Researchers violate Bell’s inequality with an atom and a photon

Aug 31, 2004
Researchers violate Bell’s inequality with an atom and a photon

Researchers at the University of Michigan have reported the first Bell’s inequality violation measurement of a single entangled atom-photon pair.

Entanglement is a fundamental yet mysterious feature of quantum physics, said David Moehring, a physics graduate student who co-authored the paper entitled, “Experimental Bell Inequality Violation with an Atom and a Photon,” which appeared in Physical Review Letters this month.

Entanglement is a quantum mechanical phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects must be described as a single inseparable entity, even though the objects may be spatially separated.

Quantum entanglement is demonstrated by inserting experimental results into a mathematical inequality called Bell’s inequality. If the results violate the inequality, entanglement has been demonstrated, and the results support the non-locality of quantum mechanics.

Non-locality means that even though particles are separated, they are considered one unit. When acting on one part you affect the other part instantaneously, as opposed to the amount of time needed for information to travel at the speed of light as is necessary.

The entangled hybrid system represents a step toward realizing quantum computing because of the way the two particles work together, Moehring said.

Ions can hold information for a long time, acting as storage, which is necessary to retrieve data from a quantum computer. Photons, on the other hand, travel extremely fast, and it is therefore very difficult to store a photon’s data. So, the photons represent the communication channel, and the ions represent the memory.

“We combined the two particles and we used the best that each had to offer,” said Moehring.

The recent paper advances research first published by physics professor Chris Monroe’s group, which includes Moehring, in the March edition of Nature. That paper discussed the first observation of entanglement of a photon and an atom.

For information on the trapped ion quantum computing lab, see: http: //iontrap.physics.lsa.umich.edu/

Source: University of Michigan

Explore further: Scanning tunnelling microscopy: Computer simulations sharpen insights into molecules

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Australia out of step with new climate momentum

6 minutes ago

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who rose to power in large part by opposing a tax on greenhouse gas emissions, is finding his country isolated like never before on climate change as the U.S., China ...

Bad weather delays Japan asteroid probe lift off

2 hours ago

Bad weather will delay the launch of a Japanese space probe on a six-year mission to mine a distant asteroid, just weeks after a European spacecraft's historic landing on a comet captivated the world.

Recommended for you

Nanomaterials to preserve ancient works of art

18 hours ago

Little would we know about history if it weren't for books and works of art. But as time goes by, conserving this evidence of the past is becoming more and more of a struggle. Could this all change thanks ...

Learning anti-microbial physics from cicada

18 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Inspired by the wing structure of a small fly, an NPL-led research team developed nano-patterned surfaces that resist bacterial adhesion while supporting the growth of human cells.

Protons fuel graphene prospects

Nov 26, 2014

Graphene, impermeable to all gases and liquids, can easily allow protons to pass through it, University of Manchester researchers have found.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jonnyboy
3 / 5 (2) Apr 10, 2009
"When acting on one part you affect the other part instantaneously, as opposed to the amount of time needed for information to travel at the speed of light as is necessary."

In other words, the firburtz, when connected to the listangg generates a field that is non-localized in this space time continuum

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.