The Paul Ehrenfest Best Paper Award for Quantum Foundations for the year 2015 was awarded jointly to three publications by groups at the TU Delft (The Netherlands), the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Austria) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology NIST (USA) for simultaneously closing the locality and detection loopholes in Bell experiments, thereby corroborating quantum mechanics and ruling out theories that satisfy local causality.
The 2015 winners
The three winning papers are:
B. Hensen, H. Bernien, A. E. Dréau, A. Reiserer, N. Kalb, M. S. Blok, J. Ruitenberg, R. F. L. Vermeulen, R. N. Schouten, C. Abellán, W. Amaya, V. Pruneri, M. W. Mitchell, M. Markham, D. J. Twitchen, D. Elkouss, S. Wehner, T. H. Taminiau and R. Hanson, Loophole-free Bell inequality violation using electron spins separated by 1.3 kilometres, Nature 526, 682–686 (2015).
M. Giustina, M. A. M. Versteegh, S. Wengerowsky, J. Handsteiner, A. Hochrainer, K. Phelan, F. Steinlechner, J. Kofler, J.-Å. Larsson, C. Abellán, W. Amaya, V. Pruneri, M. W. Mitchell, J. Beyer, T. Gerrits, A. E. Lita, L. K. Shalm, S. W. Nam, T. Scheidl, R. Ursin, B. Wittmann and A. Zeilinger, Significant-Loophole-Free Test of Bell’s Theorem with Entangled Photons, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 250401 (2015).
L. K. Shalm, E. Meyer-Scott, B. G. Christensen, P. Bierhorst, M. A. Wayne, M. J. Stevens, T. Gerrits, S. Glancy, D. R. Hamel, M. S. Allman, K. J. Coakley, S. D. Dyer, C. Hodge, A. E. Lita, V. B. Verma, C. Lambrocco, E. Tortorici, A. L. Migdall, Y. Zhang, D. R. Kumor, W. H. Farr, F. Marsili, M. D. Shaw, J. A. Stern, C. Abellán, W. Amaya, V. Pruneri, T. Jennewein, M. W. Mitchell, P. G. Kwiat, J. C. Bienfang, R. P. Mirin, E. Knill and S. W. Nam, Strong Loophole-Free Test of Local Realism, Phys. Rev. Lett. 115, 250402 (2015).
The award is intended for a single outstanding publication during the respective award year. However, regulations stipulate that “in exceptional cases, more than one publication may be chosen by the selection committee to receive the award.” And for this first award year, the committee has come to the decision that just such an exceptional case applies.
The selection procedure
The members of the selection committee of the Paul Ehrenfest Best Paper Award for Quantum Foundations 2015 were:
- Nicolas Gisin, University of Geneva, Switzerland
- Rob Spekkens, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Canada
- Aephraim Steinberg, University of Toronto, Canada
- Caslav Brukner, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria
- Alain Aspect, Institut d'Optique, France
The selection of the award-winning publications was achieved by a vote of those committee members who had no conflict of interest.
The award ceremony
The public award ceremony took place in Vienna in late 2016. A representative author from each publication presented a public award lecture at this occasion.