Literal human entanglement

I’ve been posting a number of stories this past week or so on advances made in exploiting the quantum entanglement phenomenon so that it has a macroscopic effect. But there’s a paper this week which is arguing that we can actually use entangled photons to entangle human beings.

The idea is pretty straightforward. The human eye is sensitive enough to be able to detect a single photon. So, in a dark enough room, if you send out a pair of entangled photons and both are seen by human beings. Effectively you have “entangled” the wave functions of the human detectors as a result…

“But there’s a problem: the number of photons needed to trigger detection, which is about 7 in humans. How do you reliably entangle at least this number of photons and still carry out the necessary tests?

Today, Sekasti and co lay out the various methods for transferring or cloning the entanglement from one of a pair of entangled photons to an ensemble of at least 7 photons, which would be large enough for a human to see. In such an experiment, a human eye would detect this handful of photons while a conventional single photon detector spots the other photon.

The question is whether the entanglement between the original pair of photons is preserved in this new ensemble in a way that allows a measurement that can only be explained in terms of a superluminal influence.

Their conclusion is that such a measurement is still possible but within certain limits. Sekatski and co say that the data only allows conclusions to be drawn about the initial 2-photon pair. But the bottom line is that it is definitely possible for a real person to see quantum correlations with the naked eye.”

Read the full article here.

Heh. Not much use, but it’s a neat idea. And it pushes the expected boundary between macroscopic and microscopic physics further into the human realm than most other experiments have imagined doing.

Author: Nick Knisely

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...