(KRON) – A prestigious award was given for a scientific explanation for “spooky behavior.” We’re getting closer to Halloween, but we’re talking about the Nobel Prize honoring a local scientist for his groundbreaking work on the theory of atom and light, known as quantum mechanics.

Johnson Clauser and two others won the prize for experiments on entanglement — that’s when two particles behave as one, which Albert Einstein is said to have described as “spooky action at a distance.”

Clauser ran a medical research firm in Walnut Creek. He says this award was a long time coming, for an experiment he wrote about 50 years ago as a grad student.

He came up with a variation of a previous experiment so that it could be performed in a lab. He discovered how unseen particles, such as photons or tiny bits of matter, can be linked or “entangled,” with one another from a great distance.

“Well, a final vindication here,” Clauser said. “When I originally proposed doing the experiment and I actually was doing it, everybody told me I was nuts, that I would ruin my career. Everybody knew what the result would be, wasting time and money and wasting my career. But I was having fun doing some really challenging.”

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The scientific community credits Clauser for opening the eyes of the physics community to new depth and providing new tools to be able to start understanding communication between entangled particles. So, although when he began they called him crazy, Clauser will go down in history as a pioneer grounded in the real world we live in, having successfully transcended science fiction.

The other two winners are scientists in France and Austria.