Research by EQUS Associate Investigator Matt Woolley and colleagues in Finland has been selected as Physics World's Breakthrough of the Year for 2021.
The team demonstrated quantum entanglement of macroscopic oscillators (vibrating drumheads, each about 10 micrometres across) by making measurements in a quantum-mechanics-free subspace. They placed the vibrating membranes in separate microwave cavities and measured a specifically chosen resonant frequency between the two, directing the quantum backaction to a part of the system that they couldn't see and didn't care about.
This demonstration provides a pathway to the detection and estimation of weak forces and the creation and measurement of nonclassical motional states of oscillators. The work is published in Science (DOI: 10.1126/science.abf5389).
The accolade was shared with another group who independently demonstrated macroscopic quantum entanglement.