Alain Aspect of France, John Clauser of the United States, and Austria’s Anton Zeilinger have won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their groundbreaking work in quantum mechanics- the work that describes the nature of the smallest particles.
The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to three physicists whose work demonstrated that nature is even stranger than Einstein dared to imagine.
These scientists were recognized for their experiments in an area that has broad implications for secure information transfer and quantum computing.
This piece of work should pave the path for the next generation of powerful computers and secure telecommunication systems
“This prize is an encouragement to young people – the prize would not be possible without more than 100 young people who worked with me over the years.”— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 4, 2022
– Anton Zeilinger during the press conference where he was announced as one of the 2022 #NobelPrize laureates in physics. pic.twitter.com/2KASRsmuuQ
The men will share prize money of 10 million Swedish krona (£800,000).
The Nobel laureates carried out groundbreaking experiments with entangled quantum states, in which two subatomic particles behave as if they are a single unit even when separated.
“Quantum information science is a vibrant and rapidly developing field,” said Nobel Committee for Physics member Eva Olsson.
Alain Aspect, 75, is a professor at the Université Paris-Saclay and the École Polytechnique, Palaiseau. In California, John Clauser, 79, owns his own business. Anton Zeilinger, 77, works at the University of Vienna.
They also shared Wolf Prize in 2010.
Quantum mechanics describes the behaviour of sub-atomic particles. It’s a field that was opened up in the early 20th Century
It is about “entanglement,” which is the phenomenon in which two or more quantum particles – usually photons, or light particles – can be strongly connected even when they are physically separated.
Their common state could be their energy or spin. It’s a strange phenomenon described by Albert Einstein as “spooky action at a distance.”
Today, two areas of entanglement research are receiving a lot of attention. One example is quantum computers, which promise a significant improvement in the ability to solve complex problems. The other is in encryption, which is the secure encoding of data. Using entanglement, a third party will be unable to eavesdrop on private communications.
“This is useful for military and banking, etc, in secure communications,” John Clauser said. “The biggest application to my knowledge is the Chinese who launched a satellite several years ago that they use for secure communications over thousands of kilometers.”