Quantum Mechanics

U. Innsbruck Research Opens up New Possibilities for Using Levitated Particles as Sensors

Sensing with levitated nanoparticles has so far been limited by the precision of position measurements. Researchers at the Department of Experimental Physics of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, have now demonstrated a new technique that boosts the efficiency with which the position of a sub-micron levitated object is detected. The new technique demonstrated by Tracy Northup, a professor at the University of Innsbruck, and her team resolves this limitation by replacing the laser beam with the light of the particle reflected by a mirror.

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Quantum Correlations at the Macro-Scale: Can We See Them?

One of the most fundamental features of quantum physics is Bell nonlocality: the fact that the predictions of quantum mechanics cannot be explained by any local (classical) theory. This has remarkable conceptual consequences and far-reaching applications in quantum information. However, in our everyday experience, macroscopic objects seem to behave according to the rules of classical physics, and the correlations we see are local. Is this really the case, or can we challenge this view? In a recent paper in Physical Review Letters, scientists from the University of Vienna and the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have shown that it is possible to fully preserve the mathematical structure of quantum theory in the macroscopic limit. This could lead to observations of quantum nonlocality at the macroscopic scale.

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The Economist S&T: Physics Seeks the Future

Whatever the causes of these two results, they do show that there is something out there which established explanations cannot account for. Similarly unexplained anomalies were starting points for both quantum theory and relativity. It looks possible, therefore, that what has seemed one of physics’s darkest periods is about to brighten into a new morning.

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