Researchers from the University of Ottawa in Canada and Sapienza University in Rome, Italy, have developed a new technique that can visualize this entanglement in record time.
They describe the method of “two-photon digital holography.” In an article in the magazine Nature photonics How they created a yin-yang-like image of two entangled particles of light in real time.
Quantum entanglement is hard to capture
Quantum entanglement is a connection between two similar particles, even if they are far apart.
This allows, for example, two particles of light or photons to be linked across huge distances, so that when a change occurs in one particle, a corresponding change occurs in the other particle.
To predict how quantum objects will behave like photons, physicists must determine the object’s wave function.
This wave function is a description of the state of a particle that is in superposition at the quantum level. This means that a particle can be in all physical states at the same time.
Determining the wave function of two entangled particles is very hard work, because every measurement of one particle immediately causes a change in the other particle.
Using the quantitative tomography method, researchers perform 3D reconstructions of particles from measurements.
To do this, physicists must make many measurements of the quantum state of the particles, and the more complex the state, the larger the measurements. From there, they can then reconstruct a 3D object for entanglement based on the predictions.
In a press release The researchers compare it to imitating a 3D object based on the two-dimensional shadows of the object on the wall.
This method produces accurate results, but it also produces many results that are not physically possible, and therefore must be filtered to obtain an accurate image, a process that can take days.
A yin-yang tangle
Finally, we come to the two-photon digital holography technique. Holograms are two-dimensional visualizations of three-dimensional objects.
So optical holograms use two beams of light to create a hologram. One ray falls on the body and reflects the ray. And the other beam shines on the camera with great precision.
A hologram is formed by the interference of light, a pattern in which the peaks and valleys of two light waves merge or cancel each other out.
Using this method and a nanosecond-accurate camera, the researchers were able to separate the interference pattern by comparing the unknown quantum state with a known state, revealing a yin-yang-like reconstruction of the two entangled photons.
“This method is significantly faster than previous techniques and requires only minutes or seconds rather than days,” Alessio Derico of the research team and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Ottawa said in a press release.
Quantum entanglement is one of the foundations of quantum computers. A better understanding of entanglement could lead to more stable quantum computers.
In their article, the researchers write that the yin-yang shape was created by chance due to the angle of the light rays of light. In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang symbolize connected opposites, such as light and dark, night and day.
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