Spatial entanglement patterns and Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen steering in Bose-Einstein condensates

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Science  27 Apr 2018:
Vol. 360, Issue 6387, pp. 409-413
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao1850

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Splitting the entanglement

When particles in a quantum mechanical system are entangled, a measurement performed on one part of the system can affect the results of the same type of measurement performed on another part—even if these subsystems are physically separated. Kunkel et al., Fadel et al., and Lange et al. achieved this so-called distributed entanglement in a particularly challenging setting: an ensemble of many cold atoms (see the Perspective by Cavalcanti). In all three studies, the entanglement was first created within an atomic cloud, which was then allowed to expand. Local measurements on the different, spatially separated parts of the cloud confirmed that the entanglement survived the expansion.

Science, this issue p. 413, p. 409, p. 416; see also p. 376


Many-particle entanglement is a fundamental concept of quantum physics that still presents conceptual challenges. Although nonclassical states of atomic ensembles were used to enhance measurement precision in quantum metrology, the notion of entanglement in these systems was debated because the correlations among the indistinguishable atoms were witnessed by collective measurements only. Here, we use high-resolution imaging to directly measure the spin correlations between spatially separated parts of a spin-squeezed Bose-Einstein condensate. We observe entanglement that is strong enough for Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen steering: We can predict measurement outcomes for noncommuting observables in one spatial region on the basis of corresponding measurements in another region with an inferred uncertainty product below the Heisenberg uncertainty bound. This method could be exploited for entanglement-enhanced imaging of electromagnetic field distributions and quantum information tasks.

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