A new study involving more than 100,000 players from around the world contradicted Albert Einstein's ideas about an amazing phenomenon that is a cornerstone of quantum mechanics – or the physics of the very small.
led by the Institute of Photonics in Barcelona, was run by an international team of physicists from 12 institutes, who managed to close a gap found in a joint quantum mechanics test.
The phenomenon called quantum entanglement occurs when pairs or groups of particles interact with each other in a way that contradicts the classical laws of physics. One object can seemingly affect another simultaneously, even if there is no direct physical connection and is separated by long distances ̵
While Einstein did not completely disagree with quantum mechanics, he found that the idea of quantum entanglement was problematic when once described as a "scary, distant effect." He suggested that this quantum behavior is impossible and can be explained by hidden "instructions" in the entangled particles – an argument based on two basic principles. Principles: locality and realism.
Locality states that objects can only be influenced by causes in their immediate environment (part of this concept is that nothing can travel faster than light.) Realism holds against objects in the universe being well-defined properties, themselves if we do not look at it – in other words, matter has an independent reality. Together, these principles have become "l occal realism."
While the concepts expressed by local realism may seem natural to us, growing evidence suggests that they are incompatible with quantum mechanics. First, quantum mechanics shows that the simple act of observing particles in the universe can change their properties, violating the principle of realism.
Second, particles that are or can communicate with each other over long distances in an instant – the "scary action at a distance" – clearly violate the principle of locality. (In this case, a hidden form of information must be faster than the light between the two particles.)
The Standard Path to Test Quantum Mechanics in Reference to the principle of local realism is to use something, a so-called bell test, first developed by CERN physicist John Stewart Bell in 1964. This is an experiment that determines if the real world is really as strange as quantum physics says it is. This is done by looking for "hidden" variables that are not part of quantum theory to explain the behavior of subatomic particles.
According to a website set up by researchers who conducted the latest study, Bell's task is to create a pair of entangled particles and send them to two separate measurement stations, traditionally called "Alice" and "Bob". Entanglement means that their properties are highly correlated – for example, if one particle turns to the left, the other must also turn to the left, no matter how far apart they are.)
"Alice and Bob make simultaneous, unpredictable measurements on the particles "wrote the authors on the website. "Quantum mechanics says the measurement made by Alice immediately influences Bob's particle, with the effect that the results match, but in local realism, this influence can not occur, and Bob's and Alice's results often do not agree." This coincidence or disagreement "Correlation is the signal that allows an experiment to decide on local realism."
While many Bell tests have appeared over the decades to validate the ideas of quantum mechanics over those of local realism, there is one Issue here. The Bell test requires random and independently generated number sequences to determine which measurements to perform on quantum objects. But creating true random numbers is difficult. Researchers could be influenced by unknown distortions, and most computerized random number generators are not really random among other factors.
This error in the Bell test is known as the "freedom of choice" gap – the possibility that these "hidden" variables could influence the experiments. This raises doubts that the measurements are truly random, that is, it would not be possible to completely rule out the explanation that local realism offers for the behavior of a given particle.
For the new study, published in the journal Nature physicists recruited more than 100,000 volunteer players from around the world to close these loopholes by generating random numbers with mere manpower.
You were asked to make a customized online game called The Great Bell Quest, where players repeatedly had to tap two buttons on a screen representing the values one and zero. The players were adjusted by creating unpredictable strings of these ones and zeroes.
This provided the scientists with more than 90 million random human-generated binary digits or bits – the smallest unit of computer data – that were then used in laboratory experiments to determine how intertwined particles were measured.
"People are unpredictable, and if they use smartphones even more," said Andrew White of the University of Queensland in Australia, who was involved in the study, in a statement.
"These random bits then determined how various entangled atoms, photons and superconductors were measured in the experiments, thus concluding a stubborn loophole in tests of Einstein's principle of local realism."
The results of the study show that quantum particles separated by long distances can still influence each other, which is Einstein's principle contradicts local realism.
And because the experiment used so many people, researchers can be sure their results were accurate.
"A common way to reduce the uncertainty about the outcome of an experiment is to repeat many times and then check that the results are statistically significant," they wrote on the website. "Any random number contributed by the community allows the scientists to carry out another run of the experiment and get a more accurate result, the more different individuals there are, the more we ensure the statistical independence that is required for this kind of experimentation importantly. "
In addition, these results agree with those of advanced experiments in 2015, in which other groups of researchers also developed gapless Bell tests.
But let's not take too much account of the great German physicist. After all, he developed the groundbreaking theory of special relativity that revolutionized physics and changed our understanding of the universe as we know it.