New findings could lead to cheaper solar cells

At the atomic scale materials can show a rich palette of dynamic behaviour, which directly affects the physical properties of these materials. For many years, it has been a dream to describe these dynamics in complex materials ...

Clocks, gravity, and the limits of relativity

The International Space Station will host the most precise clocks ever to leave Earth. Accurate to a second in 300 million years the clocks will push the measurement of time to test the limits of the theory of relativity ...

Researchers shed new light on atomic 'wave function'

Physicists have demonstrated a new way to obtain the essential details that describe an isolated quantum system, such as a gas of atoms, through direct observation. The new method gives information about the likelihood of ...

The most stable microscope in the world

Ph.D. candidate Irene Battisti of the Leiden Institute of Physics has developed the most vibration-free cryogenic scanning tunneling microscope in the world. The new microscope could shed light on unconventional superconductivity.

Remote connections? Detangling entanglement in quantum physics

Quantum computers, quantum cryptography and quantum (insert name here) are often in the news these days. Articles about them inevitably refer to entanglement, a property of quantum physics that makes all these magical devices ...

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Quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics is a set of principles underlying the most fundamental known description of all physical systems at the submicroscopic scale (at the atomic level). Notable among these principles are simultaneous wave-like and particle-like behavior of matter and radiation ("Wave–particle duality"), and the prediction of probabilities in situations where classical physics predicts certainties. Classical physics can be derived as a good approximation to quantum physics, typically in circumstances with large numbers of particles. Thus quantum phenomena are particularly relevant in systems whose dimensions are close to the atomic scale, such as molecules, atoms, electrons, protons and other subatomic particles. Exceptions exist for certain systems which exhibit quantum mechanical effects on macroscopic scale; superfluidity is one well-known example. Quantum theory provides accurate descriptions for many previously unexplained phenomena such as black body radiation and stable electron orbits. It has also given insight into the workings of many different biological systems, including smell receptors and protein structures.

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