quantum-entanglement-spooky-action-at-a- distance-130408cIn quantum physics, entangled particles remain connected so that actions performed on one affect the other, even when separated by great

distances. The phenomenon so riled Albert Einstein he called it “spooky action at a distance.”

The rules of quantum physics state that an unobserved

photon exists in all possible states simultaneously but, when observed or measured, exhibits only one state.

Spin is depicted here as an axis of

rotation, but actual particles do not rotate.

Entanglement occurs when a pair of particles, such as photons, interact physically. A laser beam fired

through a certain type of crystal can cause individual photons to be split into pairs of entangled photons.

The photons can be separated by a large

distance, hundreds of miles or even more.

When observed, Photon A takes on an up-spin state. Entangled Photon B, though now far away, takes up a state

relative to that of Photon A (in this case, a down-spin state). The transfer of state between Photon A and Photon B takes place at a speed of at least 10,000

times the speed of light, possibly even instantaneously, regardless of distance.

A proposed experiment would send one photon of the entangled pair to

the orbiting International Space Station, a distance of around 310 miles (500 kilometers). This would be the largest distance that has been experimentally

tested.

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Donovan Crow
Donovan Crow
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