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Some of the world’s top physicists will gather in Calcutta this week to discuss a puzzle that emerged 75 years ago, pitted two 20th century giants in a philosophical duel, and continues to baffle as well as excite scientists today.

The S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Calcutta, is organising a conference on quantum entanglement, a concept that challenges commonsensical notions, but promises hacker-proof communications and immensely faster computers.

About 150 physicists from India and at least 10 other countries are expected to attend the conference to take stock of efforts to understand quantum entanglement as well as discuss possible applications of an idea yet to be fully fathomed.

“Quantum entanglement remains a big conceptual mystery, but we can already see emerging applications,” said Archan Majumdar, a physicist at the S.N. Bose Centre and convener of the conference.

Physicists and engineers have already demonstrated quantum cryptography — a method of preventing unauthorised access to information transfer that could make electronic communications far more secure than they are today.

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Category: Science