Alain Aspect (75 years old), John Clauser (79) and Anton Zeilinger (77) were awarded “thanks” to the famous Schrödinger paradox. The eldest: “Happy to be alive”
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2022 awarded yesterday by the Royal Academy of Sweden to the French Alain Aspect (75 years old), the American John Clauser (79) and the Austrian Anton Zeilinger (77) could be the first won thanks to a “cat in a box », that of Schrödinger’s famous paradox. This is the easiest example to understand something so complicated that it has even put you in crisis Albert Einstein at the end of his life: L’entanglement
or the intertwining or superposition of stages of particles, at the basis of studies on quantum computers. We are on the frontier of science, even if the foundations were laid about a century agobecause what is valid for the infinitely small particles of quantum physics is not respected in our macro “dimension” of traditional mechanical physics.
«Their studies – said the Academy in handing over the classic check for 10 million Swedish kronor (902,312 dollars at the current exchange rate) – they have cleared the way for new technologies based on quantum information ». The eldest, Clauser, also joked: “I’m happy to be still alive to receive the prize” (Nobel Prizes cannot be awarded post mortem).
Erwin Schrödinger’s catbrilliant Austrian physicist of the early twentieth century – who wrote What is life
without exaggeration, one of the most beautiful, most complicated and most important books of the last century as it contains the intuition of DNA – it is found in a prison box of a hellish machine that keeps it suspended between the probability of being alive and that of to be dead. Only by opening the box is one of two possibilities realized. It was, as Schrödinger described it, a “burlesque case” to make people understand the paradoxes that take shape when we apply quantum physics to the world of organisms. But the “alive + dead” paradox can be realized, for now on a small scale, to dramatically accelerate the computational capacity of the new experimental computers.
To understand it here, too, you can do an easy experiment: toss a coin in the air. The calculation of probabilities can help us understand what will happen in the end, when the coin falls to the ground, but at that moment, in fact, the answer is not there. Or rather: both answers are valid, the coin is both heads and tails at the same time. So while traditional computers use binary language with a sequence of 000110001, qbits (quantum bits) contain both zero and one of the binary code. Fused together. The result of this quantum magic can be quantified as follows: in 1961, NASA’s IBM computer performed 24,000 operations per second. Already today we are building computers with traditional architectures that aim for one billion billion operations per second (exascale). With quantum computers, today’s extraordinary numbers will appear to us like those of NASA in 1961.
The studies of Aspect, Clauser and Zeilinger they also made it possible to clarify another aspect ofentanglement that when two systems have come into contact they can no longer live apart. It is Dirac’s formula also known as the love formula. Probably every particle in the universe is intertwined, ”Clauser said. But even this doesn’t seem to hold true for the world beyond the atom.
October 4, 2022 (change October 4, 2022 | 23:37)
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