By Callum Henderson
Strathclyde physicists have conducted ground-breaking research into the physical processes of entangled particles.
Their most recent findings could have a decisive impact on the study of metrology and communication security.
The research was conducted by Dr Marco Piani, of Strathclyde’s Department of Physics, and Professor John Watrous, of Waterloo’s School of Computer Science.
Entanglement has been an enigmatic subject, ever since Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen first postulated the existence of such a phenomenon.
In layman’s terms, ‘entanglement’ describes the inexplicably co-dependant relationship quantum particles have with one another. Many particles can be linked together, seemingly without explanation, so that the observation of one has a direct effect on the measurement of another.
The paradox inherent in this theory led Einstein to describe it as “spooky action at a distance.”
Dr Piani claims his investigation into quantum steering discovered a correlation between the processes of subatomic matter, and the functions of digital processing. Exploiting this discovery could hugely benefit computer security.
He explained: “We now know that steering is a crucial and real quantum effect; however, knowledge about what steering is actually useful for has remained limited.”
“In our research, we related steering to the discrimination of physical processes, which seeks to answer questions about what happens in time to physical systems of interest, like microscopic particles.”
He elaborated that his findings “could be applied to fields such as quantum cryptography, where secret keys are created between two parties so they can submit and encrypt messages.
Our results could also be useful in quantum metrology and in other areas of quantum information processing”
The research has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters, and was presented by Dr Piani at the 18th Conference on Quantum Information Processing, held in Sydney on 12-16 January.document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);