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Walnut Creek’s John Clauser Shares 2022 Nobel Prize

John F. Clauser

Walnut Creek researcher John F. Clauser, along with colleagues Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger, has been awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work in demonstrating the violation of Bell inequalities, research that has proved foundational for quantum information science, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Tuesday.

Clauser, of J. F. Clauser & Associates in Walnut Creek, formulated and performed the first practical experiment to test whether quantum mechanics is complete or if there are local hidden variables — the question at the core of Bell’s inequality. In 1972 he and Stuart Freedman built a setup that sent two entangled photons in opposite directions toward fixed polarization filters. Depending on the angles of the filters and the polarization of the photons, the photons either were blocked or passed through and pinged a detector. The measured coincidence rate for two given polarizer angles agreed with the predictions of quantum mechanics but not with any classical formulation: It violated Bell’s inequality.

Aspect (Université Paris–Saclay and École Polytechnique, France) created improved versions of Clauser’s experiment and Zeilinger (University of Vienna, Austria) was the first to demonstrate quantum teleportation — a phenomenon in which quantum information is transferred from one particle in an entangled pair to a third particle.

That 1997 work was followed up the next year with the successful entanglement of two particles that never directly interact through a trick known as entanglement swapping. Two pairs of photons have one partner from each pair entangled, and thus the other partners are also entangled despite never being in contact.

The awardees will share the 10 million Swedish krona (roughly $900 000) prize.


  1. I was a science nerd in high school and appreciate people with brains but if have NO IDEA what these men did. Have to find the old science textbooks.

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