Physicists have long been able to "ghost image" -- that is, to use a split laser beam to detect the presence of an object without actually seeing or interacting with it -- but the process is complicated and can take a while. Now physicists at the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics say they've devised a simpler means to detect the presence of a known object using a single photon.
How many cats have to be both dead and alive before researchers are content that they've entangled enough particles? The current count is now five, but research published today in the Science suggests that it could be many more than that. Perhaps that's bad news for Schrodinger's cat, but it's great news for quantum pursuits like precision imaging and ultra-fast computing.
Scientists have long speculated that birds navigate the globe using magnetism; however, a new study suggests that quantum entanglement indeed enables birds to "see" the Earth's magnetic field as if it were a pattern of colors.
Theoretically speaking, we could exponentially increase computing power and capacity as well as build faster, more efficient electronic devices if we could but harness and manipulate the way in which electrons in individual atoms spin. But until recently, no one had been able to empirically observe this quantum characteristic in action. Now, researchers in Germany have seen atomic spin for the very first time, and captured a few tiny images to prove it.
In the world of IT, it really doesn't matter how much data you can transmit if you can't send it safely and securely. Now, Toshiba researchers in the UK have created the first high-speed network connection that is theoretically impossible to hack, tapping the quantum properties of photons encrypt data that was beamed through more than 30 miles of optical cable.
When we think of quantum mechanics, we often think of the very small and the very theoretical. Take Schrodinger's Cat for instance; it's an interesting thought exercise but not an experiment one would want to actually execute in his or her apartment. But a researcher at UC Santa Barbara has brought quantum systems down from the chalkboard and into plain sight, creating the first mechanical device large enough to be observed with the naked eye that behaves as a true quantum system, bridging the divide between the macro world of mechanical systems and the micro domain of quantum physics.
How fast is too fast? According to the laws of physics, the speed of light is a good boundary, as going beyond it opens you up to all sorts of paradoxes and space-time phenomena that are usually the stuff of sci-fi. But a couple of researchers in Austria have come up with a way to compute information faster than the speed of light.
Over five years ago, scientists succeeded in teleporting information. Unfortunately, the advance failed to bring us any closer to the Star Trek future we all dream of. Now, researchers in Japan have used the same principles to prove that energy can be teleported in the same fashion as information. Rather than just hastening the dawn of quantum computing, this development could lead to practical, significant changes in energy distribution.
Light harvesting complexes within algae can take advantage of quantum mechanics
University of Toronto/Elisabetta Collini et al
Scientists still struggle to understand and harness the spooky physics of quantum mechanics, but nature may have a head start on us humans. Tiny marine algae apparently use the mysterious phenomenon called superposition -- where a particle can be in two places at the same time -- to move around solar energy they harvest through the process of photosynthesis.