The BIG Bell Test: Quantum Physics Entangled with Human Randomness

  • [2016-11-28]
    *For the first time, the unpredictability of human will be the key to quantum physical experiments.

    *The experiments will test Albert Einstein’s idea of ‘local realism’, a phenomenon at the very core of the mysteries of the quantum world.

    *The success of the experiments needs the contribution of at least 30,000 people, we invite everyone all over the world to join the test on November 30th.

    Would you like to be part of a worldwide scientific experiment that will test the laws of quantum physics? November 30th is your chance! Coordinated by ICFO(The Institute of Photonic Sciences), the BIG Bell Test: worldwide quantum experiments powered by human randomness aims to conduct a series of quantum experiments in labs around the world that, for the first time, will be controlled by human decisions made by volunteers. These experiments need massive participants and the more unpredictable you perform, the more helpful you are to the experiment.


    The initiative originated from ICFO’s contributions to the loophole-free Bell tests of 2015, experiments which required an extraordinary attention to the nature of randomness and its role in physics experiments. ICFO contributed to these experiments by using a physical random number generator that produced very fast, very pure random numbers. Those experiments inspired the idea of a large-scale, human-driven experiment using currently available internet technologies.  

    Like Professor Morgan Michael once said, “The most sacred secrets of physics can be revealed only if your question is not given away to the world. Plainly speaking, natural world may prepare a fake answer for us if it get to know our question. Usually scientists won’t be so suspicious, yet some predictions in quantum physics are so weird -- like entangled particles may whisper to each other over quite a distance--that scientists finally come to this. When not observed, those objects may behave completely different, which makes the suspicion appropriate, even necessary in research. In such cases, the choice of human become very valuable. Ask questions that can never be predicted, and find out whatever our world is hiding from us.”

    The BIG Day

    The experiments will run simultaneously on November 30th in twelve different labs around the world. Doctor Carlos from the ICFO, who designed the platform that distributes the bits to those labs, is the starter of this project. He thinks that the most charming thing about the Big Bell Test is that common people and scientists are equally important to the success of the experiment, and this will be a great opportunity for people to get to know quantum physics.

    Prof. PAN JIANWEI and Prof. ZHANG QIANG from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) is in charge of the China section in the Big Bell Test. Their lab uses those random number sequences generated by free minds to run Bell Tests. Doctor LIU YANG, who is also one of the participants, said “In the experiments before, random numbers are generated by physical methods, which may be affected by some unknown factors and cannot serve as real randomness source. The Big Bell Test relies on the free minds of human and apply those random numbers produced by human brain as important parameters in experiments. Currently local vulnerability may still exist as data must be collected from the Internet, but in the future, hopefully scientists could eliminate the local vulnerability and random number vulnerability by running the experiments in space.“

    To ensure the success of the experiments, at least 30,000 participants are required on November 30th. During that day, participants who want to contribute to the initiative will be able to do so through a video game created specifically for the project in which they will have to introduce sequences of 0s and 1s, trying to be as random as possible.The sequences of 0s and 1s will control the experiments by determining the measurement conditions in each lab. Anyone can participate regardless of their age. To contribute on the 30th, participants need a device with internet connection. They need only connect to the video game and try to pass all the levels, thus generating the maximum possible quantity of bits.

    We invite everyone to join the game and contribute to quantum physics. Want to be a part of it? Start practicing now!

    Official website of the Big Bell Test: (Usersin China may also visit the following site:

    About the Big Bell Test team in China

    Chinese team of the Big Bell Test includes Prof. PAN JIANWEI, Prof. ZHANG QIANG, associate research fellow LIU YANG from the Center for excellence and Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Physics, and associate Prof. MA XIONGFENG from Tsinghua University. The experiment will be conducted in CSIC in Shanghai.

    The Center for Excellence and Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Physics (or CSIC in short), based on research labs in the USTC and in cooperation with several other outstanding research institutes in our country, intends to make breakthrough in key problems in frontier science and technology. CSIC has made several significant achievements in the field of quantum control and quantum information. Inspiring progress were made in the past few years in large-scale practical quantum communication network, quantum communication in free space, storage and simulation of ultracold atoms. Major research goal of the CSIC is to realize a physical network that can process massive quantum information and to conduct systematic research in quantum communication, quantum computing and simulation, and precise quantum measurement. The ultimate goal of the CSIC is to realize massive quantum communication network that can be widely applied, to realize coherent manipulation of 50-100 quantum bit and to find a practical method for quantum computing.

    Other eleven labs that will be running experiments on November 30th are:

    ·     ICFO – The Institute of Photonic Sciences (Barcelona),

    ·     USA National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (Boulder),

    ·     Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU) (Munich),

    ·     Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) OEAW (Viena),

    ·     Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée (LPMC ) - Université Nice/CNRS (Nice),

    ·     Quantum Device Lab (QUDEV)- ETH Zurich (Zurich).

    ·     Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology (CQC2T) – Griffith University (Brisbane),

    ·     Arc Center of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) - University of Queensland (Brisbane),

    ·     The Centro de Optica y Fotónica (CEFOP) - Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica de la Universidad de Concepción (Concepción), in collaboration with the Departamento de Ingeniería Eléctrica – la Linköping Universitet (Linköping), the Universidad de Sevilla (Sevilla) and the Dipartimento di Fisica-Sapienza Università di Roma (Roma),

    ·     Dipartimento di Fisica-Sapienza Università di Roma (Roma) in collaboration with the International Institute of Physics del Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (Nadal),

    ·     Center for Excellence and Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Physics (CAS) / USTC – University of Science and Technology of China

    ·     División Óptica Cuántica (CITEDEF) and the Departamento de Física, FCEyN, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires),















This article came from News Center of USTC.