Documenting the Coming Singularity

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quantum effects brought into the naked eye world!

New Scientist - 3.17.10 (by Richard Webb)

There and not there (Image: Baoba Images/Getty).

Does Schrödinger's cat really exist? You bet. The first ever quantum superposition in an object visible to the naked eye has been observed.

Aaron O'Connell and colleagues at the University of California, Santa Barbara, did not actually produce a cat that was dead and alive at the same time, as Erwin Schrödinger proposed in a notorious thought experiment 75 years ago. But they did show that a tiny resonating strip of metal – only 60 micrometres long, but big enough to be seen without a microscope – can both oscillate and not oscillate at the same time. Alas, you couldn't actually see the effect happening, because that very act of observation would take it out of superposition.

"We talk about quantum weirdness and things being in two places at once, but it all involves atoms and molecules, stuff we don't normally interact with," says O'Connell, who presented the results at the March meeting of the American Physical Society in Portland, Oregon, today.

Read entire story>>

Follow me on Twitter. Please subscribe to our news feed. Get regular updates via Email. Contact us for advertising inquiries.