(ORDO NEWS) — Quantum entanglement is the binding of two particles or objects, even if they are far apart – their respective properties are connected in a way that is impossible according to the rules of classical physics.
It’s a strange phenomenon that Einstein described as “creepy action at a distance,” but its strangeness is what makes it so fascinating to scientists.
In a 2021 study, quantum entanglement was directly observed and recorded on a macroscopic scale a scale much larger than the subatomic particles normally associated with entanglement.
From our point of view, the dimensions involved are still very small – the experiments are two tiny aluminum drums one-fifth of a human hair thick – but from the point of view of quantum physics, they are simply huge.
“If you analyze the position and momentum data for the two drums independently, each of them looks just hot,” said physicist John Teufel of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the US last year.
“But looking at them together, we see that what looks like the random movement of one reel is highly correlated with the other, in a way that is only possible through quantum entanglement.”
While this is not to say that quantum entanglement can’t happen to macroscopic objects, it was previously believed that the effects were not noticeable at large scales – or perhaps that the macroscopic scale was governed by a different set of rules.
Recent studies show that this is not the case. In fact, the same quantum rules apply here, and you can see them too. The researchers vibrated tiny drum membranes using microwave photons and kept them in sync in terms of their position and speed.
To prevent outside interference, a common problem with quantum states, the drums were chilled, tangled. , and is measured at individual stages in a cryogenically cooled room. The states of the reels are then encoded in the reflected microwave field, which works similarly to a radar.
Previous studies have also reported macroscopic quantum entanglement, but the 2021 study went further: all necessary measurements were recorded rather than deduced, and entanglement was created in a deterministic, non-random manner.
In a related but separate series of experiments, the researchers also worked with macroscopic drums (or oscillators) in a state of quantum entanglement and showed how the position and momentum of two plastics could be measured simultaneously.
“In our work, plastics exhibit collective quantum motion,” says physicist Laure Mercier de Lépinet. , from Aalto University in Finland. “The drums vibrate in opposite phase to each other, so that when one of them is in the final position of the vibration cycle, the other is in the opposite position at the same time.”
“In this situation, the quantum uncertainty of the movement of the reels is canceled if the two reels are treated as one quantum mechanical entity.”
What makes this headline news is that it circumvents Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle – the idea that position and momentum cannot be perfectly measured at the same time. The principle states that recording one dimension will interfere with another due to a process called quantum backlash.
In addition to other research demonstrating macroscopic quantum entanglement, this particular piece of research uses this entanglement to avoid quantum backlash—essentially exploring the line between classical physics (where the uncertainty principle applies) and quantum physics (where it currently doesn’t show up).
One of the potential future applications of both Nakhodka sets is related to quantum networks – the ability to manipulate and entangle objects on a macroscopic scale so that they can power the next generation of communication networks.
“In addition to practical applications, these experiments are about how far in the macroscopic realm experiments can push towards the observation of explicitly quantum phenomena,” physicists Hoi-Kwan Lau and Aashish Klerk, who were not involved in the research, write in a commentary on the published study.
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