Stunning quantum experiment confirms 'spooky action at a distance'

findings that contradict Einstein's view of "local realism".
By Delila James | May 08, 2018
Twelve teams of physicists in 10 countries, along with 100,000 volunteer gamers, recently confirmed the strange phenomenon of what Einstein somewhat derisively called "spooky action at a distance."

The results of the groundbreaking experiment, led by ICFO-The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, are described in the journal Nature.

Known as The BIG Bell Test, participants around the world randomly generated more than 97 million data units by playing a video game on Nov. 30, 2016. In the test, pairs of entangled particles were sent to different locations, where particle attributes were measured.

If measurements tend to match up, it suggests that the measurement of one particle instantly affects the other particle, despite being separated by great distances, or implies that the particles' properties are created by the act of measuring itself.

The results of the Bell tests confirmed that particles are mysteriously linked and can somehow transmit information at a speed faster than light findings that contradict Einstein's view of "local realism," in which the universe is independent of human observations and where nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

"We showed that Einstein's world-view of local realism, in which things have properties whether or not you observe them, and no influence travels faster than light, cannot be true at least one of those things must be false," said study co-author Morgan Mitchell, a professor of quantum optics at the Institute of Photonic Sciences, in a report by Live Science.

The experiment on Nov. 30, 2016 showed that local realism theories can be ruled out with a significance level of 3 standard deviations and by a level of 8 standard deviations when longer measurements were performed with stored human-generated random numbers.

"What is most amazing for me is that the argument between Einstein and Niels Bohr, after more than 90 years of effort to make it rigorous and experimentally testable, still retains a human and philosophical element," Mitchell said, in a statement. "We know that the Higgs boson and gravitational waves exist thanks to amazing machines, physical systems built to test the laws of physics. But local realism is a question we can't fully answer with a machine. It seems we ourselves must be part of the experiment, to keep the Universe honest."


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