One of the most well-accepted physical theories makes no logical sense. Quantum mechanics, the theory that governs the smallest possible spaces, forces our human brains to accept some really wacky, uncomfortable realities. Maybe we live in a world where certain observations can force our universe to branch into…
Quantum mechanics is weird as hell, where the rules of the world you experience don’t apply. Even at distances a thousand kilometers apart, particles seem to be able to communicate with each other instantly, for example.
The effects of the most esoteric physics abound throughout your life. Take quantum mechanics, the theory that describes how tiny things behave. It’s everywhere! How else would you get so much data on a palm-sized terabyte hard drive?
My first question was, “What is a time crystal?” Harvard graduate students Soonwon Choi, Joonhee Choi and postdoctoral researcher Renate Landig all started laughing. “That’s a very good question,” said Soonwon. The time crystal’s silly science fiction name shrouds its deep quantum mechanical nuance. Sometimes a name…
You learn about three or four phases of matter in school—solids, which have a shape and volume, liquids, which have a volume only, and gases and plasmas, which have neither a definite shape nor volume. But using the laws of physics, you can create incredible substances that behave nothing like the ones you learn about…
A fabric that bends and ripples under the weight of the stars. A clock that runs slower perched high in the mountains. Objects that only exist when they’re being watched. Endless tiny particles, swarming restlessly in the void.
It’s meant to be a simple demonstration. For years, quantum cryptographer Kerek Reidier has been developing teleportation technology in his top-secret, DARPA-funded lab, and he’s already performed dozens of successful trials.
Entanglement is one of the strangest aspects of quantum mechanics, whereby two subatomic particles can be so closely connected that one can seem to influence the other even across long distances. Albert Einstein dubbed it “spooky action at a distance,” and two new experiments have now definitively shown that the…
One of the weirdest aspects of quantum mechanics is entanglement, because two entangled particles affecting each other across vast distances seems to violate a fundamental principle of physics called locality: things that happen at a particular point in space can only influence the points closest to it. But what if…
Physicists have created a quantum version of a famous thought experiment: the so-called Hilbert Hotel, which is always full and yet a vacancy can always be found for additional unexpected guests.
If you want to hear something very quiet, you need to reduce the ambient volume of your surroundings. For quantum physicists, though, that meant creating the world’s quietest gas.
According to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics, we live in an infinite web of alternate timelines. It's a serious claim that carries some rather serious scientific, philosophical, and existential baggage. And here are the nine weirdest possible implications.
Quantum computers—theoretical machines which can process certain large and difficult problems exponentially faster than classical computers—have been a mainstay of science fiction for decades. But actually building one has proven incredibly challenging.
Several weeks ago, the internet lit up with the colorful image shown above, accompanied by headlines claiming that physicists had accomplished the extraordinary: We'd finally managed to see light as both a particle and a wave at the same time. (Your friends at Giz reported it too.) But...it's not exactly true.
Physical realism is the view that the physical world we see is real and exists by itself, alone. Most people think this is self-evident, but physical realism has been struggling with the facts of physics for some time now. The paradoxes that baffled physics last century still baffle it today, and its great hopes of…
According to quantum physics, there isn't a single reality, but a huge tree of all possible physical outcomes. So can you choose the right destiny for yourself?
Some cosmologists speculate that black holes end their lives by transforming into their exact opposite — so-called 'white holes' that pour all the material they gobbled up back into space. A new theory based on quantum gravity could explain how this is possible.
A new study claims that the D-Wave quantum computer is no faster than the PC on your desk, leading many to proclaim the technology as overhyped. Trouble is, the performance tests were too easy and not a true measure of what these machines are capable of doing.
Scientists have shown that certain algae which use quantum effects to optimize photosynthesis are also capable of switching it off. It's a discovery that could lead to highly efficient organic solar cells and quantum-based electronics.
Scientists have teleported quantum information between two bits of diamond located 10 feet apart. It's a prime example of "spooky action at a distance" — and an achievement that could lead to quantum networks exponentially more powerful and secure than today's supercomputers.