entanglement, a decidedly weird effect influencing the realm of the incredibly
small, may apply to the “real world” but that does not mean it is easy to see.
After all, we are talking about individual pairs of particles here. Two new
papers, both are published this week in Nature, are the best explanation yet.
papers describe how we’re now able to see the phenomenon play out in
unprecedented detail within microscopic structures, meaning you can almost see
the entangled objects with your own eyes.
the first time this has been achieved, though: In 2011, using a pair of visible
diamonds, the vibrational states of both were shown to match in a state of
quantum entanglement. Also, back in 2009, scientists used tiny, but
macroscopic, superconductors to see the effects of quantum entanglement with
the naked eye too.
is achieved routinely in electrical circuits nowadays,” senior author of one of
the papers, Prof. Mika Sillanpää of Aalto University, told IFLScience. “What
makes a difference to our case is that we have the entire physical body (pretty
much visible to the naked eye), all its atoms and electrons, participating in
the collective entanglement.”
both of these pieces of research (one led by the University of Vienna and the
Delft University of Technology, the other by Finland’s Aalto University)
represent an exciting step forward for the field.
different methods, the teams managed to get two types of bespoke, unconnected,
microscopically-sized oscillators – devices that generate periodically changing
electrical current – to demonstrate quantum entanglement.
The latter group used
microwaves to force two aluminum oscillators into a single quantum state; the
former used lasers to do the same to wibbly silicon segments.
understandably a bit lost at this point, here is a little primer as to what the
phenomenon actually is.
two particles that are separated by a huge distance can act as if they’re a
pair. Their behaviors mirror each other instantaneously, and despite having no
clear physical connection, they behave as a single particle, or a single