A STRIKING experiment claims to have confirmed physicists’ suspicion that two realities can exist at the same time.
Nobel prize-winning physicist Eugene Wigner developed a thought experiment called ‘Wigner’s Friend’ back in 1961.
Getty – Contributor Particles can appear to be linked across space and time
Scientists have long thought of ways to conduct the test for themselves.
But only now, following an advance in technology have researchers been able to get results for real.
Experts at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and their colleagues found that two individuals observing the same photon (light particle) can arrive at different conclusions as to what state it is in.
And they’ll BOTH be right.
They have published their results on the academic site ArXiv, which hosts research that has been moderated though not subject to full review by other experts in the field.
Measurement results cannot be considered absolute truth Dr Martin Ringbauer
Dr Martin Ringbauer told Live Science: “You can verify both of them.
“Theoretical advances were needed to formulate the problem in a way that is testable.
“It seems that, in contrast to classical physics, measurement results cannot be considered absolute truth but must be understood relative to the observer who performed the measurement.”
The test essentially means that a photon, or a particle of light, can exist in two possible states.
In quantum physic terms, a photon will be spinning on its horizontal and vertical axis at the same time.
This is known as a state of superposition. It contradicts what’s known as polarisation.
Using six entangled photons, particles of light which are tied together, the researchers observed that the photons existed in a state of polarisation.
One person inside a laboratory observed a single photon, sending it into either a vertical or horizontal state.
The other person on the outside, ran a test called an interference experiment.
They found that the photons still existed in a state of superposition. Both observations were provably correct yet contradicted each other, say the researchers.
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Quantum physics is used to outline how the world works at such a small scale, that normal rules of physics do not apply.
If measurements from this field are considered inaccurate, the entire discipline could change.
A fictional representation of Wigner’s experiment. Alice observes the photon sending it to either a vertical or horizontal stae, while Bob outside of the lab runs a test to prove the photon is still in a state of superposition
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