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Quantum entanglement, conceptual illustration

Quantum entanglement, conceptual illustration

C041/5667

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Credit

DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently. Due to the nature of quantum measurement, the behavior of particles gives rise to effects that can appear paradoxical: any measurement of a property of a particle can be seen as acting on that particle, and in the case of entangled particles, such action must be on the entangled system as a whole. It thus appears that one particle of an entangled pair "knows" what measurement has been performed on the other, and with what outcome, even though there is no known means for such information to be communicated between the particles, which at the time of measurement may be separated by arbitrarily large distances.

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