Three share 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics
06 October 2022
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics to three scientist - Alain Aspect of France, John F Clauser of USA and Anton Zeilinger of Austria.
Alain Aspect, John F Clauser and Anton Zeilinger have been recognised “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science”
The three have each conducted groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated. Their results have cleared the way for new technology based upon quantum information, the Nobel Prize Committee stated in its citation.
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, says a Nobel Prize Committee citation.
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.
In the 1960s, John Stewart Bell developed the mathematical inequality theory 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.
“It has become increasingly clear that a new kind of quantum technology is emerging. We can see that the laureates’ work with entangled states is of great importance, even beyond the fundamental questions about the interpretation of quantum mechanics,” says Anders Irbäck, Chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics.
Alain Aspect, born in 1947 in Agen, Franc, is Professor at Universite Paris-Saclay and École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France and holds a PhD from Paris-Sud University, Orsay, France.
John F Clauser, born in 1942 in Pasadena, California, USA, is Research Physicist at JF Clauser and Associates, Walnut Creek, California, and holds a PhD from Columbia University, New York.
Anton Zeilinger, born in 1945 in Ried im Innkreis, Austria, is Professor at University of Vienna, Austria, and holds a PhD from University of Vienna.
The prize amount of 10 million Swedish kronor will be shared equally among the laureates.