Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Einstein's 'spooky action' common in large quantum systems

Date:
May 28, 2013
Source:
Case Western Reserve University
Summary:
Mathematician have shown that entanglement -- what Einstein termed "spooky action at a distance" -- is actually prevalent in large quantum systems and have identified the threshold at which it occurs.

Entanglement is a property in quantum mechanics that seemed so unbelievable and so lacking in detail that, 66 years ago this spring, Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance."

Related Articles


But a mathematician at Case Western Reserve University and two of his recent PhD graduates show entanglement is actually prevalent in large quantum systems and have identified the threshold at which it occurs.

The finding holds promise for the ongoing push to understand and take advantage of the property. If harnessed, entanglement could yield super high-speed communications, hack-proof encryptions and quantum computers so fast and powerful they would make today's supercomputers look like adding machines in comparison.

The mathematicians don't tell us how entanglement works, but were able to put parameters on the property by combining math concepts developed for a number of different applications during the last five decades. In a nutshell, the researchers connected the math to properties of quantum mechanics -- the otherworldly rules that best apply to atomic and subatomic particles -- to describe physical reality.

"There have been indications that large subgroups within quantum systems are entangled," said Stanislaw Szarek, mathematics professor at Case Western Reserve and an author of the study. "Our contribution is to find out exactly when entanglement becomes ubiquitous."

Szarek worked with Guillaume Aubrun, assistant professor of mathematics at Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, France, and Deping Ye, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Their work is published online in the Early View section of Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics.

The behaviors of materials down at the level of atoms are often strange, but entanglement borders on our concepts of sorcery. For example, if two electrons spinning in opposite directions are entangled, when one changes direction, the other immediately changes, whether the electrons are side by side, across the room or at opposite ends of the universe.

Other particles, such as photons, atoms and molecules, can also become entangled, but taking advantage of the property requires more than a pair or handful.

Szarek, Aubrun and Ye focused on large quantum systems -- large groups of particles that have the potential for use in our world.

They found that, in systems in a random state, two subsystems that are each less than one-fifth of the whole are generally not entangled. Two subsystems that are each greater than one-fifth of the whole typically are entangled. In other words, in a system of 1,000 particles, two groups that are smaller than 200 each typically won't be entangled. Two groups larger than 200 each typically will.

Further, the research shows, "the change is abrupt when you reach the threshold of about 200," Szarek said.

The team also calculated the threshold for positive partial transpose, or PPT, a property related to entanglement. If the property is violated, entanglement is present.

"From these two perspectives, the calculations are very precise." Szarek said.

Harsh Mathur, a physics professor at Case Western Reserve whom Szarek consulted to better understand the science, said, "Their point is entanglement is hard to create from a small system, but much easier in a large system."

"And the thing that Einstein thought was so weird is the rule rather than the exception," Mathur added.

The researchers used mathematics where analysis, algebra and geometry meet, Szarek said. The math applies to hundreds, thousands or millions of dimensions.

"We put together several things from different parts of mathematics, like a puzzle, and adapted them," he said. "These are mathematical tools developed largely for aesthetical reasons, like music."

The ideas -- concepts developed in the 1970s and 1980s and more recently -- turned out to be relevant to the emerging quantum information science.

"We have found there is a way of computing and quantifying the concept of quantum physics and related it to some calculable mathematical quantities," Szarek continued. "We were able to identify features and further refine the description, which reduces the questions about the system to calculable and familiar looking mathematical quantities."

So, if entanglement is more common in large quantum systems, why aren't they being used already?

"In the every day world, it's hard to access or create large quantum mechanical systems to do meaningful quantum computations or for communications or other uses," Mathur said. "You have to keep them isolated or they decohere and behave in a classical manner. But this study gives some parameters to build on."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Case Western Reserve University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Guillaume Aubrun, Stanislaw J. Szarek, Deping Ye. Entanglement Thresholds for Random Induced States. Communications on Pure and Applied Mathematics, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/cpa.21460

Cite This Page:

Case Western Reserve University. "Einstein's 'spooky action' common in large quantum systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130528122433.htm>.
Case Western Reserve University. (2013, May 28). Einstein's 'spooky action' common in large quantum systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130528122433.htm
Case Western Reserve University. "Einstein's 'spooky action' common in large quantum systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130528122433.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins