Project

Back to overview

Bell experiments with human detectors

English title Bell experiments with human detectors
Applicant Gisin Nicolas
Number 127118
Funding scheme Interdisciplinary projects
Research institution GAP-Optique Université de Genève
Institution of higher education University of Geneva - GE
Main discipline Other disciplines of Physics
Start/End 01.11.2009 - 30.06.2013
Approved amount 366'957.00
Show all

Keywords (5)

quantum physics; entanglement; vision; subliminal perception; Bell inequality

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The main goal of this project is to perform a Bell experiment with human observers, in other words, an experiment in which entangled photons will be seen by humans. Let us recall that entanglement is nowadays recognized as the characteristic of quantum physics; it is at the heart of quantum information science and is the necessary resource that allows one to produce nonlocal correlations (correlations that, although nonsignaling, violate Bell's inequality). We believe that such experiment would be fascinating for the following reasons. First of all, it will allow a more direct access to the phenomena of entanglement, probably one of most astonishing and mysterious concept of modern physics. Indeed, such experiment would allow us to remove one interface between the observer and the quantum particles, namely the man-made detectors. Next, such experiment is conceptually very different from previous Bell experiments, in the sense that the amplification process (of single photons by stimulated emission, i.e. photon cloning at the quantum limit), which is usually performed inside a photon counter at the final stage of the experiment, will here be performed before the actual choice of measurement.This ambitious project requires the realization of an adequate environment for the "human detector", the focusing of weak light pulses in the eye and the collection of the conscious and unconscious (direct recordings of EEG activity) responses from the observers. Hence, a second goal of this project is to increase our understanding of liminal and subliminal perception mechanisms using completely controlled visual stimuli never available thus far. Subliminal perception occurs whenever stimulus presented below the threshold for conscious perception or awareness are found to influence thoughts, feelings, or actions. The possibility of controlling the time of presentation to the microseconds scale or sending a controlled number of photons to test neural mechanisms involved in photopic and scotopic vision and therefore the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways might certainly contribute to our understanding of the visual system in humans. Combining these experiments with recordings of the electrical activity of the brain and its subsequent analysis in the time, frequency and combined time-frequency domain can certainly shine light on the complex mechanisms involved in conscious visual perception.A recent interest in Neuroscience is the recording of concurrent EEG activity in subjects engaged in cooperative or competitive activities. By the end of the project we would like to carry out such recordings over the observers participating in the entanglement experience.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Size of quantum superpositions as measured with classical detectors
Sekatski Pavel, Sangouard Nicolas, Gisin Nicolas (2014), Size of quantum superpositions as measured with classical detectors, in Physical Review Letters, 89, 012116.
Proposal for exploring macroscopic entanglement with a single photon and coherent states
Sekatski Pavel, Sangouard Nicolas, Stobińska Magdalena, Bussières Félix, Afzelius Mikael, Gisin Nicolas (2012), Proposal for exploring macroscopic entanglement with a single photon and coherent states, in Phys. Rev. A, 86, 060301-060301.
Coarse Graining Makes It Hard to See Micro-Macro Entanglement
Raeisi Sadegh, Sekatski Pavel, Simon Christoph (2011), Coarse Graining Makes It Hard to See Micro-Macro Entanglement, in Phys. Rev. Lett., 107, 250401-250401.
Experimental amplification of an entangled photon: what if the detection loophole is ignored?
Pomarico Enrico Sanguinetti Bruno Sekatski Pavel Zbinden Hugo Gisin Nicolas (2011), Experimental amplification of an entangled photon: what if the detection loophole is ignored?, in New Journal of Physics, 13, 063031.
Various quantum nonlocality tests with a commercial two-photon entanglement source
Pomarico Enrico Bancal Jean-Daniel Sanguinetti Bruno Rochdi Anas Gisin Nicolas (2011), Various quantum nonlocality tests with a commercial two-photon entanglement source, in Physical Review A, 83, 052104.
Cloning entangled photons to scales one can see
Sekatski Pavel, Sanguinetti Bruno, Pomarico Enrico, Gisin Nicolas, Simon Christoph (2010), Cloning entangled photons to scales one can see, in Phys. Rev. A, 82(5), 053814-053814.
Displacement of entanglement back and forth between the micro and macro domains
Bruno N., Martin A., Sekatski P., Sangouard N., Thew R. T., Gisin N., Displacement of entanglement back and forth between the micro and macro domains, in Nat Phys.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON QUANTUM TECHNOLOGIES - ICQT 2013 Talk given at a conference Solid state quantum memories, teleportation and large entanglement 20.07.2013 Moscow, Russia, Russia Gisin Nicolas;
11th Intl. Conference on Quantum Communication, Measurement and Computing Talk given at a conference Quantum Communication, repeaters and macro-entanglement 30.07.2012 Vienna, Austria, Austria Gisin Nicolas;
GDR-IQFA Talk given at a conference Coarse Graining Makes It Hard to See Micro-Macro Entanglement 24.11.2011 Paris, France, France Sekatski Pavel;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) How to See Quantum Entanglement Wired Science International 2011
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Quantum effects brought to light Nature International 2011

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
149109 Large entanglement in crystals 01.06.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
172590 Many Atom Entanglement in Crystals? 01.06.2017 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

The main goal of this project is to perform a Bell experiment with human observers, in other words, an experiment in which entangled photons will be seen by humans. Let us recall that entanglement is nowadays recognized as the characteristic of quantum physics; it is at the heart of quantum information science and is the necessary resource that allows one to produce nonlocal correlations (i.e. correlations that, although nonsignaling, violate Bell’s inequality). We believe that such experiment would be fascinating for the following reasons. First of all, it will allow a more direct access to the phenomena of entanglement, probably one of most astonishing and mysterious concept of modern physics. Indeed, such experiment would allow us to remove one interface between the observer and the quantum particles, namely the man-made detectors. Moreover, such experiment is conceptually very different from previous Bell experiments, in the sense that the amplification process (of single photons by stimulated emission, i.e. photon cloning at the quantum limit), which is usually performed inside a photon counter at the final stage of the experiment, will here be performed before the actual choice of measurement. This point, which may a priori appear as a mere technicality, has in fact a deep significance, and would therefore be of great interest to the scientific community. This ambitious project requires the realization of an adequate environment for the “human detector”, the focusing of weak light pulses in the eye and the collection of the responses, both conscious and via EEG recording. Hence, a second goal of this project is to increase our understanding of subliminal perception using completely controlled visual stimuli never available thus far. Subliminal perception occurs whenever stimulus presented below the threshold for conscious perception or awareness are found to influence thoughts, feelings, or actions. The possibility of controlling the time of presentation to the nanoseconds scale or sending a controlled number of photons to test neural mechanisms involved in photopic and scotopic vision and therefore the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways might certainly contribute to our understanding of the visual system in humans. Combining these experiments with recordings of the electrical activity of the brain (EEG) and its subsequent analysis in the time, frequency and combined time-frequency domain can certainly shed light on the complex mechanisms involved in conscious visual perception. Determining the generators of the measured activity could further improve our knowledge about the human visual system in the regime of weak intensities. A recent interest in Neuroscience is the recording of concurrent EEG activity in subjects engaged in cooperative or competitive activities (EEG hyperscanning). By the end of the project we would like to carry out such recordings over the observers participating in the entanglement experience.
-