Quantum ‘spookiness’ passes toughest test yetThis is just the latest of the Bell test experiments. These were very exciting about 50 years ago, because they had the potential to disprove quantum mechanics. All the tests, including this one, have confirmed the quantum mechanics of 1930.
Experiment plugs loopholes in previous demonstrations of 'action at a distance', against Einstein's objections — and could make data encryption safer.
It’s a bad day both for Albert Einstein and for hackers. The most rigorous test of quantum theory ever carried out has confirmed that the ‘spooky action at a distance’ that the German physicist famously hated — in which manipulating one object instantaneously seems to affect another, far away one — is an inherent part of the quantum world.
The experiment, performed in the Netherlands, could be the final nail in the coffin for models of the atomic world that are more intuitive than standard quantum mechanics, say some physicists. It could also enable quantum engineers to develop a new suite of ultrasecure cryptographic devices.
“From a fundamental point of view, this is truly history-making,” says Nicolas Gisin, a quantum physicist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
This does appear to be an improved experiment, because previous ones had to make some mild assumptions about undetected photons. This cleverly uses electrons that can nearly always be detected.
However, it does not demonstrate action-at-a-distance, and it will not make data encryption any safer. It just gives more evidence against the hidden variable theories that everyone rejected in 1930.
These experiments are often suggested as candidates for the Nobel Prize in Physics. Maybe so, as these are nontrivial tests of good physics theories. But really, prizes for the theory were given in 1932 and 1933.
Sweden cannot give prizes for string theory, unified field theory, quantum gravity, black hole information, multiverse, supersymmetry, quantum computers, or any of the other topics that seem to preoccupy our finest Physics minds, because none of those have any experimental validation.