Faster Than the Speed of Light: Information Transfer Through “Spooky Action at a Distance” at the Large Hadron Collider

CMS Central Beampipe Installation

The inside of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. Rochester physicists working at the detector have observed spin entanglement between top quarks and top antiquarks persisting at long distances and high speeds. Credit: CERN

Researchers have confirmed that quantum entanglement persists between top quarks, the heaviest known fundamental particles.

Physicists have demonstrated quantum entanglement in top quarks and their antimatter partners, a discovery made at CERN. This finding extends the behavior of entangled particles to distances beyond the reach of light-speed communication and opens new avenues for exploring quantum mechanics at high energies.

An experiment by a group of physicists led by University of Rochester physics professor Regina Demina has produced a significant result related to quantum entanglement—an effect that Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance.”

Entanglement concerns the coordinated behavior of minuscule particles that have interacted but then moved apart. Measuring properties—like position or momentum or spin—of one of the separated pair of particles instantaneously changes the results of the other particle, no matter how far the second particle has drifted from its twin. In effect, the state of one entangled particle, or qubit, is inseparable from the other.

Breakthrough in Particle Physics

Quantum entanglement has been observed between stable particles, such as photons or electrons.

But Demina and her group broke new ground in that they found, for the first time, entanglement to persist between unstable top quarks and their antimatter partners at distances farther than what can be covered by information transferred at the speed of light. Specifically, the researchers observed spin correlation between the particles.

Hence, the particles demonstrated what Einstein described as “spooky action at a distance.”

A ‘New Avenue’ for Quantum Exploration

The finding was reported by the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) Collaboration at the European Center for Nuclear Research, or CERN, where the experiment was conducted.

“Confirming the quantum entanglement between the heaviest fundamental particles, the top quarks, has opened up a new avenue to explore the quantum nature of our world at energies far beyond what is accessible,” the report read.

CERN, located near Geneva, Switzerland, is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory. Production of top quarks requires very high energies accessible at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which enables scientists to send high-energy particles spinning around a 17-mile underground track at close to the speed of light.

Quantum Information Science and Future Applications

The phenomenon of entanglement has become the foundation of a burgeoning field of quantum information science that has broad implications in areas like cryptography and quantum computing.

Top quarks, each as heavy as an atom of gold, can only be produced at colliders, such as LHC, and thus are unlikely to be used to build a quantum computer. But studies like those conducted by Demina and her group can shed light on how long entanglement persists, whether it is passed on to the particles’ “daughters” or decay products, and what, if anything, ultimately breaks the entanglement.

Theorists believe that the universe was in an entangled state after its initial fast expansion stage. The new result observed by Demina and her researchers could help scientists understand what led to the loss of the quantum connection in our world.

Top Quarks in Quantum Long-Distance Relationships

Demina recorded a video for CMS social media channels to explain her group’s result. She used the analogy of an indecisive king of a distant land, whom she called “King Top.”

King Top gets word that his country is being invaded, so he sends messengers to tell all the people of his land to prepare to defend. But then, Demina explains in the video, he changes his mind and sends messengers to order the people to stand down.

“He keeps flip flopping like this, and nobody knows what his decision will be at the next moment,” Demina says.

Nobody, Demina goes on to explain, except the leader of one village in this kingdom who is known as “Anti-Top.”

“They know each other’s state of mind at any moment in time,” Demina says.

Demina’s research group consists of herself, graduate student Alan Herrera, and postdoctoral fellow Otto Hindrichs.

As a graduate student, Demina was on the team that discovered the top quark in 1995. Later, as a faculty member at Rochester, Demina co-led a team of scientists from across the US that built a tracking device that played a key role in the 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson—an elementary particle that helps explain the origin of mass in the universe.

Rochester researchers have a long history at CERN as part of the CMS Collaboration, which brings together physicists from around the globe. Recently, another Rochester team achieved a significant milestone in measuring the electroweak mixing angle, a crucial component of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, which explains how the building blocks of matter interact.

49 Comments on "Faster Than the Speed of Light: Information Transfer Through “Spooky Action at a Distance” at the Large Hadron Collider"

  1. Ralph Johnson | June 24, 2024 at 7:41 am | Reply

    Interesting how they explain the quantum long distance relationship a mirrored analogy to our political relationships.

    • Ralph Johnson | June 24, 2024 at 7:42 am | Reply

      Spooky isn’t it

    • Bao-hua ZHANG | June 24, 2024 at 4:01 pm | Reply

      Faster Than the Speed of Light: Information Transfer Through “Spooky Action at a Distance” at the Large Hadron Collider.
      Please ask the researcher to answer:
      1. Is this title scientific?
      2. Do you understand the physical essence of the relativistic speed of light?
      3. Is the physical essence of the speed of light in relativity not the synchronous effect of two points?
      4. What is the speed faster than the synchronization effect?
      Don’t be fooled by the pseudo scientific theories of so-called academic journals (such as Physical Review Letters, Nature, Science, etc.) anymore. A minimal error or deviation may result in wide divergence. Scientific research guided by correct theories can help humanity avoid detours and failures.
      If researchers are willing to further consider, you can browse and

      • Elizabeth Dobbins | June 25, 2024 at 8:13 pm | Reply

        I thought I understood that is was the SAME particle but in a different time and therefore in a different place

        • Bao-hua ZHANG | June 26, 2024 at 2:34 am | Reply

          very good!
          The SAME particle is a relative concept. If the so-called SAME particle appear in a different time and a different place, it is not absolutely the same. A minimal error or deviation may result in wide divergence.
          The perpetually swirling topological vortices defy traditional physics’ expectations. According to the theory of topological vortex gravitational fields, there is a common connection in the physical world, which is the interaction and balance of topological vortex gravitational fields.
          Good luck to you.

  2. Spooky sub particle is a world byond stable sub particle world we live in and we can only access & interact with this spooky world with the help of our accessible world. It will always be a known fantasy for us. These barriers keep the system of nature a fantasy for us. Some instances of nature are eternity, infinity (of emptiness), energy (mass), etc.

  3. Edit:
    Spooky sub particle is a world byond stable sub particle world we live in and we can only access & interact with this spooky particle world with the help of our accessible or stable particle world. It will always be a known fantasy for us. These barriers keep the system of nature a fantasy for us. Some other instances of fantasies of nature are eternity, infinity (of emptiness), energy (mass), etc.

  4. Sorry, there is no information transfer in entanglement. That’s the spooky part.

    • Right! The “faster than the speed of light information transfer” needs to be renamed. You have to look at both particles to get the “tangled” opposite spin etc. information….which is information transfer at the speed of light. Correlation without causation.

      • Gary Bottroff | June 30, 2024 at 6:45 pm | Reply

        In this fantasy world ? Using the term arriving before leaving, since I am visiting this moment and if I Defrag I could suggest that time is not statuary and that in order to be on time one would have to arive before leaving . Just saying,,

    • Exactly, it’s troublesome that ftl information transfer is almost explicitly claimed in this article. Very scientifically disturbing.

  5. Author needs to edit this article. Measuring doesn’t “change” the other. It just reveals its state. If it “changed” it, that would be sending information faster than light.

    At least understand what you’re writing about…

    • From what I know, observing the particle fundamentally causes the entangled wavefunction to collapse to their respective states. It’s not that they are both a predetermined value and “uncovering” one means we know what the other one is.

  6. En-tango-lment of the qanta qanta qanta

  7. BibhutibhusanPatel | June 24, 2024 at 7:10 pm | Reply

    Thanks to the authors for citation of Relationship.The Universal Principle,works on the scale of atom constituted of nucleus and electron.But,here nucleon is in splited form of quark-gluon;so,the Universal Thermodynamics Quantum Mechanics Oscillation Principle can be applied accordingly.

  8. The is actually no d I stance as in spooky acting at a distance. The parallel universe is actually 1 plank length from us. Our senses are not capable of detecting said universe due to our inability to detect other dimensions.

  9. Shripad Inamdar | June 24, 2024 at 11:10 pm | Reply

    Spooky and interesting. Many application but Surly will help us in travelling faster than speed of light.

  10. The description of entanglement given here is false. This is not my opinion: it’s what Quantum Mechanics and Relativity theories say. Here are the reasons:
    1. The article says “instantaneously changes the results of the other particle”. Two events are supposedly simultaneous. But Relativity tells us that simultaneity is relative, not absolute. The article speaks as though it were absolute.
    2. The article says one particle “changes the results of the other particle”. That is not what Quantum Mechanics tells us. QM implies that the detection of the state of one particle changes the observer and the environment, or at least as much of the environment as contains information about the result. Instead of the particle “collapsing”, the observer “splits” into multiple observers. The distant particle already had multiple superposed states, and now only one of those states corresponds to each version of the observer. No information travels between the particles.
    These concepts which are so often used by tech writers, “collapse of the waveform”, “instantaneous change”, destroy our ability to understand QM. It’s like teaching someone to sail while speaking of the horizon as if it were a real boundary. No, it’s an illusion, apparent only from your point of view; and so are “collapse” and “instantaneous change”.

  11. They keep talking about these things as if they exist…

    • It runs deep. The funniest part is the perspective on information. Perhaps folks are looking for qualifiable and quantifiable data to present itself. As I read air, the closest human experience I may share is the sense of smell. Although it doesn’t sensibly smell. I am quite happy reading these brilliant considerations. At least it’s fun.

  12. Fixed gravity for you. | June 25, 2024 at 8:41 am | Reply

    Spooky hacks love spooking people with spooky action at a distance. You’d think one particle could be run through a spooky maze and the other particle will spookily ape it, but turning in opposite direction. On top of that it will do it without exposing any useful superluminal information on the maze.

    • Fixed gravity for you. | June 25, 2024 at 8:44 am | Reply

      June was supposed to be spooky rainbow action Einstein short pants pride month, not sure what happened there.

    • Fixed gravity for you. | June 25, 2024 at 9:07 am | Reply

      Run one particle of polarized light through a one-way mirror maze, and the other through a half-mirror counterpart maze – it looks like a little sampling/decoherence could be unavoidable at each turn, so do both photons get absorbed simultaneously at the same counterpart positions of the mazes? I don’t think so, and less than the tiniest bit of decoherence often enough is critical.

      • Fixed gravity for you. | June 25, 2024 at 9:17 am | Reply

        Usual trick is to create a signal code-space with adequate rotation distance between allowable “codeword” states, then use codeword re-mapping in repeaters before noise becomes intolerable. The quantum bit maps into a sphere as far as I see it, seems some kinds of light measures will knock it along one dimension on the signal sphere leaving only one dimension affected, not sure how it should go beyond or despite that.

        • Fixed gravity for you. | June 26, 2024 at 9:16 am | Reply

          In other words, “spooky action at a distance” is modern code. It may or may not express a concealed desire to be closer to some more contemporary “spooky action.”

      • Jaime Hernández Gutiérrez | June 26, 2024 at 6:26 pm | Reply

        Recomendaría una traducción más cuidadosa, porque el traductor que están usando inventa palabras que no existen en español y el texto resulta ilegible y generalmente risible.

  13. Very misleading title. There is NO Faster Than the Speed of Light Information Transfer occurring. Ask any physicist. Read Sean Carroll’s “Quanta and Fields.”

  14. “Theorists believe that the universe was in an entangled state after its initial fast expansion stage. ”

    The information about the alleged expansion of the universe is being carried to us at the speed of light. It is read according to the frequency shift of the older light that gets to us at the speed of light.So if entanglement at a distance across 13.8 billion years light is sending information to us faster than the speed of light, what could be happening to that information? Should it be getting “stretched” less than the frequency-stretch that we see in the light coming from a distance, or is the information transfer instantaneous, irrespective of the separation between source and receiver. And if so, what then?

    Don’t baffle me with spooky words at a distance about relativistic models etc, if you reply. And you should know what I have written before I wrote it.

    • Fixed gravity for you. | June 26, 2024 at 9:24 am | Reply

      People do entanglements incorporating ancient quasar light, apparently so spooks can be encouraged to make spooky claims about being entangled with the quasars themselves. Of course posters such as “Lirsson” and “TheHack” enjoy a nice rainbow ice-cream headache silently while they read the fluff.

  15. Reads like it was written by llm, or “ai”
    Not worth reading if your a human

  16. The headline and some of the text present an FTL conclusion that is explicitly denied by the CMS CERN group themselves:

    ‘ This is what Einstein referred to as “spooky action at a distance”: although the information  c a n n o t travel faster than the speed of light, the second particle is guaranteed to be found in a corresponding state instantly when the measurement of the first one is performed. ‘ [emph. added]

    Demina herself, with her misleading analogy of King, villages, and messages, muddied the pedagogical waters sufficiently to confuse the writer of the article.

    • * …confuse the writer of the article and the headline editor. (The roles of writer and editor are commonly filled by separate personnel.)

  17. Robert E Anderson | June 26, 2024 at 11:22 am | Reply

    Not one in a thousand people reading this has a clue as to what they’ve read.

  18. Bill Reynolds | June 26, 2024 at 3:21 pm | Reply

    All this criticism from people who were not involved in the experiment at CERN demonstrates to me that many would still argue that the world is flat
    For all I know they may well have drawn the wrong conclusions but at least she conducted an experiment were is yours
    Do not argue your point by citing others as judge Judy would say hearsay is not admissible as evidence these cranks are just arguing

    • Bill Reynolds | June 26, 2024 at 4:48 pm | Reply

      Mr Robert E Anderson
      I guess I would fall into the category of the 999 people, but I enjoyed it nonetheless and if I continue to read such works maybe I will eventually understand such articles therefore if this is all you can contribute to the discussion then you world is indeed flat

  19. Physicist here — this title is wrong. Information is a very important word in this context. Entangled particles can have correlated properties, but that relationship does not enable information to be transmitted faster than the speed of light. This has never been observed before and would violate causality.

    The novelty of this research is about how extremely massive particles are still seen to exhibit entangled behaviour.

  20. Profesor Odex | June 27, 2024 at 12:07 am | Reply

    It’s not information, that makes a difference between a curiosity and freaking TIME TRAVEL. What a farcical attempt at science reporting. I hope you get replaced with AI so you can do something useful for society.

  21. Lets just find out just how much this article seems to know and understand or don’t know and will never understand shall we?…. In short. Philippians 3 verse 7 is your answer?…. 8 if you wish to seek more validation. Thank you Jesus!

  22. Thank you for your working to me place time why showing my what you are.

  23. Ever wanted to play with it your self. But could not afford it. This is what I use spooky it transfers frequencys I have used it across states. I am sure I will be shown hate in comments all I can say it works for me.

  24. Please stop using this ridiculous headline. There is no information transfer, the only information is that the first observer knows the state of both particles, and the 2nd doesn’t know the state of either until they do their own measurement or are told – AT LESS THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT.

  25. Highschool dropout | July 1, 2024 at 8:39 am | Reply

    This is not true in essence as the entangled particles information does not transverse the distance between them as they share the information as if the same. So the speed of light is still the champ on traveling distances the fastest.

  26. Can we PLEASE stop using the “spooky action at a distance” tagline already?!? It’s been friggin killed to death.

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