New Record for Most Entangled PhotonsCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: November 5, 2012 06:11AM
The name quantum mechanics refers to the fact that the physics involved deals with specific units of existence, or quanta, and typically these units are incredibly small. Electrons, as an example of an elementary quantum, can only exist as a single point in space, because if they were any larger their angular velocity would exceed the speed of light. Despite this preference for working on small scales though, researchers want to grow quantum mechanics to the macroscale we live at for multiple reasons. Now researchers at the University of Vienna have achieved a new record towards macroscale quantum mechanics by entangling the most photons ever.
Entanglement is a quantum mechanical phenomenon where multiple particles exist with a shared state, so the state of one when measured influences the states of the others. For photons one of the entangled properties could be its angular momentum, which has no upper limit in theory, though modern technology does have a limit. The researchers pushed this limit and entangled hundreds of photons through their angular momentum, with half spinning clockwise and half spinning counter-clockwise.
This development could have great impacts on the future as entanglement may be one of the primary phenomena used to create quantum technologies, such as quantum computers. Quantum communication could also benefit from this research as entangled particles remain entangled no matter the distance between them.