(EurekaAlert) Scientists have long suspected that a quantum phenomenon might play a role in photosynthesis and other chemical reactions of nature.
Purdue University researchers have demonstrated a new way to measure the phenomenon of entanglement in chemical reactions – the ability of quantum particles to maintain a special correlation with each other over a large distance. “No one has experimentally shown entanglement in chemical reactions yet because we haven’t had a way to measure it. For the first time, we have a practical way to measure it,” said Sabre Kais, a professor of chemistry at Purdue. “The question now is, can we use entanglement to our advantage to predict and control the outcome of chemical reactions.”
“We don’t yet know what outputs we can control by taking advantage of entanglement in a chemical reaction – just that these outputs will be different,” Kais said. “Making entanglement measurable in these systems is an important first step.”