Is the past (and future) there when nobody looks?

In 1961, the Nobel prize winning theoretical physicist Eugene Wigner proposed what is now known as the 'Wigner's friend' thought experiment as an extension of the notorious Schroedinger's cat experiment. In the latter, a ...

Scientists harness molecules into single quantum state

Researchers have big ideas for the potential of quantum technology, from unhackable networks to earthquake sensors. But all these things depend on a major technological feat: being able to build and control systems of quantum ...

Quantum steering for more precise measurements

Quantum systems consisting of several particles can be used to measure magnetic or electric fields more precisely. A young physicist at the University of Basel has now proposed a new scheme for such measurements that uses ...

Searching for hints of new physics in the subatomic world

Peer deeper into the heart of the atom than any microscope allows and scientists hypothesize that you will find a rich world of particles popping in and out of the vacuum, decaying into other particles, and adding to the ...

Effective Field Theories and the nature of the universe

What is the world made of? This question, which goes back millennia, was revisited by theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg from the University of Texas in Austin, TX, USA in the first of an international seminar series, ...

Robots learn faster with quantum technology

Artificial intelligence is part of our modern life by enabling machines to learn useful processes such as speech recognition and digital personal assistants. A crucial question for practical applications is how fast such ...

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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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