back to article Literally rings our bell: Scottish eggheads snap quantum entanglement for the first time

Physicists at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, have produced the first-ever image of a strong form of quantum entanglement, known as Bell entanglement. To achieve this, they devised a system which fires a stream of entangled photons from a quantum source of light at "non-conventional objects" – which change the phase of …

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  1. sbt Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Nice symmetry.

    Reminds me of that other recent "first ever" image, of a black hole.

    1. joeW

      Re: Nice symmetry.

      "As above, so below"

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Nice symmetry.

      Indeed, but that's about all. What am I seeing here? Definitely more than one photon on that picture, and what do those two photon clouds/concentrations actually mean/represent?

      Could somebody in the know please be so kind to explain? Nobody else seem to wonder, so I guess I'm the only one "not to get it"...

      1. Schultz Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Nice symmetry.

        As usual, the story is a bit more complex than the news reporting. What you can see is the image of visible photons detected on a CCD camera. The polarization properties of photons are mapped on the camera, such that the angular distribution (angular position of maximum and minimum photon intensity on a circle) reveals some photon polarization property.

        The image detection was then gated by a signal from another photon detector. If the other photon was entangled, then it's polarization property was correlated to the image photon polarization property - an effect that would be visible in the image. By measuring four such images (changing the relative polarization properties of the two photons), the strength of the correlation / entanglement could be established. The measured value was far enough away from the classical (non-entangled) expectation value that the authors could claim to have observed entanglement.

        Other experiments are far more sensitive to entanglement and there isn't any obvious application for this type of measurement. If you read the Reg story carefully, you may note that the 'relevance' claims in the last paragraph are not related to this particular measurement at all.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Nice symmetry.

          Thanks to both of you. That clears things up (as much as possible).

      2. sbt Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Nice symmetry.

        Not 'in the know', but I found phys.org's article with diagram a bit clearer than El Reg's article:

        https://phys.org/news/2019-07-scientists-unveil-first-ever-image-quantum.html

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Further Article Reading Delivers ....

          In addition, as we will discuss below, by making only a few physically reasonable assumptions about the source involved in the demonstration, our results can be interpreted as the first experimental demonstration that an imaging protocol can be used to reveal the Bell-type–violating behavior of a quantum system. Reciprocally, our results do show that Bell-type nonlocal behavior can be harnessed to perform special types of imaging that could not be performed with a conventional classical source. .... Paul-Antoine Moreau et A.N.Others

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  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It’s time to make an SI unit for thought.

    Or is the moll the unit for thought?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Real Red Hot Porn Leading Corruption and MisAppropriation of Future Assets

      It’s time to make an SI unit for thought.

      Or is the moll the unit for thought?..... Louis Schreurs

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    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      I thought that the Hmm was the unit of thought?

      1. Roj Blake

        No, it's the pipe - as in Holmes's three-pipe problem.

    3. rjstua

      That would be the mull

      1. a pressbutton

        Isnt that an abbreviated bad haircut?

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon
          Coat

          Sounds a bit fishy to me

          1. a pressbutton

            I need to think about that.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How entanglement really works, how to prove it

    "Researchers then set up a super-sensitive camera capable of detecting single photons which would only take an image when it caught sight of both the photon and its entangled ‘twin’, creating a visible record of entanglement."

    i.e. they filter for some property of two photons, and declare that as entanglement, and the filtering they do is really the cause of the entanglement effect. Let we walk you though how stupid entanglement is and what's actually going on.

    -----

    Entanglement theory is garbage:

    When you measure something, you're measuring the net interaction of the detector and photon. In this case the interaction between camera and photon.

    Claiming that measuring any of photon #1's properties, sets all the properties of 'entangled' Photon #2, even if photon #2 is across the universe, or not yet measured, or is in the future or the past across time, is silly:

    Did you also 'entangle' the detectors? If you have detector #1 and detector #2 are they also 'entangled'?, are these camera's also entangled such that the net effect of camera and photon is the same??

    Such that when you measure photo #1 and photon #2 with their corresponding detectors you get the same result?

    Even across the universe? Even across time? By this magic unexplained 'entanglement' connection? A magic thing that only happens when a scientist measures a property of one of the photons? All other interactions don't affect it????

    Really? Yet you're not actually measuring the property, you're measuring the interaction of that property with matter which itself has properties. So for the result to be the same, both detector 1& 2 and photons 1&2 would have to be in the same state.

    Claiming that measuring a property of photon #1 with detector #1, sets the properties of photon #2 to the be the same properties, by some magic force is nonsense. Matter is NOT oscillating randomly, a la Schrodinger, Schrodinger is just an approximation of a complex motion with probabilistic math. Sexy math, sure, but math describing a false model. Whenever it's not random, this is not the property magically transferring across space and time to fix up your experiment, a la 'entanglement', it's just the Schrodinger was built on false assumptions of randomness that are not true.

    -----

    So what is going on:

    1. There is an underlying oscillating resonant electric field. Atomic clocks oscillate the same way in the same conditions as if they're connected somehow, because they ARE connected.

    2. Lights and matter properties derive from their oscillation. e.g. A photon's velocity and its EM frequency and its polarizations are all forms of MOTION over the oscillating field. All are forms of *motion*. They're not separate properties they're the SAME property. An oscillatory motion, of an oscillating system over an oscillating resonant field.

    3. Take a simplified case, where light's initial property is set by an F/2 oscillation and the detector's by an F/3 oscillation of this resonance.

    4. Now these photons will fall into six buckets: If you could measure the underlying oscillation.. there would be only 6 combinations.

    5. When you filter for a property such that property #1 of photon #1 matches property #1 of photon #2, aka your "successful entanglement" signal, you are selecting ONE bucket from those six.

    6. Since all the properties derive from that oscillation, all the properties of the two photons will be the same for the same bucket.

    7. THIS IS ENTANGLEMENT

    8. Every six oscillations that pattern will repeat. Which means if you compared a photon to one 6 oscillations later from the same sources it will also be the same.

    9. This is 'QUANTUM TELEPORTATION'. You know when random things appear to repeat and they shouldn't? Like the experiment when the electron returns to the same place, when it should take 13.8 billion years to return to the same place? That's not a magical teleportion of "position" property across time and space, from electron #1 to a future version of itself, its that they really are not random!

    Schrodinger is based on a false model. Give it up.

    ------

    How to prove it #1

    10. Quit believing in magic entanglement fairies.

    11. If the properties of photons are the same, and the properties of the detectors the same, then there must be a resonant field.

    12. You've seen these oscillations in matter (at least the lower fraction harmonics of them), so cross out Schrodinger and simply connect the dots with the obvious lines.

    ------

    How to prove it #2

    13. Take two identical lasers, in identical fields, powered by the same source, orientated identically, at the same temperature.

    14. Take two identical detectors, made the same way, in identical fields, powered by the same source, orientated identically at the same temperature.

    15. Do an entanglement experiment WITHOUT the 'entanglement' event. i.e. you've normally sent these through a magic entanglement crystal taken from the magic wand of the entanglement fairy.... do it without that crystal and see that you can still get the effect.

    16. Do the same filtering, and notice the properties of photon #1 and photon #2 can be made to match without the entanglement event.

    17. Ergo it's not entanglement.

    1. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

      It's a shame you don't believe current quantum theory. If you did you could have got out of both sides of the bed at the same time and not be having such a bad day.

      1. James Loughner

        Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

        It is not a matter of believing. It is simply limits on what we can measure and thus what we can know about a system. The best we can do is use statistics to predict system history. This does not really tell us what is happening on a "quantum" level it is only a statistical modal of the underlying phenomenon. It does not really tell use how that phenomenon actually works.

        I have two objects which I entangle by painting one red and the other blue. I put them is two boxes ans separate them by a light year Now I open the first box and see that the object is blue thus the fact object 2 is red is now instantly known. Is this really entanglement??

        Don't get me wrong quantum mechanics is great and works but it does not describe the underlying reality. Think thermodynamics. It is a theory of gross interactions and does not in any way describe the detail of the reality. But it does predict and describe the bulk behavior of matter in thermal systems.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

          No. Because your 2 boxes would be 50/50. Not Quantum.

          If using 3 boxes it would be 75% (50/50 of the first. Then 50/50 of the second). IIRC the Bell inequalities observed (in say a polarisation with 3 rotated lenses) is 87.5%.

          So it is certainly not a "hidden" box. Hope those reading these threads can go off and learn... instead of getting all these wrong replies thrown at them.

        2. Schultz Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

          Your example of one red and one blue object having entangle color properties is absolutely correct. But this is is classical entanglement and there is no Bell inequality for classically entangled objects. Observing one object allows you to predict the other, but doesn't affect the other.

          Here is what you can do with photons that are quantum mechanically entangled, but not with your painted classical objects: you measure the polarization of one photon and, instantly, the polarization property of the other is affected. Assume the correlated photon polarization are perpendicular. If photon 1 is detected with horizontal polarization, the photon 2 cannot have horizontal polarization - no matter how far away you measure it. But also the probability for it to have 45 degree polarization angle is affected. Suddenly, the angular distribution of photon polarizations is different for the photons where the partner was detected.

          But you must be sure that you observe the correct partner photon, undisturbed by anything along the way, and you must account for the probabilistic nature of you polarization measurement. The second part makes these experiments so abstract: if you have a horizontal polarizer, it only probabilistically tells you about the polarization direction: 45 degree polarized photons are still transmitted with sqrt(2) probability. So you can't use this probabilistic effect for faster-than-light information transfer, but you still see a measurable effect over distance if you correlate enough photon pairs.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

      There are days when I enjoy ripping the shit out of bollocks like this, and then there are days when I think I'll just go for an early morning walk and look forward to putting the kettle on when I get back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

        Dear Rich11,

        The tooth fairy also isn't real. Grow up.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

          The tooth fairy also isn't real.

          Well, I'm glad we agree on one thing.

          Can we also agree that I had a nice walk and a lovely cup of tea yesterday? You're welcome to ask me for evidence, even for such a mundane claim, if you don't believe me. And I'll wait to see evidence supporting your bollocks hypothesis before I think it's anything other than bollocks. If you had it, it would have been so easy for you to provide that from the off.

          One more word of advice: if you wanted to demonstrate maturity rather than expose yourself to ridicule, writing in such an opinionated style by describing the target of your ire as 'stupid' and 'garbage' just makes you sound like Donald Trump.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

            Can we also agree that I had a nice walk and a lovely cup of tea yesterday?

            I had a nice cuppa too yesterday. Were they perchance entangled?

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

              Bags of Earl Grey, separated at birth.

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

        There are days when I enjoy ripping the shit out of bollocks like this, ... ... Rich 11

        Ever thought of polishing bollocks like that to see if it can sparkle with creative interest like a diamond, Rich 11?

        That might easier and quicker begin to explain why Lowly IT with Advanced IntelAIgents makes quantum entanglement really work for all, in all and any pleasing future directions.

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        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

          amanFromMars1 has deigned to address me. I have reach El Reg nirvana this day. Step aside, lesser mortals.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

            It's a difficult experience to put into words isn't it? :)

            However - how about "We shall not, we shall not be moved."

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

              Are you the AC who has been talking bollocks all through this or are you a different AC? If you are a different AC then it would help if you'd create an account and make your independence clear.

              If you are the AC who has been talking bollocks all along then I'm mildly entertained to see that for whatever reason you are unable to provide evidence for your original bollocks claim, and indeed have moved onto making obscure and unclear subjective comments. A bit like your original bollocks.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

                Well, I haven't posted any other AC comments in this thread, so no, I'm not *that* AC.

                As for the obscure and unclear subjective comments (and them being bollocks) I can only say that I too have experienced the 'direct response' from amfm1 phenomenon and my comment, whilst cryptic, is apt (if you've read Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's trilogy).

                If you haven't read them, then I can see why you might feel the comment obscure.

          2. Rich 11 Silver badge

            Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

            Actually that's the second time in five or more years, but I don't want to boast.

            It was so long ago that I didn't even remember until now...

    3. Mystic Megabyte
      FAIL

      Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

      >>4. Now these photons will fall into six buckets: If you could measure the underlying oscillation.. there would be only 6 combinations.

      Have you actually done this experiment?

      "If you could measure", seems to imply that it is impossible with the "equipment" that you have.

      I can supply the buckets.

    4. jonathan keith

      Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

      I can see how that might be possible. Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary proof, and you'll need that if you're going to overturn Scientific orthodoxy at a stroke. When do you expect to publish your paper?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

        It is not. It misses every single observation of Quantum mechanics. It's like someone stating:

        "Your all idiots putting petrol in this magic 'car', there is no 'car' and I am certina if you just put water in you'd go twice as fast... but no one ever puts water in when I ask them! Conspiracy!!!"

        Like, thousands if not millions of experiments have been done showing that it is not an oscillation, and not a random pattern and not a hidden variable (not dice in a box).

        But that's the difference between deciding you know, and asking "is it just dice in a box" (5 seconds of Googling later, reading an actual paper/experiment/book/doing a polarization lense test at home), and you find out "wow, it's not a 1/3 chance, it follows the Bell theorem results".

        Like, you can do these experiments at home to some extent with polarized light. When the polarized light seems to break the other laws of physics, you realise, it's using a new "law", an observation we call Quantum mechanics. :)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

          "Like, thousands if not millions of experiments have been done"

          And yet you cannot name one that doesn't pre-filter?

          Quantum eraser and delayed choice quantum eraser all prefilter by using a coincidence circuit.

          Delft Universities, ' "loophole free proof of entanglement" even stated right in column #1 of the summary that they were pre-filtering for like-properties, before the Bells test, because all previous experiments had pre-filtered for like-properties before the Bells test.

          The more recent experiment, where an electron was found to return to its same position when Schrodinger prediction said it should return on average after 13.8 billion years... was claimed as proof of "Quantum teleportation" FFS.

          It's a pity, they had proof right there of the faulty nature of Schrodinger and chose to pretend the effect was somehow a teleportation effect to explain away the problem.

          "When the polarized light seems to break the other laws of physics"

          The matter in the detector is oscillating too, the property of polarization as detected is the net of the two.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Facepalm

            Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

            "And yet you cannot name one that doesn't pre-filter?"

            I did. The rotation of polarized filters.

            Though I am not sure what you mean by "pre-filter"? Quantum entanglement by nature requires being setup. Like any experiment, you have to make sure you are testing the thing being tested, and not something else.

            If I took a temperature outside my fridge, I would not be testing inside. Thus testing *entanglement* requires entangling. To add to that, they also have to check statistics, as with the double slit experiment, it's a value of multiple events, not a single one.

            "The more recent experiment, where an electron was found to return to its same position when Schrodinger prediction said it should return on average after 13.8 billion years... was claimed as proof of "Quantum teleportation" FFS."

            What are you talking about? There are examples of forcing an electron to do that... or we leave it, and by "itself" it would take 13.8 billion years. But a forced silicone circuit is not the same as a lump of sand.

            "the matter is oscillating".

            You've lost it. Totally. Look at yourself carefully. The entire polarization lens gives 1 value. The value does not oscillate in the lens. All 3 lenses are identical, but rotated a 3rd of the way to each other. Look up polarization : https://youtu.be/zcqZHYo7ONs

        2. Mage Silver badge

          Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

          Yes, all true. But I still don't understand what I'm looking at a picture of?

          Sadly for Ansible Designers, there doesn't seem to be a way to communicate faster than light with entanglement, because you don't know when a change has occurred or what the state was before. However light speed verification of tampering or encryption using entanglement is possible.

          1. CommanderGalaxian

            Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

            Quantum entanglement hasn't actually made that claim - that you can communicate faster than light - because the entagled photons can only ever separate at the speed of light.

            However, once separated, a measurement on one will cause the results of that measurement to be instantly known at the other - no matter how far they have separated. The information itself never separated at more than the speed of light, it's just that we don't currently understand how information can be encoded ahead of time.

            1. Schultz Silver badge

              Been time traveling recently?

              'it's just that we don't currently understand how information can be encoded ahead of time.'

              You should contact Dr. Who and ask about the rules of using tardis.

          2. swm Silver badge

            Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

            Depending on your frame of reference either measurement might occur first. My physics instructor said that angular momentum is conserved and that the measurement of one particles angular momentum sets the angular momentum of the other. There is nothing "faster than light" in all of this.

            I'm thinking that holography might possibly be an explanation for all of this.

            Note that conservation of energy etc. don't exactly work in a curved space-time metric but only asymptotically.

            Hawking radiation is an example of a mixture of quantum and general relativity.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

              "There is nothing "faster than light" in all of this."

              Hypothesis - there is no such thing as distance, therefore nothing can be faster than something else.

              A photon travels through time and is observed in different positions based on *when* it is observed.

              Obviously there are gaps, but I'm working on it :)

          3. tfb Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

            That's right, there isn't. Indeed, if there was it would be catastrophic for physics, since it is very straightforward to bargain FTL transmission of information into transmission of information into your own past (you just need special relativity to do this, which is extremely well-tested).

            And since the financial value of a machine which does that really has no upper limit (if you can send information into your own past you can win games of chance, like the financial markets) we kind of know not only that one does not exist and that no amount of investment leads to one.

            1. Carpet Deal 'em

              Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

              That doesn't necessarily rule out superluminal events; it only proves that they won't follow special relativity. I doubt we'd be able to detect such things without a theory that already allows for them, though, so we'll just have to wait to see if somebody's grand unified theory is less disappointing.

              1. tfb Silver badge
                Boffin

                Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

                Well, we know experimentally that enough of special relativity is correct that if FTL transmission of information works, we could go ahead and build a time machine (for information): it's just an engineering problem (please don't regard this as being disparaging to engineers!). If I can get information from a to some spacelike-separated point b then I don't need any fancy new theory: I can just use a theory I already know and which is already very well tested.

                So what is the case is that one of three things is true:

                - the experimental tests that special relativity has passed are in fact all wrong (which means that essentially all new physics done for the last century-and-a-bit is wrong);

                - FTL information transfer is possible and causality is violated: everything we know is wrong;

                - causality is not violated, FTL information transfer is not possible and we are all fine.

                I'm voting for the third option. If the existing tests of special relativity are not all incorrect (so a century's worth of experiments have all been incorrect) then any fancy new theory needs to reduce to special relativity in suitable limits, in the same way special relativity reduces to Gallilean relativity in suitable limit, so we can just rely on special relativity, the same way we can rely on Newtonian mechanics to get to the Moon, say.

        3. jonathan keith

          Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

          Damn, The Reg desperately needs an irony / sarcasm icon. If any of the Great and Good are reading, something like one of these would work well, I think:

          https://static.vecteezy.com/system/resources/previews/000/103/944/original/free-tachometer-logo-vector.png

          (#2 is particularly fetching)

      2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

        I can see how that might be possible. Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary proof, and you'll need that if you're going to overturn Scientific orthodoxy at a stroke. When do you expect to publish your paper? .... jonathan keith

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        1. jonathan keith

          Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

          May your glass never be empty, amanfromMars 1

    5. steelpillow Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

      Dear foolish child. I look forward to your refutation of Bell's theorem, though I recommend that you use somewhat better arguments than you have done here. They are such naive bollocks that, to borrow another physicist's punchline, they are not even wrong.

      But let me give you a hint: normally each quantum has a separate equation which propagates in time across its own space known as its "phase space". The shattering of normal space into phase spaces is necessary in order to avoid interference effects which would otherwise occur but which we do not observe. In the case of quantum entanglement, the two quanta are described by a single wave in a single phase space. It's all in the maths and its predictions tested in the laboratory, which is more than your arguments are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The filtering is done BEFORE the Bells test

        1. The filtering is done BEFORE the Bells test, you can treat the bells test as a black box test if you like, it makes no difference to the truth in what I'm saying.

        2.You're not measuring any such thing, you're measuring the net effect of the detector and detected.

        You filter, I've explained how that filtering causes the effect, all of your experiments pre-filter.

        "The shattering of normal space into phase spaces is necessary in order to avoid interference effects which would otherwise occur but which we do not observe."

        The extra dimension does not exist, the pre-filtering you do DOES most definitely exist. I've explained to you why that filtering is causing that effect, NOT a magic force over an extra dimension propagating across space and time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Holmes

          Re: The filtering is done BEFORE the Bells test

          There is no magic force. Just a change in how we understand special shapes (and by extension the influence of time). It's still linear. It's still flat. It's just some things are a different shape to how we first thought.

          Atoms were thought to be spheres, then orbits, then clouds. They were thought to be solid, then found to be comprised of a few particles and mainly empty space. This is not magic, and did not break reality or the fundamental understanding of existence. It just changed the shape of things.

          What do you mean about pre-filtering? Look at the polarized light example. You use 3 lenses. Each lense is identical, each gives a Bell's theorem distribution, not an oscillation/hidden variable distribution.

          Take a step back. What are you trying to do? What are you trying to prove? There is no magic in Quantum Mechanics, there is just a difference in the shape of space (and in part space/time). That's all.

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