What is quantum entanglement?

Quantum computers, quantum cryptography and quantum (insert name here) are often in the news these days. Articles about them inevitably refer to entanglement, a property of quantum physics that makes all these magical phenomena possible. Untangling quantum entanglement Einstein called entanglement “spooky action at a distance,” a name that has stuck and become increasingly popular. … Continue reading What is quantum entanglement?

First 2D supersolid in quantum gas

European physicists have created the first 2D supersolid – a seemingly contradictory type of matter that simultaneously has the properties of a solid and a superfluid. You’re likely intimately familiar with the states of matter surrounding you every day – solid, liquid, gas and plasma – but when you start looking into the quantum world, … Continue reading First 2D supersolid in quantum gas

The quantum microscope revolution is here

University of Queensland researchers have built a quantum microscope based on the strange phenomenon Albert Einstein once called “spooky action at a distance”. This new device takes advantage of quantum entanglement to illuminate living samples safely – unlike conventional microscopes, which use potentially damaging high-intensity light. Warwick Bowen, a quantum physicist at the University of … Continue reading The quantum microscope revolution is here

Microscopic device harvests power from heat

US scientists have designed the most efficient “optical rectenna” yet. This tiny device, too small to be seen with the naked eye, can turn excess heat from the environment into usable electricity – and might be a game-changer for renewable energy. Rectennas (“rectifying antennas”) have been around for over 50 years – in 1964, they … Continue reading Microscopic device harvests power from heat

First entanglement-based quantum network

A team researchers from quantum-computing company QuTech in the Netherlands has established the first multi-node quantum network, by connecting three quantum processors through the mysterious process of entanglement. This eureka-style moment – reported in the journal Science – marks the latest step in a decade of quantum computing research, with the ultimate goal of creating a safe, un-hackable and fast … Continue reading First entanglement-based quantum network

Turbulence trouble

“When I meet God,” physicist Werner Heisenberg allegedly once said, “I’m going to ask him two questions: why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he’ll have an answer for the first.” Although the quote is almost certainly fictional, it captures the sheer frustration many physicists feel about turbulence: the complex, chaotic, unpredictable flows in … Continue reading Turbulence trouble

In search of that quantum advantage

December is a hectic time of year for everyone, but quantum physicists seem to be especially busy. In particular, two new studies suggest researchers may be getting closer to achieving “quantum advantage”, the point at which quantum computing can solve a problem that no classical computing can in a feasible amount of time – that … Continue reading In search of that quantum advantage

Raising questions about physical reality

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Perhaps not, some say. And if someone is there to hear it? If you think that means it obviously did make a sound, you might need to revise that opinion. We have found a new … Continue reading Raising questions about physical reality

The supersizing of quantum physics

Quantum physics is the realm of tiny particles no longer. Scientists at the giant gravitational wave detector LIGO in the US are now measuring the quantum effects of 40-kilogram mirrors used to detect gravitational waves. While physicists routinely observe quantum effects in nanometre-scale experiments, LIGO team member Robert Ward says this new level of sensitivity … Continue reading The supersizing of quantum physics

Brian Josephson: merging physics and the paranormal

In 1962, Brian Josephson, a 22-year-old graduate student at England’s Cambridge University, born on January 4, 1940, in Cardiff, Wales, predicted that electrical current would flow, or tunnel, between two superconducting materials – things that at low temperatures lack electrical resistance, even when they are separated by a non-superconductor, or insulator. In quantum physics, matter … Continue reading Brian Josephson: merging physics and the paranormal