Is the Netflix science fiction sequence credible? | EUROtoday

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Dyears The Three-Body Problem, an interesting sequence tailored from the cult novel by Liu Cixin, sci-fi star born in China in 1963, the most effective scientists on the planet die or go loopy. Until their younger disciples, additionally high-flying scientists, specialists in nanotechnology or quantum physics, perceive {that a} horrible menace is on the verge of destroying our planet.

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It is about an extraterrestrial invasion, led by a folks on their technique to Earth, which they may attain in 4 hundred years, and which have to be resisted by science. A science that these nonetheless invisible enemies have determined to sabotage by additionally utilizing their scientific information and the ensuing expertise, primarily based on quantum entanglement and protons reworked into “conscious computers”.

So, credible? An important admirer of the novel from which the sequence is predicated, the physicist and thinker of science Étienne Klein, who directs the Material Sciences Research Laboratory inside the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), responds.

Point : What is so exceptional about Liu Cixin's novel?

Étienne Klein: Science fiction books fall roughly into two classes. There are those that play with physics as it’s, for instance by staging it in contexts very totally different from ours, which could be very instructional: we discover ourselves, for instance, on the sting of a black gap or we discover ourselves travels at a velocity near the velocity of sunshine. And then there are these, rather more unbridled, who go squarely into the fantastical: their intrigues happen in worlds utterly totally different from ours, obeying legal guidelines freely chosen by the creator. The boundaries between the attainable and the not possible are then erased, to the purpose that we don't at all times know the place we reside…

Liu Cixin's work is authentic in that it interweaves these two methods of doing issues. On the one hand, it attracts on probably the most modern physics, for instance by utilizing quantum entanglement; then again, it utterly goes past it by that includes elementary particles which might be endowed with consciousness and free will. The feat is that he manages to droop our disbelief…

So what is that this “quantum entanglement”, talked about within the sequence, and primarily based on the work of Frenchman Alain Aspect, Nobel Prize winner in physics in 2022?

In the early Eighties, a group of researchers from the Orsay Optical Institute, led by Alain Aspect, carried out a sequence of essential experiments with photons. They got here to settle the previous and well-known debate between Einstein and Bohr concerning the right technique to interpret quantum physics: is it lacking – or not – substances for it to be thought-about full?

The results of these experiments, which might have amazed Einstein, made it attainable to ascertain that, in sure conditions, two particles which have interacted previously have hyperlinks which their mutual distance, nonetheless nice it might be, doesn’t weaken: which occurs to one of many two is irremediably “entangled” with what occurs to the opposite, by an odd, speedy connection, with out equal within the extraordinary world, as a result of it doesn’t end result from the transmission of distant data.

The pair fashioned by the 2 particles has world properties that the person particles which represent it wouldn’t have. It is that this shocking phenomenon that we name “non-separability” or “non-locality”. It is troublesome to type a picture of it, exactly as a result of quantum physics prohibits pondering of the 2 entangled entities forming the system as separate.

READ ALSO Quantum: “We must push the creation of concrete applications”Is the mysterious “sophon”, this non-living super-spy, scientifically credible?

The “sophons” within the Netflix sequence are referred to as “intellectrons” within the novel. They are described as protons reworked into “conscious computers”, geared up with AI permitting them to make choices, which appears utterly implausible to me. They would take benefit – if I understood appropriately – of the power contained within the extra dimensions of space-time, equivalent to these invoked for instance by the so-called “superstring” concept. They would additional affiliate in entangled pairs with one another, permitting them to speak immediately, wherever they’re. Here once more, I ask to see…

READ ALSO Carlo Rovelli: “French scientific education is too rigid”In these instances of mistrust in science, does it heat your coronary heart to see that, by a novel and a sequence, scientists as soon as once more turn out to be the heroes who can save our world?

I’m very glad to see that, by a novel and a sequence, scientists could be seen as heroes who save the world. But I might be much more so if, every so often, we had been considering them, their concepts and their work, with out having to make use of the halo of science fiction. In science, there’s an “eroticism of problems”, and it ought to be sufficient for us to periodically take a curious take a look at it…