Entangled Photons Act as One

Scientists are one step closer to etching smaller computer chips, imaging ever-smaller objects, and detecting gravitational waves, thanks to a recent experiment reported in the May 14th issue of Science.  Yaron Silberberg and his “Ultrafast Optics Group” at the Wiezmann Institute of Science were able to put five photons into an entangled state, called a “N00N” state which is a superposition of two other states, one with all N photons taking path A, the other with every photon taking path B, |N,0>+|0,N>.  Thus, while it is uncertain which path any particular photon will take, it is 100% certain that they will all take the same path.  This experiment demonstrates how quantum entanglement, a correlation between distant particles, can exist between many different photons as well.

That such non-local correlations exist was proved by John Bell in 1964, and accounting for the mechanism by which distant particles or photons are correlated remains one of the biggest puzzles in quantum mechanics to this day.  In the literature on causation, most philosophers assume Continue reading “Entangled Photons Act as One”

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