If you have ever questioned the nature of reality, a new study suggests that there are actually two different versions of it — at least at the quantum level.
The pre-study, published found in arXiv, casts a new light on the complex idea that two people can have the same photon, come to different conclusions about the photon, but still correct.
“In the quantum theory, the objectivity of the observations is not so clear, the most dramatically exposed in Eugene Wigner, the eponymous thought experiment, where two observers can experience fundamentally different realities,” the researchers wrote in the study. “While the observer-independence has long remained inaccessible to empirical research, recent no-go theorems to build a extended Wigner’s friend scenario with four entangled observers, which allows us to test it out.”
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She continued: “In a state-of-the-art photon experiment, we can realize this extended Wigner’s friend scenario, experimental violation of the corresponding Bell-type inequality by 5 standard deviations. This result gives a lot of strength to interpretations of the quantum theory is already an observer depending on the context and the requirements for the review of those who are not.”
One of the study co-authors, Martin Ringbauer, told Science that “you can check or both of them,” adding that the theoretical developments were necessary before they were able to prove Wigner’s hypothesis, which was first proposed in 1961.
“Theoretical developments were necessary to the formulation of the problem in a way that is testable. Then, the experimental part of the developments on the control of quantum systems to implement or something like that,” he told the news outlet.
To test the idea, the researchers identified “two different laboratories, each with an experimenter and their friend,” the introduction of two pairs of entangled photons, which for their fate are intertwined with each other. They also introduced “people” (who were not real, but rather represented observers) for the measurement of a photon in the couple, recording their results, and repeat the procedure for the second photon with the help of quantum memory.
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In 1961, when Wigner introduced the idea that would eventually be known as “Wigner’s friend,” is only one scenario was used. With the new experiment, it was doubled and the results that Wigner had first discussed more than 50 years still rang true.
The Quantum mechanics gives information about how the world works on a scale so small, that the rules of physics do not apply, Live Science added. With the new findings of the study, the field of quantum mechanics can change if the measurements are not the same for everyone.
“It seems that, in contrast to classical physics, the measurement results can not be regarded as absolute truth, but must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement,” Ringbauer told Live Science. “The stories that we tell about quantum mechanics.”
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