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Scientists unveil breakthrough image of quantum entanglement

Written by Fri 12 Jul 2019

“Spooky action at a distance” captured on camera

Researchers from the University of Glasgow have unveiled a breathtaking image of a form of quantum entanglement known as Bell entanglement, capturing the phenomenon on camera for the first time.

Quantum entanglement describes a fundamental property of the quantum world, where entangled particles are able to interact even when separated by great distances, a property that collides with elements of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. The elusive phenomenon underpins the field of quantum mechanics and was mathematically formalised by quantum pioneer and CERN physicist Sir John Stewart Bell in the 1960s.

The research, published today in Science Advances and funded by the European Union, visualises the strong form of entanglement formalised by Bell, known as Bell entanglement.

The paper’s lead author and University of Glasgow School of Physics and Astronomy Professor, Dr Paul-Antoine Moreau, said the research could lead to new advances in quantum computing.

“The image we’ve managed to capture is an elegant demonstration of a fundamental property of nature, seen for the very first time in the form of an image,” he said.

“It’s an exciting result which could be used to advance the emerging field of quantum computing and lead to new types of imaging.”

In order to capture the entangled photons, the researchers pointed a highly-sensitive camera capable of detecting single photons towards a stream of entangled photons emanating from a quantum light source, and designed the camera so it only captured an image when both one photon and its entangled ‘twin’ were in sight.

“Quantum superpositioning, entanglement and tunnelling are fundamental characteristics of quantum mechanics,” said Matthew Brisse, research VP at Gartner.

“Seeing superposition is a testament to the advancements in quantum computing that further justifies the investment and attention of the quantum community and their potential customer base.  This and other quantum breakthroughs will help accelerate the quantum timeline so that CIOs and CTOs alike can begin their planning.”

Written by Fri 12 Jul 2019


quantum computing
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