A team of Swiss scientists has tested one of the strangest paradoxes of quantum mechanics, a huge example of the kind of behavior that Albert Einstein skeptically called a "scary, long-range effect."
The story begins more than 80 years ago. As early as 1935, Einstein and the physicists Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen found something strange. They involved two particles – let's call them Alice and Bob – so that their physical properties were connected even over long distances, and everything you did with one particle would affect the other. Intuitively, one would think that if one had access to Alice, one would know much more about her than about Bob, who is far away. That is also what one would expect in large scale given the relativistic laws of Einstein. But the physics trio discovered something strange, now called the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox: By studying Alice, you actually learn a lot more about Bob than about Alice.
Later experiments with individual particles have confirmed the physicists At this point. But this new experiment, published today (April 26) in the journal Science, shows that the effect still occurs when you even use a lump of nearly 600 supercooled particles.
It is not surprising that a paradox was originally framed in two parts. Particles also occur for lumps of hundreds of particles. The same physics in a very small system should work well in much larger systems. But scientists are carrying out these increasingly complex tests because they help validate old theories and limit the way in which those theories might be wrong. And they also demonstrate the ability of modern technology to put ideas into action that Einstein and his colleagues could only think abstractly. [The Five States of Matter]
To perform this experiment, the researchers cooled about 590 rubidium atoms (give or take 30 atoms) to the absolute absolute zero limit.
At this temperature, the atoms formed an aggregate state called a Bose-Einstein condensate, which, as reported by Live Science, is a state of aggregation in which a large group of atoms are involved in such a way that they begin to blur and overlap; They begin to behave more like a large particle than many separate particles. Quantum physicists love experimenting with Bose-Einstein condensates because this type of matter tends to demonstrate the strange quantum world physics so big that scientists can directly observe it.
In this experiment, they used high-resolution imaging to measure the spins of different chunks within the rubidium atoms. The atoms in the condensate were so entangled that the physicists could predict the behavior of the second crack by examining only the first. Both chunks of atoms, they showed, were so matted that the behavior of the second crack was actually better seen if only the first was observed, and vice versa.
The EPR paradox was brought to life in a relatively massive form for the quantum world
Original published on Live Science .