May 10, 2017

Unbreakable quantum entanglement

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics, space

Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance” persists even at high accelerations, researchers of the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Vienna were able to show in a new experiment. A source of entangled photon pairs was exposed to massive stress: The photons’ entanglement survived the drop in a fall tower as well as 30 times the Earth’s gravitational acceleration in a centrifuge. This was reported in the most recent issue of Nature Communications. The experiment helps deepen our understanding of quantum mechanics and at the same time gives valuable results for quantum experiments in space.

Einstein’s theory of relativity and the theory of are two important pillars of modern physics. On the way of achieving a “Theory of Everything,” these two theories have to be unified. This has not been achieved as of today, since phenomena of both theories can hardly be observed simultaneously. A typical example of a mechanical phenomenon is entanglement: This means that the measurement of one of a pair of light particles, so-called photons, defines the state of the other particle immediately, regardless of their separation. High accelerations on the other hand can best be described by the of relativity. Now for the first time, quantum technologies enable us to observe these phenomena at once: The stability of quantum mechanical entanglement of can be tested while the photons undergo relativistically relevant acceleration.

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