Nobel Prize in Physics announced: The winners’ work, its significance

John Clauser, Alain Aspect, and Anton Zeilinger are being awarded Physics Nobel for their groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated.

The Nobel Prize in physics for 2022 is being awarded to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger for their work on quantum mechanics, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on October 4, 2022.

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities, and pioneering quantum information science,” the academy said.

The 2022 physics laureates’ development of experimental tools has laid the foundation for a new era of quantum technology. Being able to manipulate and manage quantum states and all their layers of properties gives us access to tools with unexpected potential.

Intense research and development are underway to utilise the special properties of individual particle systems to construct quantum computers, improve measurements, build quantum networks and establish secure quantum encrypted communication.

This year’s Nobel Prize laureate John Clauser built an apparatus that emitted two entangled photons at a time, each towards a filter that tested their polarisation. The result was a clear violation of a Bell inequality and agreed with the predictions of quantum mechanics.

Alain Aspect – awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics – developed a setup to close an important loophole. He was able to switch the measurement settings after an entangled pair had left its source, so the setting that existed when they were emitted could not affect the result.