Making lemonade with quantum lemons | Science News

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Making lemonade with quantum lemons

Physicists harness forces of destruction to link isolated atoms

By
12:01pm, June 29, 2010

In a feat of physics judo, researchers have harnessed the same forces that usually destroy long-range quantum links between particles to generate those connections.

This counterintuitive approach may produce “extremely long-lived” quantum links, researchers report in a paper appearing online at the physics website arXiv.org. Long-lasting, room temperature quantum effects are ideal for designing systems that can reliably exchange quantum information.

One of the weirdest outcomes of quantum mechanics is entanglement — a mysterious link in which what happens to one object seems to instantaneously affect its partner, even though the two may be separated by some distance. Pairs of entangled objects can serve as powerful messengers, since the information they share is revealed instantaneously, no matter how far apart the two objects are. But this strange link is notoriously delicate, falling apart when the outside environment impinges on either end.

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