Back in 1935, Albert Einstein and colleagues hypothesised that quantum theory predicted a remote linkage between particles, called quantum entanglement. Einstein took an instant dislike to the idea, calling it “spooky action at a distance”. He hoped that the existence of quantum entanglement meant that quantum theory, which he wasn’t too keen on to begin with, was somehow flawed, or not yet fully understood.
Quantum entanglement is a bizarre offshoot of quantum theory that says certain properties of a pair of particles become linked together in such a way that if you measure the value of one of them, then you instantaneously know the state of the other, even if they are separated by cosmic distances. Weird, eh?
Sadly for Einstein, quantum entanglement has been demonstrated to be true many times, but so far only on a subatomic level. Quantum theory describes the workings of the Universe’s smallest known components, predicting the behaviour of electrons and atoms, molecules and photons of light. And it does so incredibly well: eminent physicist Richard Feynman pointed out that quantum theory is so accurate it’s like predicting the distance between New York and Los 2 2 Angeles to the width of a human hair. Yet quantum particles behave totally unlike everyday objects on a more human scale.
This illustration represents ‘spin’, which is one of the properties of subatomic particles. TOO WEIRD FOR EINSTEIN
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