Jonathon Keats calls himself an “experimental philosopher.” His strange and surprising thought experiments are often based on scientific ideas. He established a temple for the worship of science; he collaborated with geneticists in an attempt to determine the DNA of God; he sold property in the fourth dimension by applying string theory to real estate.
His latest project offers quantum entanglement to couples as an alternative to marriage. In quantum physics, two entangled particles remain connected no matter how far apart they are. Even if they are light years apart, any change to one has a simultaneous and identical effect on the other. The process is certainly mysterious; Einstein described it as “spooky action at a distance.”
Keats’ project applies that basic idea to human relationships. He explains:
The technology is straightforward: Exposed to solar radiation, a nonlinear crystal entangles photons. Pairs of entangled photons are divided by prisms. The photoelectric effect translates their entangled state to the bodies of a couple who wish to be united, entangling them in a quantum wedding.
There are no restrictions on who may be entangled to whom. The process is unsupervised. No records are kept. Even those who get entangled will have to take their entanglement on faith, as any attempt to measure a quantum system disentangles it: A quantum marriage will literally be broken up by skepticism about it.
The potential of quantum marriage will be fulfilled by those who choose to engage it. After five thousand years of manmade laws, often exclusionary or punitive, science promises to liberate marriage through technology freely offering entanglement to everybody.
If you’re still confused, watch this video to see Keats explain the project.
For the record, Keats is both married to and entangled with his wife.
The project runs through July 30, 2011 at the AC Institute in New York.
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For the First Time, Humans See Quantum Entanglement With the Naked Eye [PopSci]
Quantum Entanglement and Information [Stanford]