I don’t understand quantum entanglement – Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’ – but I am amazed by it and for no particular reason am pleased that it seems to exist.
I though it was restricted to photon and sub-atomic stuff, but it appears that a mechanical version is also possible.
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology has managed it between two pairs of vibrating ions, each pair behaving like two balls connected by a spring, such that the pairs vibrate in unison even when separated in space.
Each pair was a beryllium ion and a magnesium ion 4um apart.
The pairs started as one quad of Be-Mg-Mg-Be, which was split and the pairs pulled 240um to different zones of an ion trap.
Researcher John Jost said: “Where the boundary is between the quantum and classical worlds, no one really knows. Maybe we can help answer the question by finding out what types of things can and cannot be entangled. We’ve entangled something that has never been entangled before, and it’s the kind of physical, oscillating system you see in the classical world, just much smaller.”
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