Dance of the Photons:
From Einstein to Quantum Teleportation
March 7, 2011
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store is pleased to welcome professor of quantum physics ANTON ZEILINGER as he explores the theory of quantum entanglement and his new book, Dance of the Photons: From Einstein to Quantum Teleportation.
Einstein’s steadfast refusal to accept certain aspects of quantum theory was rooted in his insistence that physics has to be about reality. Accordingly, he once derided as “spooky action at a distance” the notion that two elementary particles far removed from each other could nonetheless influence each other’s properties—a hypothetical phenomenon his fellow theorist Erwin Schrödinger termed “quantum entanglement.”
In a series of ingenious experiments conducted in various locations—from a dank sewage tunnel under the Danube River to the balmy air between a pair of mountain peaks in the Canary Islands—Dr. Zeilinger and his colleagues have demonstrated the reality of such entanglement using photons, or light quanta, created by laser beams. In principle the lessons learned may be applicable in other areas, including the eventual development of quantum computers.
"More than a century after its birth, [quantum] theory is as perplexing as ever, and recent lab results have only underscored just how strange it is. No one is better qualified to describe the weirdness than University of Vienna physicist Anton Zeilinger, director of the Austrian lab where many of these experiments were done.... Zeilinger is at his best when detailing the experiments behind these remarkable results. He also examines the philosophical issues they raise: questions, one suspects, that could well take another century to answer."
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.