You can see the photo at the top of this page: the fuzzy grey image is actually a composite of multiple images of the photons as they go through a series of four phase transitions. It was captured by physicists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland and is the first time we've seen the particle interaction that underpins the strange science of quantum mechanics and forms the basis of quantum computing.
Quantum entanglement occurs when two particles become inextricably linked, and whatever happens to one immediately affects the other, regardless of how far apart they are. This particular photo shows entanglement between two photons (light particles). They're interacting and, for a brief moment, sharing physical states.
Paul-Antoine Moreau, first author of the paper wherein the image was unveiled, and a team of physicists, created a system that blasted out streams of entangled photons at what they described as 'non-conventional objects'. The experiment involved capturing four images of the photons under four different phase transitions.
The physicists split the entangled photons up and ran one beam through a liquid crystal material known as β-barium borate, triggering four phase transitions. At the same time, they captured photos of the entangled pair going through the same phase transitions, even though it hadn't passed through the liquid crystal.
You can see the setup below: The entangled beam of photons comes from the bottom left, one half of the entangled pair splits to the left and passes through the four phase filters. The others that go straight ahead didn't go through the filters, but underwent the same phase changes. The camera was able to capture images of these at the same time, showing that they'd both shifted the same way despite being split. In other words, they were entangled.
Images: (Moreau et al., Science Advances, 2019)
"Here, we report an experiment demonstrating the violation of a Bell inequality within observed images," the team writes in Science Advances.
"This result both opens the way to new quantum imaging schemes ... and suggests promise for quantum information schemes based on spatial variables."
The research was published in Science Advances.
1. 'Spooky action at a distance' in the quantum world shortly before final proof
Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, ScienceDaily, 2013
2. Looking beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory
National University of Singapore, ScienceDaily, 2012
1. Quantum imaging produces pictures of invisible objects
Editage Insights, Editage Insights, 2015
2. Entanglement dynamics in de Sitter spacetime
Shingo Kukita et al., Classical and Quantum Gravity, 2017
FROM SCIENCE ALERT: FIONA MACDONALD - 13 JUL 2019