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Quite a while ago I read about a series of experiments that basically suggested that a certain kind of particle/atom/(something) were "intelligent" and could appear in two places at once, or essentially could "tell the future" when it came to navigating a "maze" ...I think it might have involved lasers or mirrors?

Does any one a) know what I'm talking about, and b) have links/further information on it?

Really don't have much more recollection than that I'm afraid.

This will probably come across as a rather vague question so my apologies but hopefully someone will know what I'm talking about!

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closed as not a real question by mbq Mar 5 '11 at 22:56

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Something to do with quantum computation? –  Sklivvz Jan 6 '11 at 20:29
Could be quantum computation. Honestly though... if intelligent, tell the future, and navigate a maze is all you can remember, then it's gonna be hard to tell if your read something solid or just journalistic novelty. Do you remember where you read it? –  Malabarba Jan 6 '11 at 20:41
Too vague to exist, sorry. This is a topic for chat. –  mbq Mar 5 '11 at 22:55
Probably dust from His Dark Materials. –  Mateen Ulhaq Mar 5 '11 at 23:24
Delayed choice quantum eraser experiment? A bit of futuretelling there. And it involves lasers. Google it and see. –  Manishearth Mar 20 '12 at 16:16

3 Answers 3

I don't know about intelligent, but they have free will. At least if you do. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will_theorem

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I don't like the use of the word "free will" in that context. If the Wikipedia article is to be believed (and I think it is), what it's really saying is that particles behave in a non-deterministic manner. –  David Z Jan 6 '11 at 22:32
But that is the term the authors use! And they say what they mean by it. –  MBN Mar 2 '11 at 4:16

I remember a paper, details forgotten, published in Foundations of Physics probably during the late 1970s, where the researchers, wondering about the possibility of some kind of intelligence or awareness of quantum particles, tried to measure if photons had any persisting preference for certain fringes when passing through a grating. Light in, say, the 2nd fringe would be put through another grating. Photons that prefer the 2nd fringe would make 2nd fringe brighter than the 1st, 3rd or others relative to predictions of basic optics. They found no such enhancement. I had a good laugh reading the paper. But maybe those research are the ones who went on to do whatever work you're wondering about?

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