Two particles can become entangled in position

Scientists have found a loophole in Heisenberg's uncertainty principle

Quantum mechanics has brought a fair share of troubling discoveries, from the idea that objective reality is an illusion to the realization that things can be in two states at the same time (for example, both alive and dead). Such terrible quantum behavior does not end when small bodies grow large - just because our senses and tools cannot see them. Now two teams of physicists, by hitting two small sets of drums, have inserted the scale by which we can observe Quantitative effects In the macroscopic world.

The results illustrate a particular quantum effect called “entanglement” on a much larger scale than previously seen, and describe one way to exploit this effect - if particles stay connected even when separated by great distances - to avoid uncomfortable quantum uncertainties. This knowledge can be used to study quantum gravity and design quantum computers with computational capabilities far beyond traditional devices, the researchers said.

Physicists have long questioned the extent to which strange quantum phenomena are giving way to our most common and predictable macroscopic world, often because there is no hard and fast rule that such phenomena should ever occur - they become less and less noticeable as they grow.

Connected: 12 amazing experiments in quantum physics

At least they were. New experiments by two separate research teams made the leap from observing quantum entanglement between individual atoms to observing between micrometer-sized aluminum films - or "cylinders" - each made up of around 1 trillion atoms.

Entanglement in its simplest form describes the idea that two particles can have an intrinsic contact that persists regardless of the distance between them. The particles are etherically coupled: measure something on a single particle, e.g. B. his position, and you will also get information about the position of his involved partner. Make a change to one particle and your actions will propagate that change to the other, all at a speed greater than the speed of light.

In the first experiment, conducted at the US National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado, scientists placed small barrels, each about 10 μm in length, on a crystal chip before they were supercooled to near absolute zero . As the drums cooled, the likelihood of them interacting with something outside the system decreased significantly, allowing scientists to coax the drums into entanglement and vibration as they hit them with regular microwave pulses.

"If you analyze the position and momentum data for the two drums independently, they each look hot," says co-author John Teufel, a physicist at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). He said in a statementRelated to the fact that the more the temperature is increased, the more the particles vibrate. “But if we look at them together, we can see that what looks like the random movement of one drum is closely related to the other in a way that can only be achieved through quantum entanglement. “”

Researchers measured how entangled the barrels were by examining how wide they coincided - their maximum distances from their resting positions - as they swayed up and down at about the level of a proton. The researchers found that the cylinders vibrated very synchronously - if one cylinder had a high capacity, the other had a low amplitude and their speeds were exactly opposite.

Teuval pointed to the discrete parts or "sizes" of these quantum objects and said, "If they have no correlations and both are perfectly cool, you can only guess the average position of the other cylinder within an uncertainty of half the momentum." The drum also vibrates. “When it's tangled, we can do better with less uncertainty. Entanglement is the only way that can happen. " The two large rocking drums appear to be separate bodies, but they are connected by a terrifying quantum entanglement.

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) want to use their cylinder system to build nodes or ultimate network points in quantum networks and adapt them to problems that require an unprecedented level of accuracy, e.g. B. the detection of gravity during operation on the smallest scale.

A second team of researchers, led by Mika Silanpa from Aalto University in Finland, set about using their quantum cylinder system to circumvent one of the strict rules of quantum physics - Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty.

This principle, introduced in 1927 by the German physicist Werner Heisenberg, severely limits the absolute accuracy that we can achieve in measuring some of the physical properties of a particle. It perpetuates the idea that the universe, at its smallest and most basic level, is a mysterious and unpredictable animal with no full information about it revealed.

For example, you cannot determine the position and momentum of a particle with absolute accuracy. Do you want to know exactly where the electron is? You can often measure it to build some confidence. But the more you do that, the more you interact with it and change its swing. The same thing happens in the opposite direction. Certainty in the quantum world is a compromise - in a world where things exist more like clouds of possibility, certainty of one of their properties means that one is less sure of another.

However, the second research team found a way to get around this. By constantly beating their quantum drum with photons or light particles as if it were an ambush drum, they were able to put their drums in an entangled state. Instead of measuring the position and momentum of each individual cylinder, the researchers treated the interlocking cylinders like a single compact cylinder and measured the position of the imaginary cylinder without affecting its speed.

“The quantum uncertainty of the movement of the barrels is removed if the two drums are treated as a single quantum mechanical unit,” said lead author Laure Mercier de Lepinay, a postdoctoral fellow at Aalto University in Finland. He said in a statement.

This opens up a whole range of new possibilities for making measurements on the smallest scale without losing information. Given the continuous manner in which the measurement is being made, their new quantum sensors monitor constantly evolving small systems. The researchers hope that their interlocking barrels are sensitive enough to measure small deformations in space caused by gravitational waves and gravitational waves Dark matterNot only used to connect quantum networks that use interlocking things like many drums as relays.

Both experiences also confront us with the reality of our proximity to the quantum world, which - despite seemingly distant thought experiments that call for half-dead and half-living cats - bleeds into our region in a more subtle way than we think.

The first And the Second Both teams published their results in Science magazine on May 7th.

Originally published on Live Science.

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