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    Quantum Entanglement: Illuminating the Proton’s Secrets

    ByByron Bekker

    Feb 6, 2024
    Quantum Entanglement: Illuminating the Proton’s Secrets

    When a high-energy photon collides with a proton, it reveals a fascinating phenomenon within the proton’s interior – maximum quantum entanglement. Recently, an international team of physicists, including researchers from the Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Cracow, has shed new light on this concept. They have demonstrated that even in collisions involving pomerons, the fundamental building blocks of the proton, maximum entanglement is still present.

    Nearly two years ago, scientists uncovered evidence that different parts of the proton’s interior are maximally quantum entangled. This breakthrough was a result of studying collisions between high-energy photons and quarks and gluons within the proton. It supported the hypothesis proposed by professors Dimitri Kharzeev and Eugene Levin. Now, a recent paper published in Physical Review Letters presents a complementary analysis of entanglement in collisions between photons and protons, specifically examining a process called diffractive deep inelastic scattering.

    The main question driving this research was whether entanglement occurs among quarks and gluons during such collisions, and if so, does it reach its maximum potential? The findings provide a deep understanding of the complex dynamics within the proton.

    To grasp the concept of quantum entanglement, let’s consider the analogy of two coins. When these coins are simultaneously tossed, in the case of maximal entanglement, we always observe either two different results or two identical results. No particular value is favored. In the realm of nuclear physics, the presence of maximal entanglement is evident in collisions between an electron and a proton in deep inelastic scattering. This process leads to the complete breakup of the proton, resulting in the production of numerous hadrons, or particles that experience strong interactions.

    However, diffractive processes, where no particles are observed in certain angular intervals, provide a unique opportunity to study quantum entanglement more comprehensively. These processes involve the interaction of a photon with partons (quarks and gluons) within the proton, specifically those associated with a larger structure known as a pomeron. Gluons, fundamental particles responsible for the strong force, can form bound states called pomerons, where color charges are neutralized.

    Understanding the intricate interplay between quarks, gluons, and pomerons offers key insights into the nature of quantum entanglement within the proton. By unraveling these secrets, scientists move closer to unraveling the mysteries of the fundamental building blocks of matter and the profound nature of the quantum world.

    FAQ Section:

    1. What is quantum entanglement?
    Quantum entanglement is a phenomenon in which two or more particles become connected in such a way that their states are correlated and cannot be described independently. When particles are entangled, the state of one particle is instantly related to the state of the other, regardless of the distance between them.

    2. What did the recent research on quantum entanglement in protons reveal?
    The recent research revealed that even in collisions involving pomerons, which are the fundamental building blocks of protons, maximum entanglement is still present. This finding deepens our understanding of the complex dynamics within the proton.

    3. Did the research focus on collisions between photons and quarks?
    The research focused on collisions between photons and protons, specifically examining a process called diffractive deep inelastic scattering. This process involves the interaction of a photon with partons (quarks and gluons) within the proton.

    4. What is the significance of diffractive processes in studying quantum entanglement?
    Diffractive processes, where no particles are observed in certain angular intervals, provide a unique opportunity to study quantum entanglement more comprehensively. These processes involve the interaction of a photon with partons within the proton, specifically those associated with a larger structure known as a pomeron.

    5. What are gluons and pomerons?
    Gluons are fundamental particles responsible for the strong force, which binds quarks together to form protons and other particles. Pomerons, on the other hand, are bound states of gluons where color charges are neutralized.

    6. How does understanding the interplay between quarks, gluons, and pomerons contribute to our understanding of quantum entanglement in protons?
    Understanding the intricate interplay between quarks, gluons, and pomerons offers key insights into the nature of quantum entanglement within the proton. By unraveling these secrets, scientists move closer to unraveling the mysteries of the fundamental building blocks of matter and the profound nature of the quantum world.

    Definitions:
    Quantum entanglement: A phenomenon in which two or more particles become connected in such a way that their states are correlated and cannot be described independently.
    Proton: A subatomic particle found in the nucleus of an atom, carrying a positive electrical charge.
    Pomerons: Fundamental building blocks of protons, formed by bound states of gluons where color charges are neutralized.
    Deep inelastic scattering: A process involving the collision of a high-energy photon with a proton, leading to the breakup of the proton and the production of numerous hadrons.
    Gluons: Fundamental particles responsible for the strong force, which binds quarks together to form protons and other particles.
    Hadrons: Particles that experience strong interactions, typically formed from quarks and antiquarks.
    Partons: Collective term for quarks and gluons within a proton.

    Suggested related links:
    Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences website
    Research at the Institute of Nuclear Physics
    Physical Review Letters