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Einstein Was Wrong about “Spooky Action at a Distance”

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A Griffith University experiment has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein’s original conception of “spooky action at a distance” using a single particle.

In a paper published in Nature Communications, Prof Howard Wiseman and his experimental collaborators at the University of Tokyo have shown what Einstein did not believe to be real: the non-local collapse of a particle’s wave function.

According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over large distances but is never detected in two or more places. This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory by what Einstein disparaged in 1927 as “spooky action at a distance”, or the instantaneous non-local collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected.

Almost 90 years later, by splitting a single photon between the two laboratories and using homodyne detectors to measure wave-like properties, Wiseman and his Japanese collaborators have demonstrated that the collapse of the wave function is a real effect. This phenomenon is the strongest proof obtained of the entanglement of a single particle.

“Einstein never accepted orthodox quantum mechanics, and the original basis of his contention was this single-particle argument. This is why it is important to demonstrate non-local wave function collapse with a single particle,” Wiseman...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.