Red Flags of Quackery: Quantum (7/16) (via Sci-ence.org)
Subatomic particles behave in ways that send the mind spinning. Twin particles entangled with one another respond to identical changes across vast distances. The positions of electrons appear to be anywhere and everywhere in a state of superposition until the act of observation pins it in place.Quantum Tunneling allows a particle to pass completely through a barrier otherwise thought impossible for no reason other than its kinetic energy is less than the potential energy of the barrier.
But just as the laws of physics break down when entering the event horizon of a black hole, these quantum properties do not work at the macroscopic level. Entanglement will never allow you to communicate telepathically just as quantum tunneling doesn’t let you go through walls. Though I hear if you run fast enough, the empty space in your atoms passes through the empty space in the atoms of the wall. Go on, try it. I’ll wait here.
Meanwhile, in reality, quantum physics will never directly affect your life*. But ‘quantum’ is a funny word, and like energy before it, the public’s poor understanding of it is used to the charlatan’s advantage. Try peppering an explanation with ‘quantum’ sometime and watch the glassy-eyed nods in agreement.
Deepak Chopra famously mangles quantum mechanics to promote healing and new age energy quackery. Last year a spiritual leader was convicted on rape charges for among many things, healing his female followers with his “organic penis“. Sigh. (There’s another red flag for you. The only person who can heal with their steel is Dragonboy Suede.)
More red flags here