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Typically, for two particles to become entangled, they must first physically interact. Then when the particles are physically separated and still share the same quantum state, they are considered to be entangled. But in a new study, physicists have investigated a new twist on entanglement in which two qubits become entangled with each other even though they never physically interact.

The physicists, Carlos Sabín, Borja Peropadre, Marco del Rey, and Eduardo Martín-Martínez at the Institute of Fundamental Physics at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid (Sabín is now at the University of Nottingham in the UK, and Martin-Martinez is now at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada), have published a paper on this new kind of entanglement in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.

 “We show that it is possible in a real experiment to entangle two systems that neither interact with each other nor interact with a common resource at the same time, and without the need of measurements,” Sabín told Phys.org. “The trick is to use the correlations between different times – between past and future – contained in the vacuum of a quantum field.”

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