Einstein’s Quantum Riddle
Directed by Jamie Lochhead (2019)
This fascinating documentary tries to explain, in ordinary language, the scientific principles behind quantum mechanics the and the apparently bizarre theory of quantum entanglement. The latter was a mathematical theory first put forward by Danish physicist Neils Bohr in 1927.
Quantum mechanics, which is the study of subatomic particles, shows that 1) very small particles behave more like energy than mass and 2) all you can really know about them is the probability they will be found in specific locations or possess specific properties.
Quantum entanglement refers to the ability of paired subatomic particles to affect each other over great distances. Largely because the father of relativity Albert Einstein rejected it, quantum entanglement fell out of favor until the 1960’s. This was when experimental physicists John Bell and John Clauser first developed methodology to test its validity.
Humankind’s understand of quantum mechanics made possible the development of lasers and the transistors and disk drivers essential to running personal computers.
Scientists are using quantum entanglement to develop quantum computers that run on “qubits” and are capable of exponentially faster processing than super computers or even networks of supercomputer.
Google Labs leads this work in the US. However China, which has recently launched a quantum communications satellite, is far and away the world leader in this area.
*A qubit is a two-state quantum entangled mechanical system. An example would be a polarized photon (an elementary particle or quantum of light) that ceases to be entangled if a hacker tries to hack it.