The “spooky action at a distance” that once alarmed Einstein may soon become as commonplace as the gyroscopes used in today’s smartphones to monitor acceleration. A new study shows that quantum entanglement dramatically increases the accuracy of sensors that can navigate without GPS. Optomechanical sensors track the disturbance forces that cause a sensing object to move. Light waves are then used to gauge that motion. Membranes served as the experiment’s sensors, behaving like drum heads that vibrate in response to a push. Optomechanical sensors can act as accelerometers, which can be utilized for inertial navigation on a planet without GPS satellites or while moving between building floors.
Thanks to quantum entanglement, optomechanical sensors may be more accurate than inertial ones. Additionally, it might make it possible for optomechanical sensors to search for incredibly subtle forces, such as the presence of dark matter. Dark matter is an invisible matter that is thought to make up five times more of the universe’s mass than we can see with our eyes. It would exert gravity pull on the sensor.
The team studied quantum entanglement to provide great accuracy in miniature optomechanical sensors. They divided each beam twice so that the light rebounded off two sensors and two mirrors instead of only splitting it once so that it hit a sensor and a mirror.
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