Here’s How Researchers Solve A Quantum Physics Puzzle


A team of researchers re-examined a 60 years old idea by an American physicist and offered new insights into the quantum universe. How did they succeed?

The recent study, which took seven years to complete, could lead to enhanced spectroscopic techniques, interferometric high-precision measurements, laser techniques, and atomic beam applications. Here is what you need to know.

How to Crack a Quantum Physics Puzzle?

Quantum physics is known as the study of everything around us at an atomic level, electrons, particles, and of course, atoms. Because of the way electrons and atoms act, scientists determine their behavior like waves.

Unlike the particles that move in straight lines, the waves can travel around and meet obstacles. And if there are enough obstacles, the waves can’t get through because they collide and cancel themselves out. 

At low temperatures, matter, which is known to be made up of particles and atoms, can be made to act much like light – given that light behaves the same way all waves do, whether it be ocean waves or light waves. And when it meets the matter, light can start to act like it’s comprised of particles that don’t travel around objects but instead move in a straight line. 

So, in the Quantum Information Lab at the University, the team took that one step further and included an extra ultra-cold atom experiment. And with the help of high-tech lasers, they controlled the ultra-cold atoms until they became so cold, their wave behavior was visible!

“From this research emerges a deeper understanding of the quantum world, which in turn determines what happens in the world around us,” explained Dr. Hoogerland, part of the research team. 

Finally, the team was able to match their results with theoretical predictions, obtaining new insights, which could one day be used to develop and test “designer materials” with customized features. 

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