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Quantum Physicists Confirm Spooky Instant Correlations

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Researchers in the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK have confirmed in the lab that the weird instant correlations between remote “entangled” particles are real. The experimental result has important implications for both fundamental physics and future cryptography.

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The research is published in the arXiv preprint repository with the title “Experimental loophole-free violation of a Bell inequality using entangled electron spins separated by 1.3 km.” The paper, freely available online, hasn’t been published yet in a peer-reviewed journal, but the result is spreading virally on the Internet.

A summary by Zeeya Merali on the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) website is trending on Reddit with thousands of upvotes and comments. Merali has also written an article for Nature News titled “Quantum ‘spookiness’ passes toughest test yet.”

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History-Making Confirmation of ‘Spooky Action at a Distance’

ElectronQuantum physics as it’s currently understood doesn’t predict the values of a particle’s observable properties such as position and spin, but only their probabilities, encoded in the “quantum state” of the particle. It’s only after a measurement has been made that the particle snaps randomly into a state with a definite value of the property that has been measured. What constitutes “a measurement,” and how ghostly quantum states “collapse,” is tentatively answered by the different interpretations of quantum physics that have been proposed.

Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon where two remote particles share a unique quantum state in a way that we are unable to visualize. For example, the shared quantum state may be such that the spins are always measured in opposite direction (1 up and 2 down, or 1 down and 2 up). The researchers measured the spins of hundred of entangled particles in two University of Delft labs, located 1.3 km apart, and confirmed that the entangled correlations are still observed when there is not enough time for light to travel from the first lab to the second, which means that entanglement isn’t limited by the speed of light.

Einstein argued against the “spooky action at a distance” between entangled particles, but experimental results seem to side with entanglement.

Instant entanglement has been observed in the lab since Alain Aspect’s experiment in the early 80s, but this is the strongest experimental confirmation to date.

“It is a truly ingenious and beautiful experiment,” said renowned University of Vienna quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger. “I wouldn’t be surprised if in the next few years we see one of the authors of this paper, along with some of the older experiments, Aspect’s and others, named on a Nobel prize,” added Perimeter Institute quantum physicist Matthew Leifer.

Nicolas Gisin, a quantum physicist at the University of Geneva in Switzerland, said:

From a fundamental point of view, this is truly history-making.

Gisin is on the Board of Directors of Id Quantique, a company in Geneva specialized in quantum cryptography. The new experimental result confirms the core idea of quantum cryptography: entangled particles can be used to generate secure encryption keys between two remote locations, and malicious agents trying to eavesdrop to intercept the keys would break the entanglement, which could be detected.

“This may enable the realization of large-scale quantum networks that are secured through the very same counter-intuitive concepts that inspired one of the most fundamental scientific debates for 80 years,” conclude the researchers.

Many commenters on the Reddit thread speculate that perhaps instant entanglement could be used for instant communications, not limited by the speed of light. But, according to our current understanding of quantum physics, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Measuring the spin of one of a pair of entangled particles always gives a random result – even if the results of the two measurements are correlated – and any attempt to preset the spin of a particle would break the entanglement. A good analogy is two decks of “magic” cards that are always in the same order, but the magic only works if both decks are well shuffled first, and cheating breaks the magic.

Images from Wikimedia Commons and Pixabay.

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Giulio Prisco is a freelance writer specialized in science, technology, business and future studies.




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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. 3dmike

    August 29, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Might want to take a look a this before you except your Nobel.

    http://www.nanotech-now.com/Mike-Thomas/Entangled-Atomic-Particles.htm

  2. Keisar Betancourt

    August 30, 2015 at 6:23 am

    The code doesn’t need to be in the result, it can be in the timing.

  3. Jason Dowd

    August 31, 2015 at 6:56 am

    Instantaneous communication, indeed faster than light communication of any kind, is impossible. If I am proven wrong, I will be happy to eat crow, but of course, I don’t think that is going to happen.

    • Zack Y.

      August 31, 2015 at 7:28 pm

      You’re right in that a signal from point A to point B cannot exceed light speed. However, if it is possible to send signals backwards in time, you could create situations in which the NET time it takes for A to react to B (and vice versa) in a common inertial frame is effectively zero, allowing effectively instantaneous comms without violating relativity at all.

      Such “advanced” waves show up in some interpretations of quantum physics, and are arguably the cleanest explanation for things like entanglement. However, even if they exist, it is unclear how or if you could use them to send any kind of observable signal. My guess is that the only way to do it would involve gravity, because all the quantum “no signaling” and such theorems may not hold in the more complete quantum gravity theory (whatever it proves to be).

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Cybersecurity

Three Hours After Re-Launch, BitGrail Shuts Down Again

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Embattled digital currency exchange BitGrail has reportedly suspended operations a mere three hours after re-launching, a move that could signal the death knell for the controversial trading platform.

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BitGrail Shuts Down After Court Order

The Italian exchange received an order from the Court of Florence on Tuesday to cease operations immediately. BitGrail was open for all of three hours before the order was handed down. All cryptocurrencies that were previously supported on the exchange were available for trade with the notable exception of Nano XRB.

On Wednesday, BitGrail issued the following statement:

“This morning, following the re-opening, we were notified of a deed by the court of Florence requesting the immediate closure of BitGrail and this situation will persist until a decision is made by the courts, about the precautionary suspension request made by the Bonelli law office on behalf of a client.”

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A final decision by the court is scheduled for May 16 2018.

Embroiled in Controversy

The Italian exchange has been mired in controversy after 17 million Nano XRB tokens went missing in February. At the time, the total value of the theft was $170 million.

At the time, BitGrail said the shortfall was caused by “unauthorized transactions,” but didn’t indicate exactly when the hack took place.

A Twitter user by the name of “Francesco the Bomber,” who apparently runs the exchange, later confirmed that the funds were stolen and that the exchange didn’t have the capital to repay its customers. However, developers who used to work with Francesco claimed that the exchange was solvent long before the attack took place. This fact was concealed by BitGrail for as long as possible.

For its part, Nano XRB managed to recovery in the wake of the attacks, with prices reaching a high near $17 in early March. The cryptocurrency has nearly doubled in value over the last three weeks as part of a broader upward correction in the market.

The Nano Foundation has established a fund to assist BitGrail users affected by the attack. The Foundation says it will match donations to the fund for up to $1 million.

BitGrail was the second largest attack of a digital currency exchange this year. In January, cyber criminals made off with around $530 million worth of NEM tokens following an attack on Coincheck, a Japanese exchange.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

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Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 410 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Cybersecurity

Facebook Stock Has Best Day in Two Years as Zuckerberg Testifies

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Shares of Facebook Inc. (FB) gained on Tuesday, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before U.S. lawmakers over allegations of data misuse.

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Zuckerberg Gets Likes

Mark Zuckerberg apologized and defended his company on Tuesday as he appeared before a joint U.S. Senate committee hearing. “It was my mistake, and I’m sorry,” the 33-year-old CEO said when questioned about Facebook’s misuse of user data.

Lawmakers grilled Zuckerberg on issues ranging from Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal to its failure in addressing provocative messages during the most recent Myanmar crisis. He took it all in stride, appearing confident and poised throughout the question-and-answer period (at least, that’s what professional PR experts quoted by Bloomberg had to say).

Zuckerberg took full responsibility not just for Cambridge Analytica, but for Facebook’s negligence in safeguarding consumer data. That said, Republican Senator from Iowa Chick Grassley sent a strong signal that new regulations are on the way.

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“The status quo no longer works,” said Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee. “Congress must determine if and how we need to strengthen privacy standards to ensure transparency and understanding for the billions of consumers who utilize these products.”

Wall Street Responds

The testimony resonated with Wall Street, as investors scooped up shares of the battered social media company. Facebook shares added 4.5%, their best in two years. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index gained 1.7% on Tuesday and the index’s technology component rose 2.5%.

The stock surge grew Zuckerberg’s personal fortune by $2.8 billion to $66 billion, according to Forbes. That makes him the world’s seventh richest person.

Despite the gain, FB is down almost 15% from its all-time high and its current price point lags behind the 50-day and 200-day moving averages. An RSI of 48 also signals weak underlying momentum for the social media stock.

Facebook’s Declining Usage

Facebook experienced a public backlash last month amid reports that a political research firm had scraped data on 87 million people. The revelation sparked a growing debate over Facebook’s privacy standards at a time when the company was battling a noticeable decline in usage.

The social media platform declined by roughly 50 million hours per day in the fourth quarter, or 5% overall. Meanwhile, independent research from a company named Edison found a steady drop in usage among Americans aged 12 and up.

While Zuckerberg has tried to spin the decline as a good thing, it’s apparent that the platform is experiencing fewer meaningful interactions, which partially explains recent efforts to transform the News Feed.

It remains to be seen how much damage the declines will do to top and bottom line results. Facebook is expected to report its quarterly earnings report Apr. 25. Analysts are expecting per-share earnings of $1.37 for the quarter, up from $1.04 the same time a year ago.

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Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 410 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Cybersecurity

Facebook Admits It Has Failed to Protect User Privacy

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In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has had to come clean about its privacy standards. The company recently admitted that the data on most of its 2 billion users could be compromised by malicious actors, a strong sign that the social media giant is not only misusing consumer data, but failing to protect it.

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Data on the Loose

Facebook recently announced that it has removed a feature that allows users to search for people using email addresses or phone numbers. The feature, which accounts for 7% of all searches in some regions, is being discontinued over fears that malicious users were using it to “scrape” profiles.

Mike Shcroepfer, the company’s chief technology officer, issued the following statement on Wednesday:

“Given the scale and sophistication of the activity we’ve seen, we believe most people on Facebook could have had their public profile scraped in this way. So we have now disabled this feature. We’re also making changes to account recovery to reduce the risk of scraping as well.”

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CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters that it was “reasonable to expect” that your information may have been accessed in this way.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal, which surfaced last month, blew the lid wide open on Facebook’s privacy standards. Since 2014, Cambridge Analytica legally obtained information on as many as 87 million Facebook users for the purpose of influencing elections. In the wake of the scandal, Zuckerberg is being summoned by U.S. Congress to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, currently scheduled for Apr. 11. The CEO has acknowledged that his company made mistakes, but this has largely failed to resonate with Facebook’s growing list of critics.

Facebook Tanks

Many say that Facebook has suffered irreversible damage since the scandal was brought to light. Faced with declining usage, severed business ties and a severe backlash from the public, Facebook shares have tanked more than 16% over the last three weeks.

Prices have fallen below the 50-day and 200-day simple moving averages, with the short-term average converging on the longer one. An RSI in the low-30s makes a strong case for Facebook’s bearish downturn, although current levels indicate that an oversold bounce is likely.

FB’s share price shed another 0.7% on Wednesday even as the major indexes gained. The S&P 500’s information technology index rose 1.4%, capping off a solid recovery for the market.

Along with the other so-called FAANG stocks, Facebook has been largely responsible for the recent tech rollover and subsequent turbulence on Wall Street. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet lost a combined $324 billion in market cap between Mar. 12 and Apr. 2.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 410 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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