Josh Hafner USA TODAY Published 12:49 p.m. UTC Sep 6, 2018 Quantum physics has an answer for the age-old conundrum: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Possibly both. The philosophical dilemma first posed in Ancient Greece has had biologists thinking egg. But physicists from Australia and France are looking at the riddle a different way, using it to explain their findings on how events unfold on the smallest of scales. “The weirdness of quantum mechanics means that events can happen without a set order,” Jacqui Romero, a University of Queensland researcher, said in a statement. Take a daily commute, she said, in which a person hops on a train before riding a bus to the office. The train ride must occur first, then the bus. That's the set order. Not so in quantum physics, Romero said. “In our experiment, both of these events can happen first," she said. "This is called 'indefinite causal order' and it isn’t something that we can … [Read more...] about Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Both, quantum physics says
Explaining quantum physics
Sections SEARCH Skip to content Skip to site index Book Review Subscribe Log In Subscribe Log In Advertisement Supported by Nonfiction ByJames Gleick May 8, 2018 WHAT IS REAL? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics Are atoms real? Of course they are. Everybody believes in atoms, even people who don’t believe in evolution or climate change. If we didn’t have atoms, how could we have atomic bombs? But you can’t see an atom directly. And even though atoms were first conceived and named by ancient Greeks, it was not until the last century that they achieved the status of actual physical entities — real as apples, real as the moon. The first proof of atoms came from 26-year-old Albert Einstein in 1905, the same year he proposed his theory of special relativity. Before that, the atom served as an increasingly useful hypothetical construct. At the same time, Einstein defined a new entity: a particle of … [Read more...] about What Does Quantum Physics Actually Tell Us About the World?
Tech & Science Planets Black Holes galaxies Quantum mechanics is concerned with the behavior of the tiniest of particles, and usually the mathematics behind it is relegated to this tiny realm. Now, a researcher from the California Institute of Technology has used a fundamental quantum physics equation to understand huge self-gravitating space disks. Konstantin Batygin, an assistant professor at Caltech, has discovered that the changing shapes of spinning disks of matter around massive astronomical objects like black holes can be described by the Schrödinger equation. The evolution of these disks has stumped astrophysicists for many years. Swarming matter An artist's impression of the research, published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. James Tuttle Keane/California Institute of Technology See all of the best photos of the week in these slideshows From the satellites that fly around Earth to the the planets that swarm around the sun, … [Read more...] about Quantum physics just solved one of space’s biggest mysteries
Tech & Science Quantum Physics Lightning Scientists have finally succeeded in producing a strange phenomenon they've been hunting for more than 50 years now. Called a Shankar skyrmion, it's a knot of matter looped together by twisted magnetic fields that, just like a giant tangle of yarn, often only gets tighter when you pull on a string. When the team of scientists created this weird structure in a quantum material, they realized it looked awfully familiar: Now they think its secrets might help explain a dramatically long-lived type of lightning. That's all according to a recent paper published in the journal Science Advances, which outlines the new discovery and its possible implications. An artist's conception of a skyrmion. Heikka Valja See all of the best photos of the week in these slideshows “The biggest moment was when we realized we got the same electromagnetic fields as predicted for ball lightning,” co-author Mikko … [Read more...] about A legendary quantum material called skyrmion has shed light on mysterious of ball lightning
Photons, the constituent particles of light, normally have no mass and don’t interact with each other, passing each other by when put in each other’s paths. But an experiment by a team of scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University has shown that photons can bind together in twos or threes, proof of interaction between them. Led by Vladan Vuletic from MIT and Mikhail Lukin from Harvard, the researchers conducted experiments with lasers and ultracold rubidium atoms. A weak laser beam was shone through a dense cloud of the ultracold atoms, and what emerged from the other side were photons bound in pairs or triplets — a completely new form of photonic matter. This interaction between photos was attraction, and the bound photons were also found to have acquired some mass (just a fraction of an electron’s mass). This new-found mass literally weighed down the photons, slowing them down from their usual speeds of 300,000 … [Read more...] about New Light Form Proves 3 Photons Can Interact, Could Help Quantum Computing