Einstein, credit Brad Montgomery, Flickr

Crowdsourced gamers power quantum test with human randomness

Embargoed until: Publicly released:

Computer gamers have helped show that Einstein was wrong by closing a loophole in a test of quantum physics, known as a Bell test. More than 100,000 people across the world, including Australia, helped generate random numbers by playing an online game called the "BIG Bell Quest". In the game, players were asked to create unpredictable strings of zeros and ones to level up to higher difficulties. The random numbers were used to show that quantum particles a long way away from each other can still have an instant effect on each other - a phenomenon Einstein didn't think possible and called "spooky action at a distance".

Journal/conference: Nature

Organisation/s: Griffith University, The University of Queensland, ARC Centre of Excellence for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T), ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQuS)

Funder: Australian contribution funded by the Australian Research Council Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology; Australian Research Council and the University of Queensland (UQ) Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems. A.G.W. acknowledges the University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor’s Research and Teaching Fellowship (Australia). Full list of dunders on the paper.

Media Release

From: The University of Queensland

More than half a million levels of a video game have provided random data for a global study testing the laws of quantum physics.

University of Queensland’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) was one of 12 laboratories from five continents to participate in the Big Bell Test, coordinated by the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona.

EQUS Director Professor Andrew White said 100,000 participants generated more than 90 million human-generated random numbers, tripling expectations.

“People are unpredictable, and when using smartphones even more so,” Professor White said

“We asked folk to contributed unpredictable numbers, using smartphones and so on.

“These random bits then determined how various entangled atoms, photons, and superconductors were measured in the experiments, closing a stubborn loophole in tests of Einstein’s principle of local realism.”

Lead author Martin Ringbauer said local realism – the idea that quantum behaviour can be explained by cause and effect – is a tenet of classical physics, but there is growing evidence the quantum world does not obey these rules.

“Each of the labs carried out a different experiment, to test local realism in different physical systems, and test other concepts related to realism.”

The EQUS team, led by Dr Martin Ringbauer and Professor White, studied human-generated random numbers to test quantum entanglement in time.

“We showed that a key property of entanglement in space, so-called monogamy of entanglement, does not hold in the temporal domain,” Dr Ringbauer said.

“There are still many open questions, and this experiment is a first step towards exploring quantum correlations in time: one suggested application is in quantum blockchain.”

The results are reported in Nature.

Watch Dr Martin Ringbauer explaining some of the research in the EQUS video: Meet Alice, Bob and Charlie.

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    Please link to the article in online versions of your report (the URL will go live after the embargo ends)
  • ICFO
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    The game website

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Multimedia:

  • The BIG Bell Test Promotional

    Promotional video for the BIG Bell Test game, which participants used to create unpredictable strings of zeros and ones to test the laws of quantum physics.

    File Size: 4.9 MB

    Attribution: The Institute of Photonics Sciences

    Permission Category: © - Only use with this story

    Last Modified: 10 May 2018 3:01am

    Note: High resolution video files are only available for download here by registered journalists who are logged in.

  • EQUS - Alice, Bob and Charlie

    Martin Ringbauer explaining the devices used to conduct measurements for the study. These devices are named Alice, Bob, and Charlie.

    File Size: 1.1 MB

    Attribution: EQuS – ARC Center of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems

    Permission Category: © - Only use with this story

    Last Modified: 10 May 2018 3:01am

    Note: High resolution video files are only available for download here by registered journalists who are logged in.

  • EQUS - The Fridge

    Martin Ringbauer describes 'the fridge', a device used to keep the experiment cold enough to make highly precise and accurate measurements.

    File Size: 1.2 MB

    Attribution: EQuS – ARC Center of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems

    Permission Category: © - Only use with this story

    Last Modified: 10 May 2018 3:01am

    Note: High resolution video files are only available for download here by registered journalists who are logged in.

  • The experimental apparatus at Griffith University
    The experimental apparatus at Griffith University

    Quantum steering of photonic quantum states using random measurement settings, generated by players of an online video game.

    File size: 7.3 MB

    Attribution: Dr Raj B. Patel

    Permission category: © - Only use with this story

    Last modified: 10 May 2018 3:01am

    NOTE: High resolution files can only be downloaded here by registered journalists who are logged in.

  • The experimental apparatus at Griffith University
    The experimental apparatus at Griffith University

    Quantum steering of photonic quantum states using random measurement settings, generated by players of an online video game.

    File size: 6.1 MB

    Attribution: Dr Raj B. Patel

    Permission category: © - Only use with this story

    Last modified: 10 May 2018 3:01am

    NOTE: High resolution files can only be downloaded here by registered journalists who are logged in.

  • The experimental apparatus at Griffith University
    The experimental apparatus at Griffith University

    Quantum steering of photonic quantum states using random measurement settings, generated by players of an online video game.

    File size: 7.1 MB

    Attribution: Dr Raj B. Patel

    Permission category: © - Only use with this story

    Last modified: 10 May 2018 3:01am

    NOTE: High resolution files can only be downloaded here by registered journalists who are logged in.

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