From Einstein’s intuition to quantum bits: a new quantum age

20 06/2014

Friday, 20 Jun. 2014, 20:00 - 21:00

Presenter: Alain Aspect, Institut d'Optique, Palaiseau
Host: Reinhold Bertlmann & Anton Zeilinger
Where: Großer Festsaal, Austrian Academy of Sciences

In 1935, with co-authors Podolsky and Rosen, Einstein discovered a weird
quantum situation, where particles in a pair are so strongly correlated
that Schrödinger called them “entangled”. By analyzing that situation,
Einstein concluded that the quantum formalism was incomplete. Niels Bohr
immediately opposed that conclusion, and the debate lasted until the death
of these two giants of physics.

In 1964, John Bell discovered that it is possible to settle the debate
experimentally, by testing the famous "Bell's inequalities", and to show
directly that the revolutionary concept of entanglement is indeed a
reality.

Based on that concept, a new field of research has emerged, quantum
information, where one uses quantum bits, the so-called “qubits”, to
encode the information and process it. Entanglement between qubits enables
conceptually new methods for processing and transmitting information.
Large-scale practical implementation of such concepts might revolutionize
our society, as did the laser, the transistor and integrated circuits,
some of the most striking fruits of the first quantum revolution, which
began with the 20th century. To cite only one example of these new
concepts, quantum cryptography will allow us to guarantee an absolute
privacy of communications, based the most fundamental laws of quantum
mechanics.

Further details on the conference