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Meet the physicists awarded the Nobel Prize for work in ‘spooky action at a distance’

Ren Pengfei/Xinhua via Getty Images

(STOCKHOLM) — A trio of scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in quantum mechanics.

The award was split among Alain Aspect of the Université Paris-Saclay and École Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France; John F. Clauser of J.F. Clauser & Associates in Walnut Creek, California; and Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna, Austria.

Their research discovered how tiny particles of light barely visible to the naked eyed can be “entangled” and behave like a single unit, even when separated by large distances.

The phenomenon was famously called “spooky action at a distance” by Albert Einstein, who dismissed the theory.

“It has become increasingly clear that a new kind of quantum technology is emerging. We can see that the laureates’ work with entangled states is of great importance, even beyond the fundamental questions about the interpretation of quantum mechanics,” said Anders Irbäck, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics, in a statement.

Last year, three scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work in helping understand our planets.

Each Nobel prize is worth 10 million kronor — the equivalent of about $900,000 — and is given to laureates with a diploma and a gold medal on Dec. 10, the date the creator of the Nobel prizes, Alfred Nobel, died in 1896.

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