Το βραβείο Νόμπελ Φυσικής was awarded to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger on Tuesday for their work that "laid the foundations for a new era of quantum technology," as the Nobel Committee in Physics said.
The scientists each conducted "groundbreaking experiments using different quantum states, where two particles behave as a single unit even when separated," the committee said in a briefing.
Their results, he said, paved the way for a "new technology based on quantum information". The laureates' research is based on the work of John Stewart Bell, a physicist who in the 1960s tried to understand whether particles, having flown too far apart to communicate normally with each other, could work in concert, something which is also known as quantum entanglement. .
According to quantum mechanics, particles can exist simultaneously in two or more places and have no formal properties until they are measured or observed in some way. By taking measurements of a particle, such as its position or "spin," a change in its partner is observed, regardless of how far it has traveled from its pair.
So working independently, the three laureates performed experiments that helped clarify a fundamental claim about quantum entanglement, which concerns the behavior of tiny particles, such as electrons, that have interacted in the past and then drifted apart.
Dr Clauser, an American, was the first in 1972 at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, to attempt to measure quantum entanglement by firing thousands of photons in opposite directions to investigate a property known as polarization. When he measured the polarizations of the photon pairs, they showed a correlation, proving that a principle called Bell's inequality had been violated and that the photon pairs were acting in concert.
The research started 10 years later by dr. Aspect, a French scientist, and his team at the University of Paris. In 1998, dr. Zeilinger, an Austrian physicist, performed another experiment that examined entanglement between three or more particles. Eva Olsson, a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics, said that quantum information science had broad implications in areas such as secure information transfer and quantum computing.
Quantum information science is a "vibrant and rapidly developing field," he said. "These predictions have opened doors to another world and shaken the foundations of how we interpret measurements." The Nobel Prize committee said the three scientists were honored for their experiments, proving the violation of Bell's inequalities and pioneering the science of quantum information.