It's a love story that defies even Albert Einstein. A pair of particles were sent away in opposite directions, yet their spooky connection remained unbroken.

The man who helped us understand relativity famously refused to believe that quantum entanglement is a real thing. It violated his general theory of relativity, and up until this point, no one could prove him wrong.

That changed when researchers at the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) proved that particle can in fact remain connected when separated by great distances and can relay instantaneous changes to one another. That's the idea behind quantum entanglement, a theory Einstein dubbed "spooky actions at a distance," ones he said didn't exist.

Einstein believed that particles were incapable of moving faster than the speed of light, per the bounds of the theory of relativity. For one particle to instantaneously manipulate the state of another over any distance, it would require them to violate the speed limit set by light.

"You can't prove quantum mechanics, but local realism, or hidden local action, is incompatible with our experiment," NIST's Krister Shalm says. "Our results agree with what quantum mechanics predicts about the spooky actions shared by entangled particles."

Seeking to eliminate any variable that could be responsible for the spooky part of actions at a distance, John Stewart Bell created a series of namesake tests. These tests still had three major loopholes, which the NIST researchers were able to close.

With the known loopholes ruled out, the researcher sent two photos, light particles, in separate directions and their "spooky" relationship was still there. The NIST researchers determined that the chance of error, due to yet unknown variables, was about one in 170 million.

The teams' findings were verified by a team of peers at the University of Vienna in Austria. However, the researchers concluded that the quantum communication didn't violate the speed of light. Still, the implications could be huge someday for quantum computers which seek to compute all possible outcomes in an instance.

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