Exploring The Mysteries of Entanglement
january 6, 2009
Prof. Michael Horne
Professor Michael Horne's groundbreaking research on entangled states in nature at the quantum level is receiving fresh acclaim in a new book The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics Was Reborn.
In pioneering work over the last 40 years, Professor of Physics Horne and several other renowned physicists across the globe challenged Albert Einstein's "elements of reality" theory that what happens to one object could not be directly and immediately linked with what happens to another object at a distant location.
Horne and his colleagues discovered that quantum entanglement implies that spatial separation is not as simple as once thought. Two particles that are miles or light years apart may behave in a spookily concerted way.
Abstract scientific topics, such as entanglement, which physicists have grappled with for a century, are not always easy for lay audiences to appreciate.
In The Age of Entanglement, however, Louisa Gilder brings clarity and a novelist's touch to the personalities, conversations, and issues that have contributed to the refinement of our understanding of cutting-edge physics.
And, at the center of this story of intellectual exploration is Horne who has been teaching and researching at Stonehill since 1970. Quietly but consistently, he has been collaborating with the leading physicists in America and Europe, from M.I.T to the University of Vienna, exploring the mysteries of entanglement.
Horne's papers on the theoretical foundations of quantum mechanics are included in the international citation index of physics and almost every contemporary publication on the philosophy side of physics cites his work.
The term GHZ (short for Greenberger, Horne, Zeilinger) is now a standard designation for the fundamental entangled state of three quantum particles and is frequently indexed in quantum mechanics text books.
When Horne received Stonehill's Distinguished Faculty Award in 2001, the title of his address was Quantum Mechanics for Everyone.
Horne's colleague and friend Chet Raymo notes that "As long as I have known Mike, I have seen him using every minute between teaching classes and helping students with a pad of paper and sharp pencil figuring out the secrets of the universe. What a thing it is that one can do such things with a pad and pencil."
The Age of Entanglement is not the first book to highlight Horne's important contributions to modern physics. Earlier this decade, the bestselling Entanglement: The Unlikely Story of How Scientists, Mathematicians, and Philosophers Proved Einstein's Spookiest Theory by Amir Aczel, covered some of the same territory.
The Age of Entanglement is published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York.