Wolf Prize Laureate in Physics 2010
The Prize Committee for Physics has unanimously decided that the 2010 Wolf Prize be jointly awarded to: Alain Aspect, Anton Zeilinger and John F. Clauser
“For their fundamental conceptual and experimental contributions to the foundations of quantum physics, specifically an increasingly sophisticated series of tests of Bell’s inequalities or extensions there of using entangled quantum states.”
The puzzling properties of entangled quantum states, first noted by Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen, who suspected that quantum mechanics is not a complete theory, were dramatically delineated by the remarkable work of John Bell. Bell showed that certain statistical correlations between properties of two physically separated particles, which were produced in an entangled quantum state, cannot be explained by any theory of local deterministic processes even if other unobserved properties (‘hidden variables’) are allowed for.
The series of experiments on quantum correlated photons recognized by this award were initiated by the work of John Clauser (born 1942, USA) and collaborators, who showed how to apply Bell’s inequalities to a specific experimental situation, in which two entangled photons were produced and correlations between their properties measured in two separated detectors. This ground breaking experiment demonstrated an agreement with the quantum prediction and excluded any local deterministic theory.