It’s taken several decades of patience and advances in technology for this incredible photo to be possible. Taken by scientists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, it is the first solid evidence we have obtained of a phenomenon that was first described by Albert Einstein in the 1930s known as quantum entanglement between two particles.
This phenomenon describes a very unique state which occurs when two particles, or groups of particles, are generated, interact or share spatial proximity. In order words, the two particles remain connected, even over large distances, and what affects one particle affects the other and vice-versa.
A little bit like if one particle was in two places at the same time. When this was first proposed by Albert Einstein, the physicist himself referred to it as ‘spooky action at a distance’.
A new first for the world
In order to take this photo, scientists had to first entangle photons by exposing a crystal to an ultraviolet laser. Some of these photons from the laser then broke apart into two and ‘due to conservation of both energy and momentum, each resulting pair [of] protons are entangled,’ explains Miles Padgett, the main author of the study.
Thanks to advances in technology, researchers have been able to capture this photo which will undoubtedly change the field of quantum physics.
Though people have been using quantum entanglement and Bell’s inequalities in applications such as quantum computing and cryptography, ‘this is the first time anyone has used a camera to confirm [it],’ as Miles Padgett continued. But there is definitely still a lot more to learn from this photo.