NEW RESULTS! Cosmic Quantum Bell Test - Videos


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Original paper:

How do you test quantum mechanics with ancient stars? A new experiment aims to close loopholes to the iconic “Quantum Bell Test”, with new results published in Feb. 2017!

Creator/host: Dianna Cowern
Animator: Kyle Norby
Writer: Sophia Chen
Editor: Jabril Ashe

Photo of detector thumbs-up and quantum receiver apparatus photo: Thomas Scheidl
Guth/Zeilinger/Kaiser photo: Ari Daniel
Cosmic Bell Group photo: Courtesy Dave Kaiser

Music: APM and YouTube



  1. Wait, I'm confused now. I thought the problem with using quantum entanglement for communication was that you couldn't check the particle on both ends because you couldn't be sure that the spin hadn't changed from the first check to the second..

  2. Something I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around is, whether the photons being used to randomize the instrument had a specific state 600 light years ago or whether the photons present state at time of measurement is what determined the randomness.
    The source star may be 600LY away, but the photon itself is already here, made it through our atmosphere, through the lens of the telescope, and was processed by the instrument to determine the randomness.
    So, is it a factor then, now, or both which influenced the experiment?

  3. For this to ever be useful (and totally convincing) you'd need to have an entangled pair that you can do repeated measurements on and you need to know the state they're in before you touch them (which is the problem, as far as I remember).

    I'm not exactly sure what they were doing here, with the polarized light, but if one detector measures an 'entangled' particle and it has a horizontal polarization (and it came from a beam splitter) wouldn't the other part of it have a vertical polarization anyway?

  4. Hi Diana,
    Why do sub-atomic particles need to be "spooky"?

    Please, can you demonstrate why we need to believe that a particle has to ACTUALLY EXIST in a superposition and change upon observation, rather than the idea that particles are one way or the other (even if we don’t know yet because we haven’t observed it) and that the only thing in a “superposition” is OUR UNDERSTANDING of the particle in question. (Why can’t it be that when we open the box, we simply find out if the cat was dead or alive all along?)

    This does not preclude the idea that two particles of a common origin could consistently be found – upon observation – to be 'mirror pairs', ‘up & down’ or ‘left & right’ so to speak.

    If you send my boots to two recipients in different galaxies in two opposite directions, each guy could only guess if he got the right or the left boot. But, upon opening the box, he will – in that very instant – know, with certainty, which boot his buddy has received two galaxies away! and the same can be said for the other guy…

    What is the practical difference; under what circumstance, would it make a difference?
    I would love to hear your thoughts.

  5. How come those telescopes have a true picture of those stars? I mean, the atmosphere itself would add a lot of noise that would really distort the light that gets to the lens of the telescopes.
    The atmosphere would ruin all the accuracy of all the experiment.

    Or am I totally wrong…?

  6. ? photons are massless particles? Wouldn't firing them give them a relativistic mass through a "sea" of other particles randomly bombarding with those energies changing the results regardless? I mean you didn't fire them through a vacuum which still has enough virtual particles to push two dielectric plates together. Just seems the patters of bits would end up a particular way because of the environment it was sent through wouldn't it?

  7. The problem with people observing these laws is that we think in 3 dimensions (plus time). Maybe there is another dimension where the particles are directly linked, but we don't observe that dimension, just the results. That is just one hypothesis. The point is that we may not be able to see the whole picture and if we could it may very well instantly make sense.

  8. For a coherently generated (or counter-generated) pair, it seems like there should be a remote correlation (or anti-correlation) in observations. Why would we expect otherwise? Somebody's going to complain about hidden variables here, but I really don't see why there shouldn't be a correlation in any framework. I'd be more surprised if there weren't a correlation.

  9. without coffee there's a 90% chance I'll be asleep even though I appear awake. of course this depends on the position of Earth's star and whether Dianna uploads a video.

  10. Can you be my E&M professor? Haha Your enthusiasm rubs off very well that I want to study Physics right now lol and I'm not gonna lie, a teacher's enthusiasm and approach on teaching the subject can make or break the class.

  11. People who have been very intimate with each other and parted from each other retain a 'connection' whereby one can often know what the other is either doing or thinking. Wonder if that is not somehow another example of quantum entanglement .

  12. I posit that: There are no particles. There are only waves. Superposition is constant. The illusion of a “particle” existing in a single position is a limitation of the observer’s ability. Spooky action is not spooky at all. Everything is connected, even though we can’t (yet) completely observe the connection. In other words, two observable instances that seem to interact in tandem are doing exactly that because they are connected by some kind of actual transaxle. Because we can’t (yet) detect the invisible transaxle, there appears to be no connection between the two instances, so, we can’t understand how they share information.


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