Not spooky action

For our final Quantum Shorts mini-contest of 2015, we asked if you could coin a better phrase than "spooky action at a distance" to describe the phenomenon of entanglement. The contest ran 14-19 November.


  1. These are some of our favourite responses, selected by author George Musser and physicist Christian Kurtsiefer. Read to the end to discover the winner!
  2. Not everyone saw the need to have a replacement...
  3. Indeed, entanglement is good, but how do we describe it? When we said that spooky action is neither spooky nor action, we deserved this literal response.
  4. But banal? Maybe not. Entanglement could be turning our concept of space inside out! Just see this excerpt from George Musser's new book Spooky Action At a Distance: 
  5. Others took a more interpretive stance
  6. Some of your suggestions were descriptive...
  7. Others were poetic (and we allow a little poetic license)...
  8. But here's our winner:
  9. Congratulations @kapiltelang! He wins a one-year digital subscription to Scientific American and a copy of Spooky Action At a Distance by George Musser.
  10. George says: "I like 'mutual existence' because it captures the principle that entangled particles behave as a single unified system, with global properties that do not reside on either particle, or even derive from them. Two particles can have opposite spins even though neither actually has a spin; the system has a property of 'oppositeness' that doesn’t derive from the particles."
  11. Don't forget there are still a few days left to enter our main Quantum Shorts contest for quantum-inspired stories up to 1000 words long, offering a top prize of US$1500. Learn more at