clearly nonsense. Imagine a bank of
38 machines all clearly numbered. Their state at
location p is so set so that if a machine passes
photons they are regarded as ‘positive’ and if they
pass waves they are regarded as ‘negative’. This would
transmit any differences we might wish to convey
between the machines as a pattern from p to q faster
than light, or from t to t-n back in time.

Now let the ‘positive’ state be the fact that a number
has been drawn in the lottery at time t, and a
‘negative’ state be the fact that a number has not
been drawn. We can therefore transmit (having made the
above decisions in advance of the construction of our
machines) the lottery result from p to q faster than
light or from t to t-n back in time. A computer
program designed to take the lottery result as input
and trigger the requisite measurement method in each
machine is easy to produce.

It will be protested that a transmission length of a
long lab (even if faster-than- light) or of a few
minutes (even if back in time) will not enable us to
move the information sufficiently far back to purchase
the lottery ticket. I will address this point and the cost
of the machines below.

The sale of lottery tickets cease approximately five
hours before the draw. The retrotransmission
potential of a single machine, five minutes, is 1/60th
of this time.

It is therefore obvious that 38 x 60 machines in an
array, the output of those furthest into the future
determining the measurement method of that preceding
it would enable the transmission of a winning lottery
number from the point of the draw to a time at which
the Institute could purchase a ticket.

Now the cost of a single paired machine involving as
it does moving screens, camera, paired photon
emitters, and for this purpose computer control of
input and the capacity to accept input from a further
machine is likely to be in region of £500,000.
We have therefore an apparent cost of £10.14 billion
to win perhaps £10 million, which may seem wasteful –
and at this point I would understand if you felt like
tossing this paper aside in disgust, but consider
further.

There is no reason why one machine should not be used
more than once in the array.
This may sound odd: am I proposing that a machine
should send a signal to itself?
Yes I am. Suppose the total time required prepping a machine
to send a signal back in time takes fifteen minutes, the
signal moving back 5. Then we need only three
machines, because the first machine can take the
output of the third in the fifteen minutes before its
first (or if you prefer last) run, and so on. This reduces our
costs to 38 x 3 or £57 million.

Still excessive? Recall we can win every lottery that
takes place and uses <=38 numbers, from the
moment the array comes on line until the time when we
choose either to make this methodology public or the
lottery authorities get suspicious.

I ask then that you vote to acquire on credit if
necessary, pending our fiscal embarrassment being
discovered, the necessary parts and labour to make
possible this great and profitable scientific
experiment.

Professor Maximillian la Vu
BlackSky Institute
Passadina

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