Most people by now have experienced that USB flat connectors are quantum devices.

That is, it takes three times in order for the plug and socket to be defined (decohered?).

You have to try to plug it in one way, then reverse it, and then return it to the first position before it plugs in. It does not matter which way you try to plug it in the first time. It follows the uncertainty principle, being in two states at the same tine (both states the wrong state) until it is observed by the port, then the port is defined, and it is ALWAYS the opposite configuration of the second 'try'.

In a galaxy far, far away, there is a purely quantum world, where EVERYTHING is superpositioned. That is, the quantum world is the size of the solar system. Intelligent life has evolved, such that they have need to connect two devices by way of a cable, for security purposes. Quantum entanglement is SOOOOO prone to hacking, only direct connections using photon transmission through an enclosed cable are secure.

I am thinking in terms of the double slit experiment, wherein a photon that is not observed follows a probability wave trajectory and demonstrates an interference pattern, but a photon that has been observed before it goes through the slit does not demonstrate the quantum wave probability interference pattern (Decoherence before vs after the slit). There would be information loss, in the interference pattern, I would presume, as not all 'destinations' would be possible. Sort if like a perfect square wave being decomposed into its fundamental frequency and an infinite number of harmonics, the shape of the original wave is always lost.

If the plug and the socket of the port were both quantum 'superposition units', what would be the implications of trying to plug the connector into the port? What would the USB port 'look like'? Consider such things as: when would decoherence occur? Could it be done the first time (i.e. it was observed before it 'entered the slot'), or would it take multiple times to insert it? And could the connector be an 'any way works' connector?

Although very speculative, answers do not have to be opinion based. There has been a great deal of research into quantum entanglement, superposition, and quantum computers that make this a very real and pertinent question. The entire concept of how to interface two quantum 'cores' without going through the classical world is a very contemporary problem. In a pure quantum computer, Qbits are in fact not decohered until the answer is requested, or 'observed'. Until then, the core remains in the entangled superposition probabilistic wave function state. The entire CONCEPT of a quantum computer is to leave the core in the quantum state, entangled and in superposition, while 'processing' is occurring. The answer is in the probabilistic quantum matrix, as an overall probability.

From an American source heavily invested in researching quantum computers for commercial purposes:

Quantum entanglement is a complex phenomenon, but perhaps the simplest explanation, courtesy of Astronomy Magazine, is that quantum entanglement occurs “when two particles are inextricably linked together no matter their separation from one another. Although these entangled particles are not physically connected, they still are able to share information with each other instantaneously — seemingly breaking one of the most hard-and-fast rules of physics: that no information can be transmitted faster than the speed of light.” This the basis for the premise that quantum entanglement can enable communications faster than the speed of light. Unfortunately, it’s not so simple.

Nevertheless, research continues on this subject and some physicists believe that faster-than-light communication might be possible with some intricate manipulation of entangled particles. For now, we know that the interaction between entangled quantum particles is faster than the speed of light. In fact, Chinese physicists have measured the speed. We know that quantum entanglement can be used to realize quantum teleportation experimentally. We know that entanglement has applications in the emerging technologies of quantum computing and quantum cryptography. With a fiber optic network that can carry conventional data and quantum data, a quantum internet is becoming more of a possibility. The real hurdle to overcome, though is being able to communicate data through quantum entanglement – that’s when we might be able to communicate faster than the speed of light.

Quantum Xchange has developed the first fiber optic network in the U.S. to be used solely to transmit and receive quantum cryptographic keys between entities that are securely transferring critical data.

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Sep 24, 2021 at 2:47
  • $\begingroup$ Although very speculative, it is not opinion based. There has been a great deal of research into quantum entanglement, superposition, and quantum computers that make this a very pertinent question. The entire concept of how to interface two quantum 'cores' without going through the classical world is a very contemporary problem. $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2021 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


You'll Need to Go With Some Off Brand Physics

To answer this question at all, you need to start off by ditching both quantum mechanics and general relativity and assume your universe is based of off one of the various Unified Field theories we have floating around. Personally, I would try looking at one of the various forms of String Theory.

Let's take M-Theory for example. It is a version of string theory that says we live in an 11 dimensional universe, but can only functionally observe 4 of those dimensions. But a life form with sensory organs other than our own may be able to perceive things happening in 5 or 6 or heck, maybe even all 11 dimensions.

To be able to see in 11 dimensions means that you would be able to see every single possible quantum outcome of everything around you... the good news (for your sanity) is that, this does not necessarily mean you would see infinite things or even every conceivable outcome of a situation. Just like seeing and hearing have a limited range, your other-dimensional organ would likely also have its limits; so, just like you can not see the other side of the galaxy with your naked eye, your aliens could not see every single possible quantum outcome to an event, just those that are "close by".

So, perhaps your aliens can see Schrodinger's cat in both boxes at the same time, but they don't see the version of reality where a dinosaur ate your cat's prehistoric ancestor keeping the cat from ever being born. That reality is too far away to be seen with your... whatever this organ would be called. In this way, your aliens would live in a world where quantum mechanics (or at least something like it) applies at the macroscopic scale.

Now let's consider what this has to do with USB plugs

Your aliens perceive 11 dimensions, but they live in the same universe we do so things don't actually in practice behave differently. When the alien is far away from an event, like when he first considers putting a USB stick into his computer, he sees various alternate realities where the USB stick either is or is not in the computer, but it is "far away" and "blurry" so the outcome is not yet clear as he sees too many possible realities to distinguish between them.

As he moves through 11 dimensional reality to get closer to the point where he might plug the USB stick in, his focus narrows. He sees fewer and fewer possible realities until the exact moment it becomes time to plug in his USB stick. At this point, it is like zooming all the way into an image on your computer until you can only see 1 pixel. The right now currently observable universe has one and only one reality for your alien. The USB stick is plugged in, that event is now firmly in the past, and the alien can now only move forward with realities where the USB stick is plugged in.

Sure, there are still those other realities where it did not get plugged in, but those are out of your alien's perceptual range.

  • $\begingroup$ The problem, and the advantage, with string theory to science fiction is that it can never be proven wrong. It is, indeed, beyond the realm of speculation and verges on fantasy. Almost anything can be 'assumed' in it. I don't need it for superposition, entanglement, decoherence, or the wave probability function of quantum mechanics. The double slit experiment is reality, and we can see it in our 'dimensions'. "NIST’s Quantum Crystal Could Be a New Dark Matter Sensor" is in our existence. nist.gov/news-events/news/2021/08/… $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2021 at 2:29
  • $\begingroup$ If we are at the stage where we can interact with a quantum crystal acting in a unified quantum state, how far away are we from quantum connectors joining two superposition quantum crystals? The thing about quantum crystals is that in the quantum world they do not interact with each other, only act within themselves, so how DO they interact with each other? How do they react with dark matter? Perhaps they combine through some mega-superposition process? $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2021 at 2:34
  • $\begingroup$ But I DO like the concept of the line of enquiry you are following. Very imaginative and creative. $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2021 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ "so, just like you can not see the other side of the galaxy with your naked eye, your aliens could not see every single possible quantum outcome to an event, just those that are "close by"." The beauty of 'entanglement' is that it DOES open the possibility of perceiving the entire universe in an instant, all things simultaneously. and instantaneously, if everything is entangled in this quantum world. Everything is defined by one equation, and knowing the equation instantly defines everything. . Time would have no meaning as we know it. $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2021 at 2:43
  • $\begingroup$ In your USB stick scenario, the stick is not 'observed" in one state (decoheres) until it actually touches the port, like the photon in the double-split experiment does not decohere until it hits the target if it has not previously been observed. Before that, it is just a probability function. It surfs the quantum probability wave all the way to the target. So your aliens would be able to 'observe' without causing 'decoherence'. $\endgroup$ Sep 24, 2021 at 2:52

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