For the first time in history, scientists have managed to take a picture of a type of quantum entanglement known as the Bell Tangle, which Albert Einstein has so eloquently described. famous as "a phantasmagorical action at a distance".
Quantum entanglement is essential in the field of quantum mechanics and allows the development of the emerging field of quantum computing, while being used in some forms of cryptography.
This occurs when two particles, such as photons, interact, for example when passing through a beam splitter.
In some cases, they can stay connected even when they are physically separated. This means that they share their physical states, regardless of their distance, a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement.
Einstein observed unusual behavior for the first time in 1935, although he himself did not invent the term quantum entanglement, instead describing the process, which seemed to contradict parts of his theory of special relativity ,.
The concept has been formalized and further tested by Sir John Bell, hence its name entanglement.
Although his rigorous research has allowed the process to be used in practical applications such as quantum computing, no one has so far been able to capture an image of it.
How the photo of quantum entanglement was taken
The photo of quantum entanglement was captured by physicists from the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Glasgow, led by Dr. Paul-Antoine Moreau.
While this may not seem remarkable for an untrained eye, the image is a revelation to the scientific community as it creates a visible record of photons in their entangled state.
To achieve this feat, Moreau and his colleagues had to develop an entirely new photography method, the details of which are explained in an article published today in the journal. Progress of science, entitled "Non-local bell-style behavior".
This involves two parts: the placement of photons – the subject of the image – so as to capture their quantum entanglement state, then the selection of equipment powerful enough to capture it.
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The first part was to create a system that pulled entangled photons from a quantum light source. This was referred to as "unconventional objects," hosted on liquid crystal materials. These modify the phase of the photons as they pass through them, creating the occurrence that the physicists wanted to capture.
The second part was to install a camera so sensitive that she could capture unique photons so that she only took the picture when the photon and her entangled twin were both in the frame.
The resulting quantum entanglement photo is a remarkable achievement, not only because of its scientific scarcity, but also because it could help develop the use of quantum entanglement in applications. practice.
"The image we managed to capture is an elegant demonstration of a fundamental property of nature, seen for the first time in the form of an image," said Moreau.
"This is an exciting result that could be used to advance the emerging field of quantum computing and lead to new types of imaging."
Read more: For IBM, quantum computing is not just about speed, it's about changing the way computers think
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