30 Dec 2015 • Video
Studio Knol's light installation visualizes Einstein's disproved Locality Theory
So, Einstein has been proven wrong, and Amsterdam-based designers Studio Knol made that fact a little more enlightening.
Let me explain.
Quantum physicists at Delft University of Technology have disproved a nearly century-long debate surrounding Einstein’s theory on locality. This means that one of the core principles of standard physics is rendered invalid, a theory which states that an object is only directly influenced by its immediate surroundings. And so, to the delight of quantum scientists, ‘spooky action entanglement’ does, in fact, exist.
Bit of a head full? Quantum mechanics has that way about it. In a nutshell, quantum physicists determined that, at a distance, one particle directly influences another particle, and therefore data can be transferred instantaneously without the use of a fiberglass cable, or any cable for that matter. This is what we know as teleportation. Quite the quantum leap.
TU Delft emphasises the importance of the experiment’s findings:
'Entanglement is arguably the most intriguing consequence of the laws of quantum mechanics. When two particles become entangled, their identities merge: their collective state is precisely determined but the individual identity of each of the particles has disappeared. The entangled particles behave as one, even when separated by a large distance. Einstein doubted this prediction, which he called ‘spooky action at a distance’, but [our] experiments have proven its existence.'
Studio Knol was asked by these very same physicists to visualise this process between the two particles becoming entangled, herein known as ‘spooky action entanglement’, in order to make a complex matter more tangible for the layperson, or in other words, for the vast majority of the population that are sadly not quantum physicists.
Together with visual animator Noortje van den Eijnde and designer Floor van Doremalen, Studio Knol produced a bewitching light installation titled ‘Between Science and Fiction’, which explains the phenomenon through moving image. Bringing us to the next head spinner - how exactly does spooky action entanglement occur? The installation tells the story through light, projection and sound – and goes something like this. It begins with two tiny artificial diamonds - examples of the purest lattices of carbon atoms on earth. These diamonds act as traps for electrons, the very particles destined to become entangled. Becoming entangled - without cheating - requires some distance, say 1.3km, as well as a laser beamed at both electrons to get them excited, so excited that they release a photon holding the spin of their respective electron. The photons are drawn to each other, carrying their match-made-in-heaven spin, and meet in the middle – entangling the two electrons they were born from.
This, mind you, is all done faster than the speed of light, which means that one particle instantaneously influences the other – without any physical connection. And with this, comes a number of divine revelations: Quantum Theory is no longer a theory, but a fact; incredibly, Einstein was incorrect; the universe and reality itself is an entangled system (grand statement tbc); and, classical computing is no longer relevant – computing is now forecasted to be much faster, quite literally at quantum speed.
Studio Knol captured this major break through in a hypnotic orchestra of animated light, not only unraveling the complexity behind the quantum experiment – but also revealing the beauty of a science so mysterious, yet so necessary to our way of life. In one and a half minutes, a charismatic performance of sparkling projection describes the moment of an electron’s entrapment till it’s marriage with its entangled counterpart.
The confirmation of spooky action entanglement is a pivotal moment that rocks the scientific world, and ripples towards the design world, proving there is a very real, and powerful change relevant to the entire world.