The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Tuesday announced the winners of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics. The top science award was given to Alain Aspect, John Clauser, and Anton Zeilinger for their work in quantum physics.
The three newly awarded laureates experimented with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneered quantum information science.
At the heart of their research was quantum physics, a field of science that aims to study matter and energy at the most fundamental level. Each of the three winners conducted groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated.
WHAT IS QUANTUM PHYSICS?
You must have heard the term quantum computing being thrown around in science and technology jargon, but what really is quantum physics, the next big thing waiting to be unraveled in science? This field of Physics aims to explore the building blocks of nature around us at the minutest level.
According to Caltech, quantum experiments deal with very small objects, such as electrons and photons, and could close gaps in our knowledge of physics to give us a more complete picture of our everyday lives. Work around quantum physics began as early as the 1800s with observations around atoms as physicists sat down to understand how they work at a fundamental level.
This field of science could find answers to why things work the way they do, be it physics, chemistry, or biology. The world is now moving towards quantum communication, which is being held as the safest way of communicating that works on principles of hard encryption.
The India Space Research Organisation (Isro), in February this year, demonstrated satellite-based quantum entanglement using real-time Quantum Key Distribution. Quantum communication is one of the safest ways of connecting two places with high levels of code and quantum cryptography that cannot be decrypted or broken by an external entity. If a hacker tries to crack the message in quantum communication, it changes its form in such a manner that would alert the sender and would cause the message to be altered or deleted.
WHAT HAVE 2022 PHYSICS NOBEL WINNERS DONE?
This year’s winners of the Nobel in Physics led the work around quantum physics.
While John Clauser developed John Bell’s ideas and took measurements that supported quantum mechanics by clearly violating a Bell inequality, Alain Aspect of the Université Paris-Saclay and École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France developed the setup, using it in a way that closed an important loophole in Clauser’s experiments.
Meanwhile, Anton Zeilinger, using refined tools and a long series of experiments, started to use entangled quantum states. The research group demonstrated a phenomenon called quantum teleportation, which makes it possible to move a quantum state from one particle to one at a distance.
“Their results have cleared the way for new technology based upon quantum information,” the Nobel Committee said. (India Today)