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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...
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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...
Douglas Stanford, 31Theoretical physicsInstitute for Advanced Study and Stanford University09/26/2018 - 08:26 Quantum Physics
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...
News in Brief
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...
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...
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...