Curated by RSF Research Staff
Millions of Atoms Entangled in Record-Breaking Quantum Tests
Quantum entanglement – often associated with quantum weirdness – is the correlation between two or more particles that either came from the same source or interacted with each other at some point in spacetime. This correlation maintains whether the particles are in close proximity or whether they are far away from one another.
Entangled atoms can thus be no longer thought of as separate entities and must instead be considered as a whole. The ‘whole’ is not limited to just 2 particles and in fact has been measured for thousands of particles.
Now two independent teams of scientists have smashed that record a million-fold. Using crystals as a ‘quantum memory” they were able to absorb a single photon collectively, such that the atoms were entangled. The quantum memory emits echoes of the single photon which is subsequently analyzed allowing the scientists to determine how much entanglement has occurred.
The results from these experiments and future experiments continue to reveal and improve our understanding of the nature of entanglement – and thus theories of quantum gravity and unified physics.