Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: EPR paradox


Quantum steering allows two parties to verify shared entanglement even if one measurement device is untrusted. A conclusive demonstration of steering through the violation of a steering inequality is of considerable fundamental interest and opens up applications in quantum communication. To date, all experimental tests with single-photon states have relied on post selection, allowing untrusted devices to cheat by hiding unfavourable events in losses. Here we close this ‘detection loophole’ by combining a highly efficient source of entangled photon pairs with superconducting transition-edge sensors. We achieve an unprecedented ∼62% conditional detection efficiency of entangled photons and violate a steering inequality with the minimal number of measurement settings by 48 s.d.s. Our results provide a clear path to practical applications of steering and to a photonic loophole-free Bell test.

Concepts: Photon, Quantum mechanics, Quantum field theory, Quantum entanglement, Bell's theorem, EPR paradox, Bell test experiments, Local hidden variable theory


Long-distance entanglement distribution is essential for both foundational tests of quantum physics and scalable quantum networks. Owing to channel loss, however, the previously achieved distance was limited to ~100 kilometers. Here we demonstrate satellite-based distribution of entangled photon pairs to two locations separated by 1203 kilometers on Earth, through two satellite-to-ground downlinks with a summed length varying from 1600 to 2400 kilometers. We observed a survival of two-photon entanglement and a violation of Bell inequality by 2.37 ± 0.09 under strict Einstein locality conditions. The obtained effective link efficiency is orders of magnitude higher than that of the direct bidirectional transmission of the two photons through telecommunication fibers.

Concepts: Photon, Energy, Quantum mechanics, Physics, Albert Einstein, Quantum entanglement, Bell's theorem, EPR paradox


More than 50 years ago, John Bell proved that no theory of nature that obeys locality and realism can reproduce all the predictions of quantum theory: in any local-realist theory, the correlations between outcomes of measurements on distant particles satisfy an inequality that can be violated if the particles are entangled. Numerous Bell inequality tests have been reported; however, all experiments reported so far required additional assumptions to obtain a contradiction with local realism, resulting in ‘loopholes’. Here we report a Bell experiment that is free of any such additional assumption and thus directly tests the principles underlying Bell’s inequality. We use an event-ready scheme that enables the generation of robust entanglement between distant electron spins (estimated state fidelity of 0.92 ± 0.03). Efficient spin read-out avoids the fair-sampling assumption (detection loophole), while the use of fast random-basis selection and spin read-out combined with a spatial separation of 1.3 kilometres ensure the required locality conditions. We performed 245 trials that tested the CHSH-Bell inequality S ≤ 2 and found S = 2.42 ± 0.20 (where S quantifies the correlation between measurement outcomes). A null-hypothesis test yields a probability of at most P = 0.039 that a local-realist model for space-like separated sites could produce data with a violation at least as large as we observe, even when allowing for memory in the devices. Our data hence imply statistically significant rejection of the local-realist null hypothesis. This conclusion may be further consolidated in future experiments; for instance, reaching a value of P = 0.001 would require approximately 700 trials for an observed S = 2.4. With improvements, our experiment could be used for testing less-conventional theories, and for implementing device-independent quantum-secure communication and randomness certification.

Concepts: Scientific method, Statistics, Quantum mechanics, Hypothesis, Theory, Quantum entanglement, EPR paradox, Bell test experiments


In 1964, Bell discovered that quantum mechanics is a nonlocal theory. Three years later, in a seemingly unconnected development, Harsanyi introduced the concept of Bayesian games. Here we show that, in fact, there is a deep connection between Bell nonlocality and Bayesian games, and that the same concepts appear in both fields. This link offers interesting possibilities for Bayesian games, namely of allowing the players to receive advice in the form of nonlocal correlations, for instance using entangled quantum particles or more general no-signalling boxes. This will lead to novel joint strategies, impossible to achieve classically. We characterize games for which nonlocal resources offer a genuine advantage over classical ones. Moreover, some of these strategies represent equilibrium points, leading to the notion of quantum/no-signalling Nash equilibrium. Finally, we describe new types of question in the study of nonlocality, namely the consideration of nonlocal advantage given a set of Bell expressions.

Concepts: Game theory, Quantum mechanics, Nash equilibrium, Quantum entanglement, Bell's theorem, EPR paradox, Nonlocality, Principle of locality


Quantum entanglement is the ability of joint quantum systems to possess global properties (correlation among systems) even when subsystems have no definite individual property. Whilst the 2-dimensional (qubit) case is well-understood, currently, tools to characterise entanglement in high dimensions are limited. We experimentally demonstrate a new procedure for entanglement certification that is suitable for large systems, based entirely on information-theoretics. It scales more efficiently than Bell’s inequality and entanglement witness. The method we developed works for arbitrarily large system dimension d and employs only two local measurements of complementary properties. This procedure can also certify whether the system is maximally entangled. We illustrate the protocol for families of bipartite states of qudits with dimension up to 32 composed of polarisation-entangled photon pairs.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Quantum information science, Dimension, Quantum entanglement, Interpretation of quantum mechanics, Bell's theorem, EPR paradox, Bell test experiments


From dice to modern electronic circuits, there have been many attempts to build better devices to generate random numbers. Randomness is fundamental to security and cryptographic systems and to safeguarding privacy. A key challenge with random-number generators is that it is hard to ensure that their outputs are unpredictable1-3. For a random-number generator based on a physical process, such as a noisy classical system or an elementary quantum measurement, a detailed model that describes the underlying physics is necessary to assert unpredictability. Imperfections in the model compromise the integrity of the device. However, it is possible to exploit the phenomenon of quantum non-locality with a loophole-free Bell test to build a random-number generator that can produce output that is unpredictable to any adversary that is limited only by general physical principles, such as special relativity1-11. With recent technological developments, it is now possible to carry out such a loophole-free Bell test12-14,22. Here we present certified randomness obtained from a photonic Bell experiment and extract 1,024 random bits that are uniformly distributed to within 10-12. These random bits could not have been predicted according to any physical theory that prohibits faster-than-light (superluminal) signalling and that allows independent measurement choices. To certify and quantify the randomness, we describe a protocol that is optimized for devices that are characterized by a low per-trial violation of Bell inequalities. Future random-number generators based on loophole-free Bell tests may have a role in increasing the security and trust of our cryptographic systems and infrastructure.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Physics, Randomness, Quantum entanglement, Cryptography, Measurement in quantum mechanics, Bell's theorem, EPR paradox


Characterizing many-body systems through the quantum correlations between their constituent particles is a major goal of quantum physics. Although entanglement is routinely observed in many systems, we report here the detection of stronger correlations–Bell correlations–between the spins of about 480 atoms in a Bose-Einstein condensate. We derive a Bell correlation witness from a many-particle Bell inequality involving only one- and two-body correlation functions. Our measurement on a spin-squeezed state exceeds the threshold for Bell correlations by 3.8 standard deviations. Our work shows that the strongest possible nonclassical correlations are experimentally accessible in many-body systems and that they can be revealed by collective measurements.

Concepts: Photon, Quantum mechanics, Particle physics, Chemistry, Quantum entanglement, Measurement in quantum mechanics, Bell's theorem, EPR paradox


Bell’s theorem proves the existence of entangled quantum states with no classical counterpart. An experimental violation of Bell’s inequality demands simultaneously high fidelities in the preparation, manipulation and measurement of multipartite quantum entangled states, and provides a single-number benchmark for the performance of devices that use such states for quantum computing. We demonstrate a Bell/ Clauser-Horne-Shimony-Holt inequality violation with Bell signals up to 2.70(9), using the electron and the nuclear spins of a single phosphorus atom embedded in a silicon nanoelectronic device. Two-qubit state tomography reveals that our prepared states match the target maximally entangled Bell states with >96% fidelity. These experiments demonstrate complete control of the two-qubit Hilbert space of a phosphorus atom and highlight the important function of the nuclear qubit to expand the computational basis and maximize the readout fidelity.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Quantum information science, Quantum entanglement, Interpretation of quantum mechanics, Measurement in quantum mechanics, Bell's theorem, EPR paradox, Bell test experiments


Bell’s theorem plays a crucial role in quantum information processing and thus several experimental investigations of Bell inequalities violations have been carried out over the years. Despite their fundamental relevance, however, previous experiments did not consider an ingredient of relevance for quantum networks: the fact that correlations between distant parties are mediated by several, typically independent sources. Here, using a photonic setup, we investigate a quantum network consisting of three spatially separated nodes whose correlations are mediated by two distinct sources. This scenario allows for the emergence of the so-called non-bilocal correlations, incompatible with any local model involving two independent hidden variables. We experimentally witness the emergence of this kind of quantum correlations by violating a Bell-like inequality under the fair-sampling assumption. Our results provide a proof-of-principle experiment of generalizations of Bell’s theorem for networks, which could represent a potential resource for quantum communication protocols.

Concepts: Causality, Quantum mechanics, Quantum information science, Experiment, Theory, Quantum entanglement, Bell's theorem, EPR paradox


The violation of a Bell inequality is an experimental observation that forces the abandonment of a local realistic viewpoint-namely, one in which physical properties are (probabilistically) defined before and independently of measurement, and in which no physical influence can propagate faster than the speed of light. All such experimental violations require additional assumptions depending on their specific construction, making them vulnerable to so-called loopholes. Here we use entangled photons to violate a Bell inequality while closing the fair-sampling loophole, that is, without assuming that the sample of measured photons accurately represents the entire ensemble. To do this, we use the Eberhard form of Bell’s inequality, which is not vulnerable to the fair-sampling assumption and which allows a lower collection efficiency than other forms. Technical improvements of the photon source and high-efficiency transition-edge sensors were crucial for achieving a sufficiently high collection efficiency. Our experiment makes the photon the first physical system for which each of the main loopholes has been closed, albeit in different experiments.

Concepts: Quantum mechanics, Fundamental physics concepts, Test method, Quantum entanglement, Bell's theorem, EPR paradox, Bell test experiments, Local hidden variable theory