Scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory have discovered a completely new kind of quantum entanglement – a phenomenon that causes particles to “bind” to each other in a strange way instantly, even at huge cosmic distances.

This discovery allowed them to capture an unprecedented look at the bizarre world inside atoms. This study solves a long-standing mystery about the nuclei of atoms that contain particles called protons and neutrons, and can help shed light on a variety of topics – from quantum computing to astrophysics.

Scientists have recorded interference patterns resulting from the entanglement of two particles with different charges, which opened a completely new window into the “insides” of atoms.

“Interference between distinguishable particles has never been measured in the past,” said Daniel Brandenburg, co-author of the new study.

Brandenburg and his colleagues reached this milestone with the help of a sensitive detector called the Solenoidal Tracker at RHIC, or STAR, which recorded the interaction between gold ions accelerated to a speed close to light.