Quantum entanglement isn't only spooky, you can't avoid itSubmitted by Bob-45 on Thu, 06/13/2013 - 08:41
By Brian Dodson
June 10, 2013
Quantum entanglement is the key to quantum computing, cryptography, and numerous other real-world applications of quantum mechanics. It is also one of the strangest phenomena in the Universe, overcoming barriers of space and time and knitting the entire cosmos into an integrated whole. Scientists have long thought that entanglement between two particles was a rare and fleeting phenomenon, so delicate that exposure of the particles to their surroundings would quickly destroy this linkage. Now mathematicians at Case Western University have shown that entanglement between parts of large systems is the norm, rather than being a rare and short-lived relationship.
Entanglement is one of the strangest predictions of quantum mechanics. Two objects are entangled if their physical properties are undefined but correlated, even when the two objects are separated by a large distance. No mechanism for entanglement is known, but so far experiments universally show that nonlocal entanglement is real. When two entangled particles are subjected to the influence of a surrounding environment, their interactions with the surroundings cause the entanglement to "leak out" into the surroundings, so it is more difficult to detect and use, but it does not disappear.
Entanglement is clearly subtle, but how common is it in the real world of macroscopic objects? A new research paper from Professor Stanislaw Szarek's mathematics group at Case Western Reserve University addresses this question, and finds that entanglement is ubiquitous in large objects.