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For the first time, a tardigrade has undergone quantum entanglement

What is quantum entanglement?

In the broad field of quantum physics, Albert Einstein predicted that when two objects are related to each other in some way, even if separated by long distances, they can interact. Experiments since then have confirmed this theory, which Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”

Quantitative modulation Or quantum entanglement is now a fundamental phenomenon of quantum mechanics. Normally, two subatomic particles without interaction between them, are in a quantum state independent of each other. When these particles are bound together, they find themselves in a quantum state where they form only one system. They end up in a kind of entanglement where it becomes impossible to describe each particle individually.

This new “entangled” state causes subtle consequences for the two particles: any action on one particle will have consequences on the other, even if they are light years away from each other! This entangled state of the particles is a new, uniform and instant state. By knowing the state of one particle, we automatically know the state of the other entangled particle.

>> Read also: “It entangles an atom and a molecule with its superimposed state!”

Why use tardigrades?

Tardigrades are animals that are part of the group Pananthropopods. In this family there are more or less 600 species, all of which are distinguished by a size of 50 μm to 1.2 mm and bear four pairs of very short legs. Despite its microscopic size and fragile appearance, a water bear cub – its other name – shows constant resistance:

  • It withstands extreme temperatures as the lowest it can exist, absolute zero which is -273°C and a temperature of 150°C;
  • It can live for several thousand years in a frozen state and come back to life;
  • He lives in the most complete void;
  • He is not afraid of pressure, because he is able to withstand 600 MPa, that is, the pressure that can exist in a hypothetical ocean with a depth of 60 kilometers;
  • X-rays do not scare him. While the lethal dose in humans is 500 rads, more than 500,000 rads are not bothered by it.
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Tardigrades also have an amazing ability to dehydrate by removing up to 95% of their water. This condition of ahydrobiosis is called a “ton” because it then looks like tiny barrels. In this state of hibernation, all metabolic activities of the animal stop completely. For all these reasons, it seems that tardigrades are the ideal candidate to experiment with quantum entanglement.

>> Read also: “How can tardigrades survive biology-challenging conditions?”

Tardigrades have been put into a state of astonishing quantity

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A qubit is the storage unit used in quantum computing

Researchers at the University of Singapore and their colleagues put a sluggish slugger into a “tuned” state between two superconducting qubits – the qubit represents the storage unit in quantum computing. Once everything was in place, they lowered the pressure and temperature to reach the perfect vacuum and absolute zero. In this way, no external influence can interact on the qubits and tardigrades.

The scientists then performed vibration frequency measurements to determine the frequency at which the tardigrades/qubits vibrated. When this measurement was established, the scientists were able to conclude that the state of quantum entanglement had been achieved. Quaptin or tardigrades can no longer be described separately without including the other. At the end of the experiment, the scientists slowly removed the pressure and warmth of the system, allowing the tardigrades to slowly emerge from their “synthesis” hibernation.

According to scientists at the University of Singapore, the tardigrades used during this experiment were already in a state in which all the activities of the organism had completely stopped. It was the slightest small biochemical reaction that would prevent the phenomenon of quantum entanglement. However, other specialized scientists believe that in the hibernation of anhydrous “tuna”, minimal metabolic activity remains.

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Researchers have many questions about this experiment. For example, they would like to know if the entire tardigrade is in a state of quantum entanglement or if only part of its body is present.

One can also ask the question of the benefit of such an experiment. It is clearly not a question of using tardigrades as “mechanical parts”, but of understanding how quantum phenomena, which surround us, affect living things.

>> Read also: “Quantum computer: how does it work?”

Source: K. S. Lee, Y. P. Tan, L. H. Nguyen, R. P. Budoyo, K. H. Park, C. Hufnagel, Y. S. Yap, N. Møbjerg, V. V, and arXivDecember 16, 2021, https://arxiv.org/pdf/2112.07978.pdf