Experiment Seeks Warm Entanglement

Entanglement–when the measurement of one particle immediately appears to have an effect on another particle–is one of the weird properties of quantum mechanics. It leads to all sorts of heresies, like superluminal information transfer, spooky action at a distance, and other oddities.

Fortunately, for the sake of deeply deterministic physicists, there’s a little thing called decoherence. Simply stated, it means that if things are warm and big, it’s hard to get particles to entangle or enter into superposition.

Somewhere, because of warmth, our two worlds–weird, little alive-dead cat quantum world and giant Newtonian billiard ball world–split.

At least, this split  allows us go about our day, not thinking about creepy little events, like two particles being in synch, even though they might be across the universe from each other. But, it also makes things like quantum computing a little tricker.

A new experiment, however, is testing the limits of warm entanglement. Fernando Galve, from the University of the Balearic Islands in Spain, and his team are creating a nano-diving board to create an experiment to achieve high temperature, macro-scale entanglement.

Their theory is this:

By coupling the two oscillators together with the analog of a spring and then causing the strength of the spring to oscillate in time, the entanglement can be made to survive, despite interactions with a high-temperature environment.

The nano-device will be used to achieve a “squeeze” state.

The key is that the oscillators would be driven into a so-called squeezed state. Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle says that the product of the uncertainties in two complementary quantities (like position and momentum) must exceed a certain amount. In a squeezed state, the uncertainty in one of the quantities is squeezed down to a very small value, leaving all the uncertainty in the other quantity. For the coupled oscillators, the two quantities are the sum of and the difference between the two block positions. The squeezed state has most of the uncertainty in the sum, so the difference is known very precisely. If the position of one block is measured, the position of the other is instantly known to high precision–the signature of entanglement. The driving spring would keep pushing the oscillators into this entangled, squeezed state and counter the tendency for thermal energy to destroy it.

My opinion here: it’s a helluva theory.

You can read the complete report here and tell me what you think.

I’ll keep an eye out for results.

 

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