The Nobel Prize in Physics to the pioneers of quantum information – Physics & Mathematics

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, pioneers of quantum information.

The French Alain Aspect, the American John F. Clauser and the Austrian Anton Zeilinger received the Nobel Prize for having laid the foundations for the future of information and communications: their experiments on the phenomenon called ‘entanglement’, a sort of distant embrace of particles, has in fact paved the way for powerful and lightning-fast quantum computers, more precise measurements and hacker-proof encryption.

Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger share the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics equally as their researches have contributed to the same extent in perfecting decisive experiments to transform quantum physics from an abstract discipline into a concrete tool for applications in the field of information, computation and communications.

The eldest is 80 years old and is the American John F. Clauser. Born on December 1, 2022 in Pasadena, he works for a private company, the Californian JF Clauser & Assoc. by Walnut Creek. His most important experiment, in 1972, was the first step to prove the theory called Bell’s inequality, that is, to verify in this way whether the real world obeys the inequality relations foreseen by Bell’s theorem: it was the first step to demonstrate what was then considered an impossible action at a distance between particles called entanglement.

The Austrian Anton Zeilinger (77 years old), from the University of Vienna and born on 20 May 1945 in Ried im Innkreis, and the French Alain Aspect (75 years old), from the Université Paris-Saclay and the École, contributed to perfecting these experiments. Polytechnique of Paris was born on June 15, 1947 in Agen.

Parisi, prize for teleportation of quantum information
An award for the teleportation of quantum information and, more generally, quantum mechanics and the great progress made in recent years in this field: Nobel Prize Giorgio Parisi comments on the 2022 Physics Award. “The winners are three great physicists, Aspect, Clauser and Zeilinger, who – Parisi observes – dealt with a very important aspect: the so-called ‘entanglement’ “, that is the quantum phenomenon by which two particles can be linked in a larger system, in which the measurement of one of the two parts it instantly affects the other as well.

“Entanglement is one of the properties of quantum mechanics that led Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen to question it and call it ‘paradoxical’, in 1935,” says the Nobel Prize 2021. “The paradox was solved in 1964 by John Stewart Bell, which demonstrated the incompatibility between two of the three principles on which the phenomenon was based. The three physicists awarded today have carried out very accurate experiments on quantum mechanics and entanglement – continues Parisi – for example Zeilinger has managed to manipulate systems by experimenting with the teleportation of quantum information ”.

The Italian physicist also recalls that Alain Aspect was elected a member of the Accademia dei Lincei already in 2018: so also in this case, as for the Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded yesterday to Svante Paabo, the Nobel was given to a member of the Academy . The same happened last year with Giorgio Parisi, now vice president.

Zoccoli (Infn), quantum mechanical power award
The Nobel Prize in Physics to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger “affirms the power of quantum mechanics” and shows “once again how pure research is an engine of innovation and at the origin of paradigm changes”: says Antonio Zoccoli, president of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Infn).
The prize awarded today “is a recognition of some pioneering experiments of the 70s and 80s of the last century, which for the first time managed to verify some relationships proposed by John Stewart Bell in 1964, called Bell inequalities, allowing to perform a direct experimental test of quantum mechanics, “explains Zoccoli.
“What has derived from these experiments is the proof that quantum mechanics is a complete theory, unlike what Albert Einstein believed, who with his work of ’35 (the famous article introducing the EPR paradox) opened the road to this line of research thanks to what was then a purely mental experiment “.
The real experiments awarded today with the Nobel “represent not only a verification of quantum mechanics, but also the beginning of a line of research on quantum information that in recent years is leading to the development of quantum technologies, from quantum cryptography to teleportation, to quantum computers. This Nobel Prize is attributed to works in fundamental physics that have produced application developments with revolutionary perspectives – concludes the Infn president – showing once again how pure research is an engine of innovation and at the origin of paradigm changes ” .

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