A phenomenon that often accompanies technological innovations involves how they tend to become smaller with their improvement over time. From televisions and communication devices like telephones to computers and microchip components, many of the technologies we use every day occupy a fraction of the space in our homes and offices that their predecessors did just decades ago.
In keeping with this trend, it is no surprise that a new tech developed by scientists at Sandia National Laboratories, in cooperation with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light, may soon replace cumbersome technologies than once required an entire room to operate, thanks to an ultrathin invention that could change the future of computation, encryption, and a host of other technologies.
At the heart of the invention and its function is a peculiar phenomenon that has perplexed physicists for decades, known as quantum entanglement.
Entanglement involves particles (photons, in this case) that are linked in such a way that any changes that affect one of them will affect the other. Strangely, the distance between entangled particles does not affect the way such changes occur, a peculiarity first described by Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen in 1935, which Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”
Although physicists have difficulty reconciling this mainstay of the quantum mechanical world with our concepts of classical mechanics, scientists have nonetheless succeeded in tapping the strange phenomenon of entanglement in developing new information technologies, improving encryption technologies, and even correcting errors in the burgeoning field of quantum computing.
Now, the creation of an all-new material by the Sandia Labs and Max Planck Institute team could further improve efforts to harness quantum entanglement in the production of innovative new technologies.