New York  - Albert Einstein may have been a genius, but even he could get it wrong sometimes. In the 1920s and 1930s, Einstein said he couldn’t back the strange theory that the measurement of a particle actually affects its location. Now a team of scientists from Japan and Australia have proven that this ‘spooky action at a distance’ takes place in a photon.

Professor Howard Wiseman at Griffiths University, who worked with the University of Tokyo, made measurements to show what Einstein did not believe to be real - namely the non-local collapse of a particle’s ‘wave function’. According to quantum mechanics, a single particle can be described by a wave function that spreads over large distances, but is never detected in two or more places.

This phenomenon is explained in quantum theory by what Einstein disparaged in 1927 as ‘spooky action at a distance.’ This is the instantaneous collapse of the wave function to wherever the particle is detected. It happens because physicists believe the universe behaves like a little probability wave.

Particles are in many places at once, each with some probability. This means if an electron was fired through two slits at a screen, it would go through both of them.  But if you set up a pair of cameras to monitor the slit, the wave function collapses. As a result it only goes through on of the slits, rather than both. Einstein didn’t believe the phenomenon existed because it violates the theory of relativity which states that the speed of light is a limit on how fast any information can travel.

Almost 90 years later, by splitting a single photon between two laboratories, scientists have used homodyne detectors - which measure wave-like properties - to show the collapse of the wave function is a real effect. According to Live Science, the paradox was resolved years later, when experiments showed that even though the interaction between two quantum particles happens faster than light, it is impossible use it to send information.