We promise that physicist Alain Aspecht will grow back his famous mustache for the Nobel Prize in Stockholm on December 10, as he said on October 5th at “Quotitidian” on TMC. The trait that distinguished him from his youth had actually given way to a gray beard in a matter of weeks.
For the rest, at 75, he hasn’t changed. The accent from the Southwest, the eyes twinkle as he explains the behavior of his favorite objects, photons, light grains with many gestures… and an incredible memory of the small details of the experiences that made him famous and won him the prize this year with the American John Glaser and the Austrian Anton Zeilinger. All three settled an almost philosophical debate – at different times – on the interpretation of quantum mechanics that had been stirring bright minds, including Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, for fifty years.
Quantum mechanics, developed in the interwar period to explain the behavior of electrons, atoms or photons (in short, everything around us!), is it intrinsically strange or “ordinary”, does his explanation seem strange because it is incomplete, must be invented like a magician’s trick?
“The beast resists! It’s weird but that’s how it is.”, slice aline aspect, the fifteenth French Nobel in physics, in his office at the Optical Institute (at the Palaiseau, in Essonne), the shelves crumble under the theses of his master’s, colleagues or students. The “beast” was quantum mechanics, in which he observed an astonishing property that proved Einstein right. If you make a pair of two photons with a small precision and move them far apart, their properties will combine even over long distances. Touching one will instantly replace the other with 100% sure result. This is quantum entanglement.
“When we tackled this question, no one in the lab believed it, some laughed.”Philippe Grangier recalls doing a thesis with Alain Aspect in 1981, during the first experiments at the Institute of Optics at the University of Paris-Saclay.
Alain Aspect used his many qualities to fight against adversity. He discovered his own elements as a source of photons, none other than pioneer John Glaser. He was given electronic equipment by the CEA laboratory near the Institute of Optics ” House “He continues to thank her for his support.
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