Quantum entanglement is a strange and fragile phenomenon,media reported. Recently, however, physicists have succeeded in creating a thermal cloud of trillions of entangled atoms that not only broke quantitative records but also showed that entanglement is not as fragile as previously thought. Particle pairs or groups of particles can become so entangled that measuring the state of one particle immediately changes the properties of the other particles– no matter how far apart they are.
While this may sound strange, its effects could ruin the whole understanding of physics.
Einstein himself did not believe and derided it as a ghostly overshoot at first. Yet decades of experiments have shown that quantum entanglement is real, and that it has begun to be applied to new technologies, such as faster and safer communication networks.
But one problem is that this connection between particles is so fickle that even small disturbances from other particles or events can be untangled. To prevent this from happening, most experiments and techniques that use quantum entanglement can only be achieved at ultra-cold temperatures close to absolute zero (-273.15 degrees C). At this point, almost all the movement stops, so there is no interference to interrupt the connection.
However, it is clear that this extreme cooling is not realistic for commercial or consumer products, so scientists are trying to find ways to make quantum entanglement possible at higher temperatures. Past studies have been successful at room temperature, and now in warmer conditions.
The new study was carried out by researchers from ICFO, Hangzhou University of Electronic Science and Technology and Valencia University of Science and Technology. The team mixed the argon metal with nitrogen and heated it to 176.9 degrees C. At this temperature, the metal evaporates so that the free thorium atoms float around the container. There, they entangle themselves, and the team could measure the entanglement by emitting a laser into the gas.
As a result, the researchers observed as many as 15 trillion entangled atoms in the gas, which they say is about 100 times more than in any other experiment. Interestingly, this entanglement does not seem to connect atoms that are necessarily close to each other — there are thousands of other atoms between any pair of atoms, each with its own partner.
But the most interesting part of the study should be that the entanglement may not be as fragile as scientists think. Although atoms constantly collide with each other in this high-temperature, high-energy gas, quantum connections still exist. Collisions do not seem to destroy entanglement but pass it on to other atoms.
“If we stop measuring, the entanglement will last about 1 millisecond, which means that 1,000 new 15 trillion atoms are entangled every second,” said Jia Kong, the study’s lead author. This clearly shows
Entanglement is not destroyed by these random events. This is perhaps the most surprising result of this study. “
The team says the findings could help in some areas, particularly the brain magnetography, a magnetic brain imaging technique that uses these gases to detect very weak magnetic signals from brain activity.
Morgan Mitchell, author of the study, said: “The results are surprising and very different from everyone’s expectations of a period of love bottlenecks. We hope this huge entanglement will lead to better sensor performance in applications such as brain imaging, self-driving cars and dark matter search. “
The study was published in Nature Communications.