Thursday, April 26, 2007

 

New Experiment Probes Weird Zone Between Quantum and Classical

‘The strange boundary between the macroscopic world and the weird realm of quantum physics is about to be probed in a unique experiment.

Scientists have created a minute cantilever arm on the surface of a silicon chip that they hope will leave the world of classical physics and enter the quantum realm when cooled to near absolute zero.

The experiment will be the first time scientists have ever scaled an object in the observable world down into the slippery world of quantum mechanics.

“I think it’s really possible to observe quantum effects (in the cantilever arm) with this experiment,” said Peter Rabl of the University of Innsbruck in Austria, who isn’t part of the experiment.

“Either you have a real, macroscopic object in a quantum state — or you find out that quantum mechanics doesn’t work for the macroscopic world,” he said. “In either case, it would be quite fascinating.”‘




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