From quarks to quails: Can the different sciences be unified?

The world around us is populated by a vast variety of things—ranging from genes and animals to atoms, particles and fields. While these can all be described by the natural sciences, it seems some can only be understood ...

Quantum computers offer another look at classic physics concepts

"Think what we can do if we teach a quantum computer to do statistical mechanics," posed Michael McGuigan, a computational scientist with the Computational Science Initiative at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven ...

The most sensitive torque measuring device ever built

A team of physicists at Purdue University has built the most sensitive torque measuring device ever. In their paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the team describes their new device and outline how it might ...

Unexpected twist in a quantum system

Physicists at ETH Zurich have observed a surprising twist in a quantum system caused by the interplay between energy dissipation and coherent quantum dynamics. To explain it, they found a concrete analogy to mechanics.

A neural network as an anchor point

Quantum mechanics is a well-established theory, but at a macroscopic level it leads to intractable contradictions. Now ETH physicists are proposing to resolve the problem with the aid of neural networks.

Rewriting quantum mechanics in their spare time

As students, Jussi Lindgren and Jukka Liukkonen had found one element of their quantum mechanics lectures unsatisfying. "When we were taught physics, there were some fundamental elements you were told were true, and you had ...

A warm space station welcome for cool new hardware

Astronaut Christina Koch recently gave a warm welcome to a very cool arrival to the International Space Station: a new piece of hardware for the Cold Atom Lab, an experimental physics facility that chills atoms to almost ...

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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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