Nobel Prize in Physics 2022. Scientists proved that Einstein was wrong

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Nobel Prize in Physics 2022. Scientists Prove Einstein Wrong

Three scientists received the famous award for innovative experiments in quantum mechanics, which spans the world of atoms and particles.

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In 2022, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to scientists Alain Aspe from the University of Paris-Saclay, France, John Clauser from J.F. Clauser & Associates, USA and Anton Zeilinger from the University of Vienna, Austria. For three scientists received a cash award in the amount of 915 thousand US dollars. The official wording of the Nobel Committee, explaining why the scientists received the Nobel Prize, reads – “for experiments with entangled photons, the establishment of violations in Bell's inequality and for innovations in quantum computer science.” What are the merits of these scientists and how they proved that Einstein was wrong, writes ScienceAlert.

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The world of quantum mechanics seems strange to many people. For example, in school we are taught that physical equations can be used to accurately predict how things will behave in the future. For example, where will the ball fly if we lower it from a hill.

But quantum mechanics is different. Instead of predicting individual outcomes, it tells us the likelihood of finding subatomic particles in certain places. In fact, a particle can be in multiple places at once before “selecting” one of them randomly during measurements.

Nobel Prize in Physics 2022. Scientists proved that Einstein was wrong

Nobel Prize in Physics 2022. Scientists proved that Einstein was wrong

Albert Einstein believed that this could not be. The scientist believed that there must be hidden variables, forces or laws unknown to us, which predictably affect the results of our measurements. But in 1964, physicist John Bell created a theoretical test to show that the hidden variables Einstein talked about don't exist.

According to quantum mechanics, particles can be entangled, that is, connected in such a way that when you influence one particle, you automatically influence the other particle at the same time. If the mutual influence of particles that are far apart could be explained by the fact that they interact through hidden variables, then the connection between them would have to occur at a speed that exceeds the speed of light. And this is impossible, according to Einstein's theories.

Nobel Prize in Physics 2022. Scientists proved that Einstein was wrong

Nobel Prize in Physics 2022. Scientists Prove Einstein Wrong

Quantum entanglement binds the properties of particles, no matter how far apart they are. Imagine a light bulb that emits two photons (particles of light) that travel from it in opposite directions. If these photons are entangled, then they can have a common property regardless of distance. Bell, during a theoretical test, showed that they are confusing and mysteriously interconnected.

John Clauser put Bell's theory into practice in 1972 and showed that light can indeed be entangled. Although Clauser's results were innovative for their time, there were several other explanations for his results.

If light did not behave quite the way physicists thought, perhaps its results could be explained without entanglement. These explanations are known as loopholes in the Bell test, and Alain Aspe was the first to challenge them. Aspe came up with an experiment to eliminate one of the most important potential loopholes in the Bell test. He showed that the entangled photons in the experiment did not actually interact with each other through hidden variables to produce the result of the Bell test. This means they are indeed connected.

Nobel Prize in Physics 2022. Scientists proved that Einstein was wrong

Nobel Prize in Physics 2022. Scientists proved that Einstein was wrong

Once upon a time, people used classical mechanics to create machines and factories, which led to the industrial revolution. New knowledge in electronics has led to the digital revolution. But understanding quantum mechanics allows us to use it to create new devices that will lead to a quantum technology revolution.

Quantum entanglement can be used in computing to process information in ways that were not possible before. Detecting small changes in entanglement could allow sensors to detect things with greater accuracy than ever before.

Anton Zeilinger's work paved the way for the quantum technological revolution by showing how a number of entangled systems could be tied together to build a quantum network equivalent. In 2022, these applications of quantum mechanics are no longer science fiction. We have the first quantum computers. Some satellites use quantum entanglement to provide secure communications on the planet. And quantum sensors are used in various devices from medical devices to military technology.

Focus already wrote that the Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2022, who managed to sequence the Neanderthal genome.