Cracking a decades-old test, researchers bolster case for quantum mechanics | 11/15/2010 | Staff
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In a new study, researchers demonstrate creative tactics to get rid of loopholes that have long confounded tests of quantum mechanics. With their innovative method, the researchers were able to demonstrate quantum interactions between two particles spaced more than 180 meters (590 feet) apart while eliminating the possibility that shared events during the past 11 years affected their interaction.

A paper explaining these results will be presented at the Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science (FIO + LS) conference, held 15–19 September in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Quantum - Phenomena - Applications - Encryption - Researchers

Quantum phenomena are being explored for applications in computing, encryption, sensing and more, but researchers do not yet fully understand the physics behind them. The new work could help advance quantum applications by improving techniques for probing quantum mechanics.

Physicists have long grappled with different ideas about the forces that govern our world. While theories of quantum mechanics have gradually overtaken classical mechanics, many aspects of quantum mechanics remain mysterious. In the 1960s, physicist John Bell proposed a way to test quantum mechanics known as Bell's inequality.

Idea - Parties - Alice - Bob - Measurements

The idea is that two parties, nicknamed Alice and Bob, make measurements on particles that are located far apart but connected to each other via quantum entanglement.

If the world were indeed governed solely by quantum mechanics, these remote particles would be governed by a nonlocal correlation through quantum interactions, such that measuring the state of one particle affects the state of the other. However, some alternate theories suggest that the particles only appear to affect each other, but that in reality they are connected by other hidden variables following classical, rather than quantum, physics.

Researchers - Experiments - Bell - Inequality - Experiments

Researchers have conducted many experiments to test Bell's inequality. However, experiments can't always be perfect, and there are known loopholes that could cause misleading results. While most experiments have strongly supported the conclusion that quantum interactions exist, these...
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