DR. ANDREW S. FRIEDMAN
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave
Bldg. E51-185B, Cambridge MA, 02139, USA. (617) 253-4041
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Testing Quantum Mechanics With Astronomical Observations
   My colleagues and I are currently developing an experiment that would test quantum mechanics and entanglement with the help of astronomical observations. Specifically, we are aiming to close one of the last remaining loopholes in tests of Bell's inequality that could allow a so-called local hidden variable theory to mimic the predictions of quantum mechanics. To do so, we would combine a standard Earth-based experiment (a so-called Bell test) with entangled photons, but use real-time astronomical observations of distant galaxies like quasars or patches of the cosmic microwave background, to essentially let the universe decide how to set up our experiment instead of using standard quantum random number generators, as in state of the art experiments, such as this one. For popular level discussions of our project, see here and here. Or see these technical level papers on our proposed Cosmic Bell experiment and the required theoretical cosmology background needed to chose pairs of cosmic sources whose past light cones have not intersected in the past 13.8 billion years, since the end of any early-universe inflation.
Papers
Physical Review Letters, Vol. 112, Issue 11, id. 110405, March 18 2014 (arXiv:1310.3288) (DOI)
Physical Review D, Vol. 88, Issue 4, id. 044038, August 21 2013 (arXiv:1305.3943) (DOI)


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Research Grants
 
Co-PI, with PI David I. Kaiser, Co-PI Alan H. Guth, Jason Gallicchio, and Brian Keating (in collaboration with Anton Zeilinger)

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Popular Articles
by Andrew Friedman, Astronomy Magazine, Vol. 43, Issue 5, May 2015, pg. 44-45
by Andrew Friedman, Astronomy Magazine, Vol. 42, Issue 10, October 2014, pg. 28-33 [PDF] (Also see: “Web Extra: Another Cosmic Thought Experiment”)

Selected Media Coverage

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology Harvard University Astronomy Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory UC Berkeley Astronomy NSF Graduate Research Fellowship NASA Graduate Student Research Program Peters Automated Infrared Imaging Telescope (PAIRITEL) NASA Swift Satellite
Last Updated: Andrew Samuel Friedman, 9/2015

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF Award #1056580 (2012-2014) through an NSF Science, Technology, and Society Postdoctoral Fellowship at MIT and the NSF INSPIRE program via NSF Award #1541160 (2015-1018).

Original animations are shared under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 US License