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    The tardigrade – Neil Wormstrong – did it survive quantum entanglement? The discussion continues

    Tardigrades, tiny invertebrates, are super-strong animals, able to survive in a vacuum and temperatures near absolute zero. Now a group of scientists – including a UG researcher – have announced that in their experiment, a tardigrade (affectionately named Neil Wormstrong) survived quantum entanglement. It may have survived a lot, but it wasn’t necessarily entanglement, other experts believe.

    A team of scientists from, among others, Singapore with the participation of a Pole, Tomasz Paterek, PhD, a professor from the University of Gdansk, boasted that for the first time in history they managed to create quantum entanglement with the participation of an organism that later came back to life – a tardigrade.


    “One of the students called this tardigrade Neil Wormstrong,” Professor Paterek in an interview with Science in Poland laughs.


    As of yet, the findings have not been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. They have only been made available as a preprint on the arxiv portal. And immediately the world flared up a discussion whether it managed to throw a whole animal into the strange world of quantum phenomena for a moment.


    “I would not rush to talk about tardigrade for the time being,” physicist Prof. Jacek Szczytko from the University of Warsaw cooled emotions when asked by the Science in Poland portal by quantum. And that’s just one of the criticisms of the publication.


    What is not in dispute is that the tardigrade in the new experiment has set a new record for endurance.


    And that it is durable has long been known. Let camels, penguins, deep-sea fish and even climber Alex Honnold hide by it. Tardigrade – tiny aquatic invertebrates (a line of 100 tardigrades lined up one after another would take up a section measuring between 1 mm and 10 cm) can survive in near-vacuum conditions. At temperatures near absolute zero. At 160 degrees Celsius, in the high pressure of deep water and for 30 years without food.


    “One of the tardigrades managed to do it – we have a recording of it swimming in the water when it woke up after the experiment,” Professor Paterek concludes.


    They occur naturally in the known Universe, which was needed to see if these animals would be able to survive quantum entanglement.


    “In this experiment on tardigrade, we wanted to study how matter in some sense alive interacts with quantum matter,” Prof. Paterek says.


    Quantum phenomena – so in their nature different from those observed in the macroscopic world – are easiest to observe in temperatures close to absolute zero and vacuum. Because in such conditions it is so calm that so-called ‘quantum madnesses’ are easier to notice. And the warmer it is, the greater the risk that some photons of thermal radiation will bombard the experiment and introduce chaos masking the quantum.


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