The quantum world is about to get bigger

2019-03-02 06:12:00

By The quantum world is about to get bigger thanks to a technique that will allow objects big enough to see with the naked eye to exist in two places at once. Quantum properties are most prominent in single particles. In bigger objects thermal vibrations destroy the quantum effects. So in theory, chilling a large object should allow its quantum properties to shine through. This week, three teams of physicists have perfected a way of doing this (Nature, vol 444, p 67). Their technique is to bombard a mirror of roughly 1014 atoms with photons in a way that damps out thermal vibrations, cooling it to 135 millikelvin. However, the researchers will need sophisticated techniques to see the quantum behaviour. “You can see the mirror with the naked eye but you won’t be able to resolve the quantum effects,” says Markus Aspelmeyer,