The world of quantum physics predicts many unexpected quirks, including quantum entanglement. This allows the two particles to become so intertwined that changes made in one will be instantly reflected in the other, no matter how far apart they are.
In the 1960s, physicist John Stuart Bell developed a theoretical argumentation test that stated that if you test many pairs of particles, then at some point the correlations become too random to be the product of hidden variables. This has come to be known as the Bell inequality.
John Clauser, the first recipient of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics, turned Bell’s idea into a practical experiment. In doing so, he showed a clear violation of Bell’s inequality.
Alain Aspect enhanced Clauser’s work by closing the loophole where hidden variables could potentially still interfere with the experiment. He developed a way to change the measurement parameters after the entangled photon pair left the source, meaning that the initial settings could not affect the result.
Later, Anton Zeilinger developed ways to use entangled photons to store and transmit information. This includes what is known as quantum teleportation, where information can be instantly transferred between particles over long distances. Emerging quantum computers are an important part of the field of encryption and communication networks.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that a new kind of quantum technology is emerging,” said Anders Irbeck, chairman of the Nobel Committee for Physics.