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Nature. 2001 Feb 15;409(6822):791-4.

Experimental violation of a Bell's inequality with efficient detection.

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1
Time and Frequency Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, Colorado 80305, USA.

Abstract

Local realism is the idea that objects have definite properties whether or not they are measured, and that measurements of these properties are not affected by events taking place sufficiently far away. Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen used these reasonable assumptions to conclude that quantum mechanics is incomplete. Starting in 1965, Bell and others constructed mathematical inequalities whereby experimental tests could distinguish between quantum mechanics and local realistic theories. Many experiments have since been done that are consistent with quantum mechanics and inconsistent with local realism. But these conclusions remain the subject of considerable interest and debate, and experiments are still being refined to overcome 'loopholes' that might allow a local realistic interpretation. Here we have measured correlations in the classical properties of massive entangled particles (9Be+ ions): these correlations violate a form of Bell's inequality. Our measured value of the appropriate Bell's 'signal' is 2.25 +/- 0.03, whereas a value of 2 is the maximum allowed by local realistic theories of nature. In contrast to previous measurements with massive particles, this violation of Bell's inequality was obtained by use of a complete set of measurements. Moreover, the high detection efficiency of our apparatus eliminates the so-called 'detection' loophole.

PMID:
11236986
DOI:
10.1038/35057215
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