The Big Bell Test published in Nature

Quantum randomness is intrinsically different than classic chance. That is what the violations of Bell inequalities, a crucial step in understanding quantum mechanics, states. One drawback remains though: until now, testing these inequalities relied on experimental configurations that use parameters set from data generated by quantum systems. Effectively it was testing quantum physics using quantum physics. To overcome this problem, an international collaboration created by The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, including twelve laboratories on five continents, including Institut de Physique de Nice (CNRS/Université Nice Sophia Antipolis), conducted a unique participatory science experiment. By gathering about 100,000 people worldwide through a video game, the researchers circumvented the data generation problem and rigorously validated their experimental observations on the violation of Bell inequalities. The results were published in Nature on 10 May 2018.

"In physics, the principle of local realism states that two distant objects can only have limited correlations: events that one of the two object undergo cannot be correlated to the other beyond a certain degree. During the 20th century, John Stewart Bell formulated this limit between physical objects in mathematical inequalities. However, quantum objects did not follow this rule. In fact, events between quantum particles are correlated, wherever they are in the universe. This observation violates Bell inequalities and therefore the principle of local realism. To explain this phenomenon, conservative physicists in the early 20th century — including Einstein — had made the hypothesis that unknown physical parameters existed, such that the constraint imposed by inequalities would be correct all the same.

The results of the experiments confirm the violation of Bell inequalities by a more consistent and rigorous methodology than before. They also open the path to deeper quantum physics applications. The fundamental principles of intrication do play an essential role in the development of quantum cryptography—quantum computing. As for the methodology, it proves that participatory sciences can play a useful role in fundamental physics."

From the press release wrtitten by the CNRS-Institute of Physics (INP).

These results were highlighted in TrustMyScience.com and Techno-Science.net.

Référence :

The Big Bell Test Collaboration, "Challenging local realism with human randomness", Nature, 557, 212216 (2018), doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0085-3

Contact : Sébastien Tanzilli, sebastien.tanzilli@inphyni.cnrs.fr

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