'Spooky action at distance' in particle physics?

January 16, 2012

Researchers have devised a proposal for the first conclusive experimental test of a phenomenon known as ‘Bell’s nonlocality.’ This test is designed to reveal correlations that are stronger than any classical correlations, and do so between high-energy particles that do not consist of ordinary matter and light. These results are relevant to the so-called ‘CP violation’ principle, which is used to explain the dominance of matter over antimatter.

These findings by Beatrix Hiesmayr, a theoretical physicist at the University of Vienna, and her colleagues, a team of quantum information theory specialists, particle physicists and nuclear physicists, have been published in European Physical Journal C.

According to the famous Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Gedanken-Experiment, two particles that are measured independently obey the principle of locality, implying that an external influence on the first particle, such as measurement, has no direct influence on the second – in other words there is no “spooky action at distance,” as Einstein would have described it. In an experimental setup, however, measurement results for one particle revealed a correlated measurement result for the other particle. Initially, these correlations could only be explained by referring to hidden parameters. In 1964, John Bell found that so-called local realistic hidden parameter theories imply that the relations between these correlations could be experimentally tested through so-called Bell tests. Since then many experiments have proven that local, realistic hidden parameters cannot be used as an explanation for these correlations.

In this study, the authors have succeeded in devising a new Bell test, taking into account the decay property of high-energy particles systems, called kaon-antikaon systems. This procedure ensures that the test is conclusive – a goal that has never before been achieved – and simultaneously guarantees its experimental testability. Experimental testing requires equipment such as the KLOE detector at the accelerator facility DAPHNE in Italy.

Revealing “spooky action at distance” for kaon-antikaon pairs has fundamental implications for our understanding of such particles’ correlations and could ultimately allow us to determine whether symmetries in particle physics and manifestations of correlations are linked.

Explore further: Physicists Propose Method for Entangling Moving Material Particles

More information: Hiesmayr B. C., Di Domenico A., Curceanu C., Gabriel A., Huber M., Larsson J.-Å., Moskal P. (2011). Revealing Bell’s Nonlocality for Unstable Systems in High Energy Physics, European Physical Journal C (EPJ C) 72: 1856 DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-012-1856-X

Related Stories

Debunking and closing quantum entanglement 'loopholes'

November 15, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- An international team of physicists, including a scientist based at The University of Queensland, has recently closed an additional 'loophole' in a test explaining one of science's strangest phenomena -- ...

Physicists close two loopholes while violating local realism

November 30, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The latest test in quantum mechanics provides even stronger support than before for the view that nature violates local realism and is thus in contradiction with a classical worldview. By performing an experiment ...

Vienna physicists create quantum twin atoms

May 2, 2011

At the Vienna University of Technology, sophisticated atomchips have been used to create pairs of quantum mechanically connected atom-twins. Until now, similar experiments were only possible using photons.

3 Questions: Faster than light?

September 26, 2011

The news media were abuzz this week with reports of experiments conducted at the Gran Sasso particle detector complex in Italy, apparently showing subatomic particles called neutrinos had traveled from the giant particle ...

Recommended for you

Possibility of new particle discovery at LHC fading

June 24, 2016

The physics community is apparently starting to lose its buzz over the possibility of the discovery of a new particle by researchers working at the CERN LHC facility near Geneva. As more data is studied, it appears more and ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (13) Jan 16, 2012
PHYSORG: Why not post the arxiv linx, so that the technical details can read ?? Few have Sx to these journals !!
My Pleasure:http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.4797
not rated yet Jan 16, 2012
@Deathclock - parallel universes would predict that this new experiment will support what is sometimes called 'spooky action at a distance' rather than hidden variables. So that's my prediction regarding the outcome, while I understand that you predict hidden variables.
Perhaps we will soon see!
3 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2012
It has to be remembered that, a serious flaw of modern "physics", many quantities that occur in formulas, as they occur in the foirmulas, are automatically "defined" as playing the role described in reality. "Mass-energy", for example, the supposed energy equivalent in mass, can be described only as being an artifact of the relativistic energy equation. In other words, the formula for "relativistic energy" of a moving object was larger than that seen in actual mechanical interactions, and so, to maintain the insistence that "relativity is true", they introduced untappable, therefore invisible, relativistic mass-energy to account for the overflow. And a question. Given the constant presence of the concept of measurement disturbing a syustem, making exact measurement "impossible", a fundamental facet of "quantum mechanics", why has there never been an initiative to produce a passive measurement system, one that doesn't requiring subjecting a system to interference to measure it?
not rated yet Jan 17, 2012
@JIMBO: Per your link "the long awaited proof that such systems at different energy scales can reveal the sophisticated "dynamical" nonlocal feature of Nature in a direct experiment gets feasible". Interesting capitalization. I think nonlocality may be oversold. All matter created during inflation was in gravitational communication and still is, if it still exists. It's true that accelerated particles have their fields updated at the speed of light, but those which aren't are in instantaneous communication with each other because their gravitational fields move right along with them, meaning we could know their positions from their fields instantaneously if we were'nt accelerating. Otherwise we would have to wait for field updates but that might not take that long since these occur at the speed of light, possibly too fast to be observed and so instantaneous for all intents and purposes.
not rated yet Jan 17, 2012
Or maybe objects in communication before acceleration just appear to be in instantaneous communication if they are moving together.
1 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2012
In AWT based on dense aether model the observable objects in space-time are modelled with solitons floating at the water surface. After then it's evident, such an objects can interact not only via surface transverse waves (analogy of light waves in vacuum), but via underwater waves too in limited extent (analogy of gravitational waves). In addition it's clear, these underwater waves are faster than the surface waves (i.e. gravitational waves are faster than the waves of light), but they manifest in subtle way only like the indeterministic noise at the water surface (analogy of CMBR noise of vacuum). In this way the existence of "spooky action at distance" can be deduced from AWT.
5 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2012
why has there never been an initiative to produce a passive measurement system, one that doesn't requiring subjecting a system to interference to measure it?

I will help you:

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.