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5 October 2017 A significant-loophole-free test of Bell's theorem with entangled photons
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John Bell’s theorem of 1964 states that local elements of physical reality, existing independent of measurement, are inconsistent with the predictions of quantum mechanics (Bell, J. S. (1964), Physics (College. Park. Md). Specifically, correlations between measurement results from distant entangled systems would be smaller than predicted by quantum physics. This is expressed in Bell’s inequalities. Employing modifications of Bell’s inequalities, many experiments have been performed that convincingly support the quantum predictions. Yet, all experiments rely on assumptions, which provide loopholes for a local realist explanation of the measurement. Here we report an experiment with polarization-entangled photons that simultaneously closes the most significant of these loopholes. We use a highly efficient source of entangled photons, distributed these over a distance of 58.5 meters, and implemented rapid random setting generation and high-efficiency detection to observe a violation of a Bell inequality with high statistical significance. The merely statistical probability of our results to occur under local realism is less than 3.74×10-31, corresponding to an 11.5 standard deviation effect.
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