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Tag Archives: Quantum Physics

Two physics books try to make sense of quantum weirdness

quantum wave function

Quantum physics has earned a reputation as a realm of science beyond human comprehension. It describes a microworld of perplexing, paradoxical phenomena. Its equations imply a multiplicity of possible realities; an observation seems to select one of those possibilities for accessibility to human perception. The rest either disappear, remain hidden …

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Quantum Communication Can Travel Faster—It’s Not Just a Myth

Quantum computers are still a dream, but the era of quantum communication is here. A new experiment out of Paris has demonstrated, for the first time, that quantum communication is superior to classical ways of transmitting information. “We are the first to show a quantum advantage for transmitted information that …

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A New Quantum Paradox Flags Errors in Our View of Reality

That quantum mechanics is a successful theory is not in dispute. It makes astonishingly accurate predictions about the nature of the world at microscopic scales. What has been in dispute for nearly a century is just what it’s telling us about what exists, what is real. There are myriad interpretations …

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Douglas Stanford probes the chaos inside black holes

Douglas Stanford, 31Theoretical physicsInstitute for Advanced Study and Stanford University Douglas Stanford’s fascination with black holes had its origins in an unlikely place: a sailboat. Starting at age 10, Stanford spent five years sailing around the world with his parents and two sisters. Sailboats are “like a physics laboratory,” Stanford …

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New Microscope Shows the Quantum World in Crazy Detail

The transmission electron microscope was designed to break records. Using its beam of electrons, scientists have glimpsed many types of viruses for the first time. They’ve used it to study parts of biological cells like ribosomes and mitochondria. You can see individual atoms with it. But experts have recently unlocked …

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Rubidium atoms mimic the Eiffel Tower and other 3-D shapes

rubidium atoms in 3-D structures

A new experiment gives rubidium atoms a certain je ne sais quoi. Scientists arranged individual atoms of the element rubidium into a variety of 3-D shapes, including the Eiffel Tower. The team used a laser to trap atoms in the arrangements, performing a hologram-style technique to encode the complex positions. …

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Quantum computer simulates two types of bizarre materials

D-Wave quantum computer

Scientists have used a quantum computer to conduct large-scale simulations of two types of quantum materials. These studies involved about 2,000 quantum bits, or qubits — many more than the tens of qubits available in most quantum computers. The results, published in two recent studies in Science and Nature, provide …

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A new quantum device defies the concepts of ‘before’ and ‘after’

One thing leads to another. It sounds obvious, but in the quantum realm, the saying doesn’t always ring true. A new quantum device can jumble up a sequence of two events so that they take place in both orders simultaneously, researchers report in a paper in press in Physical Review …

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Quantum Computing Will Create Jobs. But Which Ones?

Chris Monroe’s vision for quantum computers is simple: He wants people to use them. Monroe, a physicist and co-founder of the quantum computing startup IonQ, wants the machines to be as sleek as the iPhone. He wants people to code on them without needing to understand complicated quantum physics. Basically, …

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Loopholes and the ‘Anti-Realism’ of the Quantum World

The theoretical physicist John Wheeler once used the phrase “great smoky dragon” to describe a particle of light going from a source to a photon counter. “The mouth of the dragon is sharp, where it bites the counter. The tail of the dragon is sharp, where the photon starts,” Wheeler …

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