Trying to explain quantum spooky action at a distance using any kind of signal pits Einstein’s relativity against our concept of a smooth spacetime.
Credit: Timothy Yeo / CQT, National University of Singapore

Researchers look beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory

October 28, 2012

Physicists have proposed an experiment that could force us to make a choice between extremes to describe the behaviour of the Universe.

The proposal comes from an international team of researchers from Switzerland, Belgium, Spain and Singapore, and is published today in Nature Physics. It is based on what the researchers call a ‘hidden influence inequality’. This exposes how quantum predictions challenge our best understanding about the nature of space and time, Einstein’s theory of relativity.

“We are interested in whether we can explain the funky phenomena we observe without sacrificing our sense of things happening smoothly in space and time,” says Jean-Daniel Bancal, one of the researchers behind the new result, who carried out the research at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. He is now at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore.

Excitingly, there is a real prospect of performing this test.

Read more: Researchers look beyond space and time to cope with quantum theory.

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