Author Topic: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics  (Read 2732 times)

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Offline Chris

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Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« on: March 18, 2010, 06:22:21 PM »
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A team of scientists has succeeded in putting an object large enough to be visible to the naked eye into a mixed quantum state of moving and not moving.

Andrew Cleland at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his team cooled a tiny metal paddle until it reached its quantum mechanical 'ground state' — the lowest-energy state permitted by quantum mechanics. They then used the weird rules of quantum mechanics to simultaneously set the paddle moving while leaving it standing still. The experiment shows that the principles of quantum mechanics can apply to everyday objects as well as as atomic-scale particles.

According to quantum theory, particles act as waves rather than point masses on very small scales. This has dozens of bizarre consequences: it is impossible to know a particle's exact position and velocity through space, yet it is possible for the same particle to be doing two contradictory things simultaneously. Through a phenomenon known as 'superposition' a particle can be moving and stationary at the same time — at least until an outside force acts on it. Then it instantly chooses one of the two contradictory positions.

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100317/full/news.2010.130.html
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Offline thundley4

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2010, 06:27:26 PM »
I'm going to take two aspirin and call a doctor in the morning. That made my head hurt. Or maybe it didn't.

Offline Chris

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2010, 06:31:17 PM »
Yeah, didn't make a whole lot of sense to me but I thought it was interesting.  Maybe I'll read it again after I haven't been at work for 12 hours.
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Offline thundley4

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2010, 06:56:52 PM »
After reading it all the way through, it sounds like they have proved that Schrödinger's cat was both alive and dead.

Offline Duke Nukum

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2010, 07:07:25 PM »
Welcome to my world.
“A man who has been through bitter experiences and travelled far enjoys even his sufferings after a time”
― Homer, The Odyssey

Offline Chris

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2010, 07:13:25 PM »
The confused, dizzy feeling or the quantum mechanics?  :-)
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Offline Duke Nukum

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2010, 07:17:20 PM »
The confused, dizzy feeling or the quantum mechanics?  :-)
Yep.  Ever since I read VALIS in high school the world has had this shifting, not-quite-real-not-quite-fake feel to it.  So moving-not moving state makes perfect sense to me.
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Offline SSG Snuggle Bunny

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2010, 06:46:04 AM »
BFD

There are already naturally occurring objects that cab be seen by the unaided eye that hold simultaneously contradictory states.

They're called women!
According to the Bible, "know" means "yes."

Offline DumbAss Tanker

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2010, 08:43:25 AM »
The possible applications of this in pool halls alone is mind-boggling!

 :-)
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That here, obedient to their law, we lie.

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Offline jinxmchue

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2010, 02:31:22 PM »
Or, you know, it's all a bunch of horse manure that they're foisting upon us to justify the obscene amounts of cash they're  spending on this stuff.  Moving and not moving.  Right. 

Offline The Village Idiot

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2010, 02:46:59 PM »
http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100317/full/news.2010.130.html

does this mean I can write a SciFi story about a ship that can blink out of space in one place and into another solar system while they are also somewhere else at the same time?
Explore the galaxy without leaving the Sol system?

Offline Chris_

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2010, 02:54:24 PM »
Or, you know, it's all a bunch of horse manure that they're foisting upon us to justify the obscene amounts of cash they're  spending on this stuff.
The man makes a valid point. :whistling:
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Offline Chris_

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2010, 02:54:58 PM »
does this mean I can write a SciFi story about a ship that can blink out of space in one place and into another solar system while they are also somewhere else at the same time?
Explore the galaxy without leaving the Sol system?

Only if one group is evil and someone is wearing a goatee.
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Offline The Village Idiot

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2010, 03:02:41 PM »
Why am I wearing this gay-looking sash Mr. Spock and a sword... Spock! You have a beard!

Offline jinxmchue

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Re: Scientists supersize quantum mechanics
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2010, 01:32:40 PM »
The man makes a valid point. :whistling:

Alright, look.  The most I really have ever learned about observing atoms is that you can't know both the movement and the position of an electron at the same time.  (Which is why transporters will never exist and why they had to invent the idea of Heisenberg Compensators in the show.)  Maybe this "moving and not moving" nonsense is something similar.  Observing one thing changes the observation of something else.