Ig Nobel Winners Leap from Magnetized Cockroaches to Entangled Tardigrades

Ig Nobel Prize-winning research comparing magnetized and unmagnetized cockroaches has now led to an experiment involving quantum entanglement and a tardigrade. Details about the tardigrade and entanglement are in this study:

Entanglement Between Superconducting Qubits and a Tardigrade,” K. S. Lee, Y. P. Tan, L. H. Nguyen, R. P. Budoyo, K. H. Park, C. Hufnagel, Y. S. Yap, N. Møbjerg, V. Vedral, T. Paterek, R. Dumke, arxiv.org/abs/2112.07978, 2021. The authors explain:

“Quantum and biological systems are seldom discussed together as they seemingly demand opposing conditions. Life is complex, ‘hot and wet’ whereas quantum objects are small, cold and well controlled. Here, we overcome this barrier with a tardigrade — a microscopic multicellular organism known to tolerate extreme physiochemical conditions via a latent state of life known as cryptobiosis. We observe coupling between the animal in cryptobiosis and a superconducting quantum bit and prepare a highly entangled state between this combined system and another qubit. The tardigrade itself is shown to be entangled with the remaining subsystems. The animal is then observed to return to its active form after 420 hours at sub 10 mK temperatures and pressure of 6×10−6 mbar, setting a new record for the conditions that a complex form of life can survive.”

The Magnetized-Cockroach Experiment

Tardigrade co-authors Rainer Dumke and Tomasz Paterek were honored two years ago for research they and other colleagues performed, seeking insight into magnets and cockroaches.

The 2019 Ig Nobel Biology Prize was awarded to Ling-Jun Kong, Herbert Crepaz, Agnieszka Górecka, Aleksandra Urbanek, Rainer Dumke, and Tomasz Paterek, for discovering that dead magnetized cockroaches behave differently than living magnetized cockroaches.

They documented that research, in the study “In-Vivo Biomagnetic Characterisation of the American Cockroach,” Ling-Jun Kong, Herbert Crepaz, Agnieszka Górecka, Aleksandra Urbanek, Rainer Dumke, Tomasz Paterek, Scientific Reports, vol. 8, no. 1, 2018: 5140.