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  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Beyond Weird’ and ‘What Is Real?’ try to make sense of quantum weirdness

    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 or weren’t really there to begin...

    01/06/2019 - 08:00 Quantum Physics, History of Science
  • News in Brief

    Physicists wrangled electrons into a quantum fractal

    Physicists have created an oddity known as a quantum fractal, a structure that could reveal new and strange types of electron behaviors.

    Fractals are patterns that repeat themselves on different length scales:  Zoom in and the structure looks the same as it does from afar. They’re common in the natural world. For instance, a cauliflower stalk looks like a miniature version of the full...

    11/12/2018 - 11:00 Quantum Physics, Condensed Matter
  • Feature

    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 says. Keeping the boat on course...

    09/26/2018 - 08:26 Quantum Physics
  • News in Brief

    Rubidium atoms mimic the Eiffel Tower, a Möbius strip and other 3-D shapes

    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. And moveable, laser-based “tweezers” (SN: 5/12/18, p. 24) shifted atoms that...

    09/05/2018 - 13:00 Quantum Physics
  • News

    Quantum computer simulates two types of bizarre materials

    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 a new realization of the vision of physicist Richard Feynman, who hoped...

    08/28/2018 - 11:00 Quantum Physics, Technology
  • News

    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 Letters.

    “In everyday life, we are used to thinking of events having a definite order,” says physicist...

    08/23/2018 - 07:00 Quantum Physics