the Quantum / Articles from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Quantum World

last update: Oct 25 '16

The BIG Bell Test - Nature at variance with "local realism"
Workgroup Zeilinger Group , Brukner Group , Ursin Group

Alice and BobDecisions made by people offer a qualitatively different degree of unpredictability because they might be seen as reflecting their “free will”.
It is the aim of the “BIG Bell Test” to bring human generated randomness to cutting-edge quantum physics experiments. Within this international project, people from all over the world can actively participate in experimental Bell tests by generating unpredictable (random) bits while playing a video game or typing 0’s and 1’s into an online web mask. These human-generated random bits will further be distributed via Internet to several laboratories, one of which at IQOQI Vienna, where they will be used on-the-fly to steer specific measurements on entangled quantum particles.

In 2015, three independent experiments, performed at TU Delft (the Netherlands), IQOQI Vienna (Austria), and NIST Boulder (USA), proved that nature is at variance with “local realism”. Albert Einstein called this phenomena “spooky action at a distance”. For such experimental Bell tests to be ultimately conclusive, the measurement choises carried out on the entangled particles have to be random . The aforementioned experiments therefore used physical random number generators to turn unpredictable physical events into measurement choices.
Our setup will generate polarization entangled photon pairs in a maximally entangled state using a polarization Sagnac interferometer. The photons will be coupled into single mode optical fibers and guided to separate polarization analyzing modules, each of which features an electro optical modulator (EOM), a polarizing beam splitter and two single photon detectors.

Why quantum physics with people?
Bell test experiments must be performed under strict conditions in order to be convincing. One such condition is using unpredictable and independent input to decide which measurements to perform on quantum objects like atoms and photons. There are many ways to guarantee independence; the BIG Bell Test will use the Bellsters, free human minds independent of each other, to control the measurements on quantum particles through their decisions. Unlike electrons or protons or the Higgs boson, which are perfectly interchangeable particles that behave similarly under the same conditions, every human-being acts genuinely on his/her own, and this is very valuable for the Bell test requirements. The BIG Bell Test aims to show for the first time that human choices can contribute to fundamental science, and at the same time to perform a suite of never-before-attempted experiments.

When, where?
30. November 2016. All over the world. Participate here: or here: