The Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded on Tuesday to Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John Glaser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger, pioneers of the revolutionary methods of quantum physics.
Three septuagenarian researchers are being rewarded for their pioneering work on “quantum entanglement,” a mechanism by which two quantum particles, regardless of the distance between them, become perfectly entangled, the Nobel jury announced.
The demonstration of this astonishing property has paved the way for new technologies in quantum computing and ultra-secure communications, or ultra-sensitive quantum sensors that allow extremely precise measurements such as gravity in the atmosphere.
According to the Nobel jury, the three are being awarded for “establishing violations of entangled photons, Bell’s inequalities and opening a pioneering path to quantum computing”.
“Alain Aspect, John Clauser, and Anton Zeilinger have each performed groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two particles behave as a single unit even if separated.”.
This chaotic dynamics is predicted by quantum theory. Even Albert Einstein, however, did not believe it: two initially entwined particles, like twins, can behave similarly at a distance, keeping the identity of their common past.
More prizes this week
Affiliated with the French University of Paris-Saclay, Alain Aspect is 75, Jan Glaser is 79 and Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna is 77. The prize is awarded in each category with 10 million Swedish crowns (approximately 920,000 euros), which can be shared in the event of co-winners.
On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology was awarded to Swede Svante Pabo, father of Denisovan man, paleogenomics and discoverer of Neanderthal man DNA.
The Nobel Science Ball concludes on Wednesday with the announcement of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Thursday and the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo to continue on Friday.
The Nobel series ends next Monday with the Nobel Prize in Economics.
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