Physics Nobel rewards 'spooky science' of entanglement
This year's Nobel Prize in Physics rewards research into quantum mechanics - the science that describes nature at the smallest scales.
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The award goes to Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger.
Their work should pave the way to a new generation of powerful computers and telecommunications systems that are impossible to break into.
The men will share prize money of 10 million Swedish krona (£800,000).
This year's three laureates conducted ground-breaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two sub-atomic particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated.
"Quantum information science is a vibrant and rapidly developing field," said Eva Olsson, a member of the Nobel Committee for Physics.
"It has broad and potential implications in areas such as secure information transfer, quantum computing, and sensing technology."
Alain Aspect, 75, is affiliated to the Université Paris-Saclay and École Polytechnique, Palaiseau. John Clauser, 79, runs his own company in California. Anton Zeilinger, 77, is attached to the University of Vienna.
The same three men won the Wolf Prize together in 2010.
Anton Zeilinger got an early morning call to tell him he'd won. "I'm still kind of shocked, but it's a very positive shock," he said.
Quantum mechanics describes the behaviour of sub-atomic particles. It's a field that was opened up in the early 20th Century. And it's in a particular aspect of this science that Tuesday's laureates made their name.
It concerns something called "entanglement" in which two or more quantum particles - usually photons, the particles of light - can be strongly connected when very far apart even though they are not physically linked.