The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded on Tuesday to three scientists for experiments with entangled photons that established the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneered quantum information science.
Alain Aspect, 75, of France, John Clauser, 80, of the United States, and Anton Zeilinge, 77, of Austria were among the scientists.
According to a statement on the Nobel Prize website, Aspect, Clauser, and Zeilinger conducted groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states, in which two particles behaved like a single unit even when separated.
According to the organization, their findings paved the way for new technology based on quantum information.
“John Clauser developed John Bell’s ideas, leading to a practical experiment,” according to the statement. When he took the measurements, he clearly violated a Bell inequality, which supported quantum mechanics. This means that a theory based on hidden variables cannot replace quantum mechanics.
“After John Clauser’s experiment, some gaps remained. Alain Aspect created the setup and used it in a way that closed an important gap. He was able to change the measurement settings after an entangled pair had left its source, ensuring that the setting in place, when they were emitted, had no effect on the outcome.
“Anton Zeilinger began to use entangled quantum states using refined tools and a long series of experiments.” Among other things, his research group has demonstrated quantum teleportation, which allows a quantum state to be transferred from one particle to another over a long distance.”
Anders Irback, Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Physics, said of their work, “It has become increasingly clear that a new kind of quantum technology is emerging.” We can see that the laureates’ work with entangled states is extremely important, even beyond fundamental questions about quantum mechanics interpretation.”
In 1983, Aspect received his PhD from Paris-Sud University in Orsay, France. He is currently a Professor at both the Université Paris-Saclay and the École Polytechnique in France.
Clauser, a research physicist at J.F. Clauser & Assoc. in Walnut Creek, CA, USA, received his PhD in 1969 from Columbia University in New York, USA.
Zeilinger is a Professor at the University of Vienna in Austria, where he received his PhD in 1971.
The prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor will be shared by all three laureates.