Category Archives: Science news

The Big Bell Test


The BIG Bell Test (BBT) is a worldwide project to bring human unpredictability (randomness) to cutting-edge physics experiments. It may be surprising, but there are aspects of physical reality that can only be understood by asking unpredictable questions of nature. The most famous experiment of this kind is the Bell test. In the BBT, laboratories around the world (see map) will prepare entangled quantum particles: electrons, photons, atoms, and superconductors. Through the Internet, an army of participants, the Bellsters, will shower these particles with unpredictable, high-speed “questions” (measurements, in fact). Together, we will perform unique quantum physics experiments, including the first human-driven Bell test.

The experiments will all take place on Wednesday, November 30th and everyone can contribute by going to the project website and playing the games proposed.

Claudia Benedetti, Marco Genoni and Stefano Olivares from the Applied Quantum Mechanics Group will give an introductory seminar aimed at high-school and university students on Tuesday, November 29th at 14:30 in Aula A of the Physics Department.

Here are the slides of the seminar:
Intro di meccanica quantistica (Olivares)
BIG Bell Test (Benedetti, Genoni)

A blog article on the experiment by Matteo Rossi:

Further material is available on the ICFO website:

Call to accelerate Quantum Technologies across Europe

Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Gunther H. Oettinger, and Minister of Economic Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Henk Kamp, today visited QuTech, a world-class institute building devices for Quantum Computers and Quantum Internet in Delft. The Commissioner and the Minister stated that action is needed to ensure Europe remains a world leader in Quantum Technology.

As competition in the field is becoming more intense globally (e.g. US and Asian competitors are actively investing), we must ensure that Europe’s innovators can translate scientific excellence into concrete applications and market results, thus offering Europe’s industry the opportunity to excel in the global sphere.

The community of researchers in Quantum Technologies is preparing a “Quantum Manifesto” describing a common European vision on how to maintain Europe’s world leadership in Quantum Technologies. The Manifesto should be ready for endorsement in May 2016. More details here.

The Applied Quantum Mechanics group @ UniMI fully supports this initiative and encourages all the members of the community and encourages everyone to endorse the Manifesto.


Experimental realization of quantum illumination

Another good news for AQM and “LiCHIS” project (FIRB 2010 – Futuro in Ricerca). A paper describing the first experimental realization of “quantum illumination”, proposed so far by S. Lloyd [Science 321, 1463–1465 (2008)], has been just published in PRL and received a comment on the journal Nature. The result has been achieved by the experimental Quantum Optics group at INRIM (L. Lopaeva, I. Ruo Berchera, I. Degiovanni, G. Brida) led by Marco Genovese and by our group at UniMi.

In brief, quantum illumination exploits quantum correlations (entanglement) in order to enhance the detection of a faint object in a high-intensity thermal background. The realization of the protocol has required not only experimental efforts, but also a thorough theoretical analysis to find the best scenario to implement the protocol taking into account the current technological resources.

The joint efforts by INRIM and UniMi have lead to a slightly different protocol with respect to the original one, but it has been proved for the first time that a quantum protocol can show clear advantages with respect to classical ones, i.e. based on classical correlations. Furthermore, it demonstrates that the common belief that the advantages of quantum technologies are hardly applicable in a real context, due to the fragility to noise and losses, is not general, thus challenging the prevalent paradigm and paving the way toward their practical application.

More details at