Scientists have captured the first ever image of a phenomenon which Albert Einstein once described as “spooky action at a distance,” the BBC reported.
Described by some as a landmark scientific breakthrough, the photo shows a strong form of quantum entanglement, where two particles interact and share their physical states for an instant.
It occurs no matter how great the distance between the particles is.
The connection is known as Bell entanglement and underpins the field of quantum mechanics, the BBC report said.
Paul-Antoine Moreau, of the University of Glasgow’s School of Physics and Astronomy, said the image was “an elegant demonstration of a fundamental property of nature.”
He added: “It’s an exciting result which could be used to advance the emerging field of quantum computing and lead to new types of imaging.”
Einstein described quantum mechanics as “spooky” because of the instantaneousness of the apparent remote interaction between two entangled particles.
The interaction also seemed incompatible with elements of his special theory of relativity.
Scientist John Bell later formalized the concept by describing in detail a strong form of entanglement exhibiting the feature, the BBC report said.
Bell entanglement is now harnessed in practical applications such as quantum computing and cryptography.
However, it has never before been captured in a single image.
The team of physicists from the University of Glasgow devised a system that fired a stream of entangled photons from a quantum source of light at “non-conventional” objects.
This was displayed on liquid-crystal materials which change the phase of the photons as they pass through.
Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr and others who helped create quantum theory insisted there was no meaningful way in which to discuss certain details of an atom’s behaviour, UK’s Express reported.
For instance, it was impossible to predict the exact moment when an atom would emit a quantum of light.
Einstein himself disliked the uncertainty, saying: “God does not play dice.”
Even Erwin Schrödinger, famous for the famous Schrodinger’s Cat paradox, once said of quantum mechanics: “I don’t like it.
“And I’m sorry I ever had anything to do with it.”