Published: October 30, 2015
Science & Tech Correspondent
A new article published by Dr. Ronald Hansen of Holland’s Kavli Institute of Nanoscience states that a recent experiment dealing with spooky action in quantum mechanics has yielded astounding results.
Spooky action, or entanglement, happens in quantum mechanics when two subatomic particles react with each other over a given distance. According to the article, an experiment was performed that utilized a proposed design from 1964 by theoretical physicist Dr. John Bell. The experiment had two isolated diamonds, modified to hold electrons, placed 1.3 kilometers apart. The results showed that the electrons inside the diamonds became entangled, providing further evidence for both entanglement and the quantum theory.
Imagine someone with two pennies in either hand. One penny is heads up, and the other is heads down. If someone opens one of the hands to find that the penny inside is heads up, then that person automatically knows that the other penny in the other hand is heads down. Entanglement works in a similar fashion. If a researcher sees an electron spinning in one direction in her lab, and she knows that it is entangled with another electron somewhere else in the universe, then she knows that the other electron has to have the opposite spin.
Einstein fought against this notion, going so far as to publish a paper against it, stating that such a thing can happen only on a local level, and not in the immense distances described by the quantum theory. He postulated that this would be the case if and only if information could travel faster than the speed of light, which Einstein showed could not happen because of the relativistic effects that the information would encounter.
Since then, quantum physicists have been performing experiments to confirm spooky action. The new Dutch experiment is the latest of these. Despite the excitement, however, there is a worry among some physicists that the results might have been negatively affected by outside interference, despite the strictly controled environment. A new experiment is already being planned by scientists at the Massachusetts Insutitue of Technology that will utilize light from distant galaxies, to minimize interference. This experiment is planned to take place in either 2017 or 2018.
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