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Key Witness Helps Scientists Detect 'Spooky' Quantum Entanglement in Solid Materials

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A materials spins, depicted as red spheres, are probed by scattered neutrons.

The most interesting materials are full of quantum entanglement, but those are precisely the ones that are the most difficult to calculate, said ORNL's Alan Tennant.

Credit: Nathan Armistead/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Researchers led by the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have devised a viable "quantum entanglement witness" for proving the existence of spooky quantum entanglement in solid materials.

The researchers tested three entanglement witnesses by combining neutron scattering experiments and computational models, and applied them to a material with entanglement established by previous spin dynamics research.

Two witnesses adequately signaled entanglement in the one-dimensional spin chain, while the third, founded on quantum information theory, performed outstandingly.

ORNL's Allen Scheie said, "The quantum Fisher information, or QFI, witness showed a close overlap between theory and experiment, which makes it a robust and reliable way to quantify entanglement."

The researchers verified the theoretical prediction that entanglement grows as temperature falls, and distinguished classical from quantum activity.

From Oak Ridge National Laboratory
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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