When helium behaves like a black hole

  |   Tech News

A team of scientists has discovered that a law controlling the bizarre behavior of black holes out in space -- is also true for cold helium atoms that can be studied in laboratories.

"It's called an entanglement area law," says Adrian Del Maestro, a physicist at the University of Vermont who co-led the research. That this law appears at both the vast scale of outer space and at the tiny scale of atoms, "is weird," Del Maestro says, "and it points to a deeper understanding of reality."

The new study was published March 13 in the journal Nature Physics -- and it may be a step toward a long-sought quantum theory of gravity and new advances in quantum computing.

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