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The Romance of Science

Spooky action at a distance, entangled entity, phantom dance partners

We're both looking at the same moon, in the same world.
We're connected to reality by the same line.
All I have to do is quietly draw it towards me.
Haruki Murakami

We are all connected. You could think of this eventual coming together and unshakeable
connection as destiny, in the forms of tiny red threads that fasten two people, however distant or
disparate they are. The moon also connects. We all live under the same luminance, under the
same blanket of stars and darkness. Facebook keeps me connected to you. I see you on my
newsfeed, even if you’re twelve hours away. I see you on my Instagram even if we have only talked
once in the past three months.
There are some who would think that the title of this article might seem paradoxical. How could
science, with its cold hard logic, possibly be romantic? But, I, on other hand, see romance as an intrinsic
quality of science, especially prevalent in concepts like Quantum Entanglement, otherwise known as
“spooky action at a distance” by Albert Einstein. This phenomenon occurs when two particles form a
distinct bond, after interacting with each other. This bond is a unique relationship, a boundless
connection that spans beyond mere time and space. Never mind the distance, these two particles
would always reflect the identical traits as their entangled partner instantaneously, whether they
are in proximity of the other or at two ends of the globe, they would still exhibit the same
characteristics, connected like one entity, instead of two separate ones.
However, entanglement is a delicate condition. As with anything that seems imbued with a certain
amount of fate or affinity, their preciousness makes them delicate. The slightest of disturbances
could destroy the connection although there have been cases where the memories of entanglement
can survive the destruction. Seth Lloyd, a quantum physicist at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology had once compared the otherworldly effect of entanglement to Emily Brontë’s
archetypal lovers, Catherine and Heathcliff, from Wuthering Heights— “the spectral Catherine
communicates with her quantum Heathcliff as a flash of light from beyond the grave.”
Delicate entanglement in physics also mirrors how human entanglement in its delicacy. Particles
and atoms. You and me. Us. We too can be seen a mass of particles affected by the pushes and pulls of
our world, reacting to the vibrational tendencies of the universe around us.
Plato speaks out the other half, about soul mates. In our own daydreams, in the realm of romance,
we are not complete without another. Inseparable halves of the same entangled entity. We hope to
find pieces of our own heart floating back to us in our soul mates. Each half seeks for the other,
whether consciously or not, they seek and sometimes they find.

This concept of soul mates seems to emulate quantum entanglement in many ways. Two particles
connected to one another beyond veritable forces. Two souls inexplicably intertwined. Imagine
invisible threads that find their ways across galaxies to join entangled particles together. Families,
lovers and friends alike. Friedrich Nietzsche once said that invisible threads are the strongest ties and
my own belief deeply resonates with that.
Growing up as an identical twin, my sister and I shared everything— an umbilical cord, our faces,
our room and a deep connection. Sometimes, I would think, we were one soul dispersed and
fractured through the looking glass, a mirror that bended and eventually gave us two separate
forms. Being a twin was fascinating to the both of us— our dynamics and how that closeness bled
into all aspects of our life. It was also fascinating to the people around us, who felt so intrigued at
the beginning, like a trick of an eye, two identical faces, identical voices, but two different people.
The perennial questions that revolved around our twin hood— “If something happens to your twin,
would your know?” and “If one falls sick, would the other fall sick?” were always well received, even if they
came too much and too predictably. In that way, people saw us as two entangled particles. Two
people who always existed on the same wavelengths and dimensions, even through time and
distance, we were always tethered to one another.
Ever heard of how pet owners would start to resemble their pets or how females who spend a lot of
time together would have their moon cycles synchronized? How about lovers who knew the exact
moment when something was going to happen to their partners or how close friends start to take
on each other’s quirks and habits? That’s quantum entanglement at play. The list is endless, just
like our connections. We are all intertwined.
We are children of the universe, existing within this sea of energy that connects all atoms and
particles across dimensions.
Billions of living matter living within this cosmos and we are all particles with our own phantom
dance partners, entangling and connecting, coming together and staying together. Janet Fitch
once mentioned, “Loneliness is the human condition.” I see the truth in her words. At times, the feeling
of living in your body, the singularity of it never quite settles or bodes well. However, I view being
human as always finding some way to constantly relate, to connect. Much like those entangled
particles. We will never truly be alone, phantom dance partners or not.
Spooky action at a distance, how’s that for you?