In an incredible first, scientists have captured the world’s first actual photo of quantum entanglement – a phenomenon so strange, physicist Albert Einstein famously described it as ‘spooky action at a distance’.
The image was captured by physicists at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and it’s so breathtaking we can’t stop staring.
It might not look like much, but just stop and think about it for a second: this fuzzy grey image 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. Hence the ‘spooky action at a distance’ description.
This particular photo shows entanglement between two photons – two 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, told the BBC the image was “an elegant demonstration of a fundamental property of nature”.
To capture the incredible photo, Moreau and a team of physicists created a system that blasted out streams of entangled photons at what they described as ‘non-conventional objects’.
Image Credit: University of Glasgow