In physics, quantum entanglement is a property of a pair of particles derived from the decay of a single particle, whereby they develop interconnected states. In other words, if one particle is altered by an external force, the other will respond as if it had also been so altered. This instantaneous correlation can occur across great distances and at many times the speed of light. Einstein called this property spooky action at a distance.
So, why am I talking about particle physics? Because, I have recently become suspicious that my well system and my brother’s well system (about 16 miles away) have somehow become quantumly entangled. If this could be proved, it would be the first case of quantum entanglement at the macro level. What is my evidence you ask? The best kind — anecdotal! It all started about a month ago. During an unusually cold spell our well pressure switch froze and I had to heat the riser with a torch until it thawed out. We proceeded to cover the tank and switch with a tarp and hay, and it survived the rest of the freeze without incident. A few days later, my brother mentioned that their water had also stopped, and he had found their well switch frozen and proceeded to thaw it with a torch. This was the first time their switch had frozen in 10 years.
Okay, switches freeze during a cold snap. That’s hardly anomalous. Wait, it gets better!
Last week my brother’s well went out again. He traced the problem to a pump controller with a corroded capacitor. He called out a well guy the next morning who replaced the capacitor and it started back up without a problem. I didn’t think too much about the story, until …
“Lee, the water’s out again,” Robin said about 2 minutes after we got home tonight. “Oh crap!” I replied. (This has indeed become a typical reply around our house.) I went outside. It was too warm to be frozen. I checked the switch. It clicked normally for the off, prime, and auto positions, but the only response was a buzz from the controller. I opened up the controller and looked it over. “Wait a second, does this capacitor look corroded to you?” Spooky indeed Mr. Einstein.
So, are the laws of physics being bent here?
Nah, it’s more likely a case of synchronicity — the human tendency to perceive patterns and causation between random events.
Then again … next time my brother starts talking about a well problem, I just might take notes!