Ultra-Spooky Action at a Distance: From Quantum Materials in the Lab to Black Holes

  • Speaker
  • Subir Sachdev, Ph.D.Herchel Smith Professor of Physics, Harvard University
Date & Time


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The strangest feature of quantum theory was dubbed “spooky action at a distance” by Albert Einstein. Today, scientists have convincing evidence that two quantum particles far apart can entangle with each other such that the observation of one can instantaneously determine the state of the other.

In this lecture, Subir Sachdev will describe how this quantum feature is playing a central role in many modern developments in physics. Quantum entanglement can occur on a macroscopic scale with trillions of electrons, leading to new forms of ‘ultra-quantum matter’ with properties of technological importance. In high-temperature superconductors, such as YBa2Cu3O7, there appears to be a ‘quantum critical point’ whose entanglement structure is being explored by experiment and theory. Related entanglement structures arise across black hole horizons, and recent advances have shed new light on Stephen Hawking’s information paradox. Sachdev will use simple models of entanglement to describe these mutually beneficial developments across different fields of physics.

About the Speaker

Sachdev studied at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He is now the Herchel Smith Professor of Physics and department chair of physics at Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academies of Science of both the United States and India and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sachdev has received several honors, including the Lars Onsager Prize and the Dirac Medal.

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