Quantum Mechanics Just Got “Spookier” | IFLScience


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  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Quantum Theory Experiment Said to Prove “Spooky” Interactions

    Albert Einstein was troubled by how two particles can communicate with each other even if they are on opposite sides of the galaxy. Today researchers in the Netherlands have closed the final two loopholes in how quantum entanglement works.

    Sorry, Einstein. Quantum Study Suggests ‘Spooky Action’ Is Real.

    In a landmark study, scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands reported that they had conducted an experiment that they say proved one of the most fundamental claims of quantum theory — that objects separated by great distance can instantaneously affect each other’s behavior.

    The finding is another blow to one of the bedrock principles of standard physics known as “locality,” which states that an object is directly influenced only by its immediate surroundings.

    Einstein derided the idea that separate particles could be “entangled” so completely that measuring one particle would instantaneously influence the other, regardless of the distance separating them.

    Einstein was deeply unhappy with the uncertainty introduced by quantum theory and described its implications as akin to God’s playing dice.

    But since the 1970s, a series of precise experiments by physicists are increasingly erasing doubt — alternative explanations that are referred to as loopholes — that two previously entangled particles, even if separated by the width of the universe, could instantly interact.

    The researchers describe their experiment as a “loophole-free Bell test” in a reference to an experiment proposed in 1964 by the physicist John Stewart Bell as a way of proving that “spooky action at a distance” is real.

    “These tests have been done since the late ’70s but always in the way that additional assumptions were needed,” Dr. Hanson said. “Now we have confirmed that there is spooky action at distance.”

    According to the scientists, they have now ruled out all possible so-called hidden variables that would offer explanations of long-distance entanglement based on the laws of classical physics.

    “I think this is a beautiful and ingenious experiment and it will help to push the entire field forward,”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hidden no more
    One of the weirdest bits of physics is proved beyond doubt (almost)

    IN THE 1930s Albert Einstein was greatly troubled by a phenomenon that emerged from quantum theory. Entanglement, as it is called, forever intertwines the fates of objects such as subatomic particles, regardless of their separation. If you measure, say, “up” for the spin of one photon from an entangled pair, the theory suggests that the spin of the other, measured an instant later, will surely be “down”—even if the two are on opposite sides of the galaxy. This was anathema to Einstein and others: it looked as if information was travelling faster than light, a no-no in the special theory of relativity. Einstein was quotably derisive, calling the idea “spooky action at a distance”. But after 80 years of physicists’ fretting, a cunning experiment reported this week proves that such action is in fact how the world works.

    To save physics from the spooky, Einstein invoked what he called hidden variables (though others might describe them as fiddle factors) that would convey information without breaking the universal speed limit. It took until 1964, though, to tame this woolly idea into testable equations. John Bell, a British physicist, worked out the maximum effect hidden variables could have on a given test. Any influence beyond that, his equations suggested, must be down to spooky action. The Bell inequality, as it became known, sparked decades of clever experiments—sending entangled photons or atoms hither and thither with detectors triggered by this or that—each designed to catch nature out, to banish hidden variables once and for all.


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