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January 4 2013

Quantum measurements on one island determine behavior on another


A key feature of quantum physics is the wave-particle duality: the tendency of physical systems to exhibit both wavelike and particle-like behaviors. One particularly striking example of the wave-particle duality is the quantum eraser. In a typical experiment, two photons are entangled in a particular way and sent along different paths. As is usual in entanglement, a measurement performed on one photon reveals the outcome of related measurements on the second. In the specific case of the quantum eraser, however, the measurement dictates whether the second photon will exhibit wave- or particle-like characteristics.

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