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ING statement
5 October, 2022

The ING Congratulates the Nobel Prize in Physics 2022

The Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes wishes to congratulate Anton Zeilinger (University of Vienna, Austria), Alain Aspect (Université Paris-Saclay and École Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France), and John F. Clauser (J.F. Clauser & Assoc., Walnut Creek, CA, USA) who have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2022. Anton Zeilinger was awarded his share of the price in part for his experiments on transmission of entangled photons over large distances from the Roque de Los Muchachos and Teide observatories. This pioneering work helped lay the foundations for future secure quantum-encrypted communication.

The first experiments carried out in 2006 were followed by a more sophisticated setup in 2012 allowing Zeilinger's team to establish the teleportation of quantum states at a record distance of 143 km. This time they used, on the emitting side, the facilities of the Jacobus Kapteyn Telescope (JKT) of the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING), and, on the receiving side, the 1-meter Optical Ground Station of the European Space Agency in IAC's Teide Observatory on Tenerife (see Quantum Teleportation Experiment Sets a New Record).

In 2018, the team used the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) and the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) to carry out an unusual experiment aimed at plugging a loophole in the conventional interpretation of quantum mechanics. This involved pointing the two telescopes at distant quasars on opposite sides of the sky, and using the properties of the detected photons to trigger polarisation measurements on a pair of entangled photons generated near the NOT (and fired towards the WHT and TNG). The results confirmed the predictions of quantum mechanics (see Quantum Entanglement Confirmed with Light from Distant Quasars).

Stabilising laser being launched in 2012 from the roof of the JKT building. Initial experiments with entangled photons were performed in 2006, and in 2012 teleportation of quantum states was achieved. Credit: IQOQI Vienna, Austrian Academy of Sciences. Large format: JPG.

About the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING)

The ING is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC-UKRI) of the United Kingdom, the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO) of the Netherlands, and the IAC in Spain.

More information

"The Nobel Prize in Physics 2022", Royal Academy of Sciences press release, 4 October 2022.

"Quantum Teleportation Experiment Sets a New Record", ING web news release, 20 September 2012.

"Quantum Entanglement Confirmed with Light from Distant Quasars", ING web news release, 17 November 2018.

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Last modified: 01 December 2022