Quantum physics: Flavors of entanglement

Sep 27, 2010
Innsbruck physicists exposed four entangled ions to a noisy environment. Credit: University of Innsbruck

The entanglement of quantum objects can take surprising forms. Quantum physicists at the University of Innsbruck have investigated several flavors of entanglement in four trapped ions and report their results in the journal Nature Physics. Their study promotes further developments towards quantum computing and a deeper understanding of the foundations of quantum mechanics.

Entanglement is a fascinating property connecting quantum systems. Albert Einstein called it the "spooky action at a distance". This bizarre coupling can link particles, even if they are located on opposite sides of the galaxy. The strength of their connections is behind the promising quantum computers, the dream machines capable of quick and efficient computations.

The team lead by Rainer Blatt at the Institute of Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck has been working very successfully towards the realization of a quantum computer. In their recent study, these physicists exposed four entangled ions to a noisy environment. “At the beginning the ions showed very strong connections,” says Julio Barreiro. “When exposed to the disturbing environment, the started a journey to the classical world. In this journey, their showed a variety of flavors or properties.”

Their results go far beyond what was previously investigated with two entangled particles since four particles can be connected in many more ways. This investigation forms an important basis for the understanding of entanglement under the presence of the disturbances of the environment and the boundary between the dissimilar quantum and classical worlds. The work has now been published in the journal .

As part of their study, the Innsbruck scientists have developed new theoretical tools for the description of entangled states and novel experimental techniques for the control of the particles and their environment.

Explore further: Efimov state in the helium trimer observed

More information: Experimental multiparticle entanglement dynamics induced by decoherence. J. T. Barreiro, P. Schindler, O. Gühne, T. Monz, M. Chwalla, C. F. Roos, M. Hennrich, R. Blatt. Nature Physics. 27 September 2010. DOI:10.1038/NPHYS1781

Related Stories

Physicist proposes method to teleport energy

Feb 05, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Using the same quantum principles that enable the teleportation of information, a new proposal shows how it may be possible to teleport energy. By exploiting the quantum energy fluctuations ...

A solid case of entanglement

Jan 11, 2010

Physicists have finally managed to demonstrate quantum entanglement of spatially separated electrons in solid state circuitry.

Recommended for you

Efimov state in the helium trimer observed

Apr 30, 2015

A quantum state predicted by the Russian theoretician Vitaly Efimov 40 years ago has been discovered by physicists of the Goethe University in a molecule consisting of three helium atoms. The molecule is ...

Physicists discover quantum-mechanical monopoles

Apr 30, 2015

Researchers at Aalto University (Finland) and Amherst College have observed a point-like monopole in a quantum field itself for the first time. This discovery connects to important characteristics of the ...

Game theory elucidates the collective behavior of bosons

Apr 28, 2015

Quantum particles behave in strange ways and are often difficult to study experimentally. Using mathematical methods drawn from game theory, LMU physicists have shown how bosons, which like to enter the same ...

User comments : 0

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.