Images of quantum entanglement have been caught on camera for the first time by researchers at the University of Glasgow.
Entanglement is one of the bizarre behaviours exhibited by particles where the rules of classical physics are broken and seemingly impossible events become a reality. Entangled particles are in a superposition where their individual state is unknown, however when one of them is measured or observed, the other will violate the speed of light and take on a correlated state instantaneously.
Exploiting this behaviour could have major implications in communications encryption and underpin quantum computation.
Researchers from the School of Physics and Astronomy used modern electron-multiplying charge-coupled device cameras to measure correlations in position and momentum across a multi-pixel field of view.
They split entangled photons using a beta barium borate crystal and then used a 201 x 201 pixel array to observe the full field of quantum light at the same time. This allowed them to see up to 2,500 different entangled dimensions or states, and demonstrate Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen type correlations by more than two orders of magnitude.
“The maxim: A picture tells a thousand words is nowhere more true than here where each pixel contains its own information, potentially revolutionising the data capacity of quantum secured communication,” said Professor Miles Padgett.
“This research is an important step towards future quantum technologies and more generally shows that cameras can lead to important new capabilities in quantum information science.”
The research – published in – Nature Communications – was conducted with researchers at Heriot-Watt Unversity and the University of Ottawa.