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Entanglement between particle and wave-like states of light resembles Schrodinger’s cat experiment

Posted July 16, 2014
hybrid entanglement
Illustration of the proposed scheme to generate hybrid entanglement of light (a single photon and a coherent wave-like state of light). Credit: Jeong, et al. ©2014 Nature Photonics

While entangling cats with atoms is not exactly an active area of research in any physics lab today (as far as anyone knows), many physicists are working on a close analogy of Schrödinger’s cat experiment. That is, they are developing methods to entangle classical objects (analogous to the cat) with quantum particles (like an individual atom).


In a new paper published as the July 2014 cover article in Nature Photonics, physicists Hyunseok Jeong, et al., at institutions in South Korea, Italy, and Australia, have devised and experimentally demonstrated a novel scheme to generate between quantum and classical (or “particle-like” and “wave-like”) states of light. This study marks the first time that physicists have generated entanglement between a single photon and a coherent wave-like state of light.

According to the scientists, this hybrid entanglement can be considered as the closest analogy of Schrödinger’s Gedankenexperiment realized so far. It has practical applications, too, as it provides a new type of qubit (a hybrid qubit) that can be used for efficient quantum computation.

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