Einstein’s 134th Birthday Honored With Two Radical Physics Breakthroughs
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Albert Einstein, almost unanimously considered the greatest physicist since Sir Isaac Newton, would have turned 134 today.
His legacy can still be seen in modern society – in the revelations being made by physicists around the world and by his theories that they are still struggling to comprehend.
“I am convinced that (God) does not play dice.”
Perhaps the most prominent contemporary example of Einstein’s legacy is the research at CERN surrounding the Higgs boson, also referred to as the ‘God particle.’ Perhaps as a hat tip to the great scientist, physicists announced today that the search for the elusive subatomic particle is all but over.
“The preliminary results with the full 2012 data set are magnificent and to me it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson, though we still have a long way to go to know what kind of Higgs boson it is,” said Joe Incandela, a lead physicist from one of the two main teams at CERN.
Confirmation of the particle’s existence advances the theory that objects gain their size and shape when particles interact in an energy field with the Higgs boson. According to the theory, the more the particles attract, the bigger their mass will be.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
A team of Chinese physicists announced last week that they have also built upon Einstein’s legacy. According to a report in the journal Quantum Physics, physicists from the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai have described Einstein’s “spooky action at a distance” as occurring at four times faster than the speed of light.
Einstein used the phrase to describe what appeared to be the instantaneous interactions between two entangled quantum particles, despite the distance between them. Quantum entanglement occurs when the interaction between two subatomic particles results in both of them taking on the same quantum value or state.
To calculate the speed with which the two particles interact, the physicists entangled pairs of photons and then transmitted them 9.5 miles from each other. One half of the pair was first observed for its quantum value, and then the time for the other half to take on the same state was also measured. The process was repeated for 12 hours to generate enough data to accurately determine the speed of the spooky action.
Previous studies have attempted to measure the speed of this action, but according to the physicists those experiments contained flaws and loopholes. The Chinese scientists said that they have accounted for these loopholes.
The results of this experiment could expand on Einstein’s legacy even further by enabling the construction of a quantum internet. This internet would communicate information via quantum entanglement and at four times the speed of light.
This new internet would most likely impress Einstein – not on account of its use of quantum mechanics, but by its ability to further connect the people of the world.
“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.”