Wave function directly measured | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Wave function directly measured

Canadian team achieves quantum feat that makes the intangible a little more tangible

By
4:51pm, June 8, 2011

The fuzzy quantum shape that describes the speed or location of a single particle, its wave function, has now been directly measured in the laboratory, giving this mathematical concept a small dose of reality.

Like a bubble on the breeze, the wave function usually disappears when poked or prodded for information. But scientists in Canada have worked out a gentler way to touch it, they report June 9 in Nature.  

“Measuring the wave function itself is not really thought to be a possible thing,” says Stanford physicist Onur Hosten. “It’s not really thought to be something physical.”

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News