Entanglement is the strange phenomenon in which quantum particles become so deeply linked that they share the same existence. Once rare, entangling particles has become routine in labs all over the world.
Physicists have learned how to create entanglement, transfer it from one particle to another, and even distil it. Indeed, entanglement has become a resource in itself and a crucial one for everything from cryptography and teleportation to computing and simulation.
But a significant problem remains. To carry out ever more complex and powerful experiments, physicists need to produce entanglement on ever-larger scales by entangling more particles at the same time.
The current numbers are paltry, though. Photons are the quantum workhorses in most labs and the record for the number of entangled photons is a mere eight, produced at a rate of about nine events per hour.
Using the same techniques to create a 10-photon count rate would result in only 170 per year, too few even to measure easily. So the prospects of improvement have seemed remote.
Which is why the work of Xi-Lin Wang and pals at the University of Science and Technology of China in Heifu is impressive. Today, they announce that they’ve produced 10-photon entanglement for the first time, and they’ve done it at a count rate that is three orders of magnitude higher than anything possible until now.To read more, click here.