Now Reading
Physics Nobel to Trio That Tested Einstein’s ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’

Physics Nobel to Trio That Tested Einstein’s ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’

Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, winners of the 2022 Nobel Prize for Physics. Photo: Niklas Elmehed/Nobel Institute

What’s the name of the prize?

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2022.

Who has won the prize?

Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger.

Alain Aspect was born in 1947 in Agen, France. He finished his PhD in 1983 at Paris-Sud University, Orsay, France. He is currently professor at Université Paris-Saclay and École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France.

John F. Clauser was born in 1942 in Pasadena, California, the US. He finished his PhD in 1969 at Columbia University, New York, the US. He is currently a research physicist at J.F. Clauser & Assoc., Walnut Creek, California, the US.

Anton Zeilinger was born in 1945 in Ried im Innkreis, Austria. He finished his PhD in 1971 at the University of Vienna, Austria. He is currently a professor at the University of Vienna, Austria.

What have they won the prize for?

For experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science.

In a press release, the Nobel Institute said:

“The ineffable effects of quantum mechanics are starting to find applications. There is now a large field of research that includes quantum computers, quantum networks and secure quantum encrypted communication.

One key factor in this development is how quantum mechanics allows two or more particles to exist in what is called an entangled state. What happens to one of the particles in an entangled pair determines what happens to the other particle, even if they are far apart.

For a long time, the question was whether the correlation was because the particles in an entangled pair contained hidden variables, instructions that tell them which result they should give in an experiment. In the 1960s, John Stewart Bell developed the mathematical inequality that is named after him. This states that if there are hidden variables, the correlation between the results of a large number of measurements will never exceed a certain value. However, quantum mechanics predicts that a certain type of experiment will violate Bell’s inequality, thus resulting in a stronger correlation than would otherwise be possible.

John Clauser developed John Bell’s ideas, leading to a practical experiment. When he took the measurements, they supported quantum mechanics by clearly violating a Bell inequality. This means that quantum mechanics cannot be replaced by a theory that uses hidden variables.

Some loopholes remained after John Clauser’s experiment. Alain Aspect developed the setup, using it in a way that closed an important loophole. He was able to switch the measurement settings after an entangled pair had left its source, so the setting that existed when they were emitted could not affect the result.

Using refined tools and long series of experiments, Anton Zeilinger started to use entangled quantum states. Among other things, his research group has demonstrated a phenomenon called quantum teleportation, which makes it possible to move a quantum state from one particle to one at a distance.”

How are they splitting the prize?

The Nobel Assembly of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said the prize money, worth 10 million Swedish crowns (~Rs 7.47 crore), will be split equally between the three laureates.

Scroll To Top