‘Spooky’ entanglement bonanza
Take quantum entanglement, the core of Mourigal’s research on the apparent spin liquid in the crystal:
If two particles, electrons, for example, become entangled, they can be physically separated by many miles, and still be intimately linked to one another. Actions applied to one particle then instantaneously effect the other.
At first, this theory was too odd even for the father of relativity, Albert Einstein,
who lampooned it as “spooky action at a distance.”
Entanglement has since been proven in experiments, but now scientists like Mourigal,
an experimental physicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his team, have taken it much farther.
The synthetic crystal he has examined, an ytterbium compound with the formula YbMgGaO4, is likely brimming with observable ‘spooky’ connections.
“Imagine a state of matter where this entanglement doesn’t involve two electrons but involves, three, five, 10 or 10 billion particles all in the same system,” Mourigal said.
“You can create a very, very exotic state of matter based on the fact that all these particles are entangled with each other. There are no individual particles anymore, but one huge electron ensemble acting collectively.”
action at a distance
Connecting Link what connects seemingly distant objects