Physicists design a way to detect quantum behavior in objects as large as ours: ScienceAlert

Quantum science is usually concerned with very small scales, where the mathematics of probability becomes a more useful tool than “classical” descriptions of matter. Now, new research has come up with a way to measure the amount of much larger masses.

Scientists have wanted to test the quantum nature of larger objects for a long time: the general consensus is that quantum physics applies At every scaleBut as objects grow in mass and complexity, it becomes harder to observe their quantity.

Now, a team from University College London (UCL), the University of Southampton in the UK, and the Bose Institute in India, has come up with an approach to quantum measurement that can theoretically be applied to something regardless of its mass or energy. .

“Our proposed experiment could test whether an object is classical or quantum by seeing whether the act of observing can lead to a change in its motion.” He says Physicist Debarshi Das of the University of California.

Quantum physics describes a universe where things are not defined by a single measurement, but as a set of possibilities. An electron can spin up and down, or has a greater chance of being in some regions than others, for example.

In theory, this is not limited to the little things. In fact, your body could be described as having a very high probability of sitting in that chair and a very (very!) low probability of being on the moon.

There's only one basic fact to remember – if you touched it, you bought it. Observing the quantum state of an object, whether it is an electron or a person sitting in a chair, requires interactions with a measurement system, forcing it to make a single measurement.

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There are ways to pick things up with the pants still down, but they require keeping the body in place State land – Extremely cold, very still, completely isolated from its environment.

This is difficult for individual molecules, and becomes more difficult as the size scale increases. The new proposal uses a completely new approach, using a set of assertions known as Leggett-Garg inequalities and non-sign in temporal conditions.

In fact, these two concepts describe a familiar universe, where a person is sitting in a chair there even if the room is dark and you can't see him. Suddenly turning on the light won't reveal that they're actually under the bed.

If an experiment finds evidence that somehow contradicts these assertions, we might be able to glimpse quantum mystery more broadly.

The team suggests that objects could be observed swinging on a pendulum, like a ball on the end of a piece of string.

The light on the two halves of the experimental setup would then be flashed at different times — counted as an observation — and the results of the second flash would indicate whether quantum behavior was occurring, because the first flash would affect whatever was moving.

We're still talking about a complex setup that would require some sophisticated equipment, and conditions similar to ground conditions, but through the use of motion and two measurements (blips), some of the limitations on mass are removed.

“The audience in a football match cannot influence the outcome of the match simply by staring intensely.” He says He trampled. “But in quantum mechanics, the process of observation or measurement itself changes the system.”

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The next step is to try this proposed setup in an actual experiment. Mirrors in Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the United States have already been proposed as suitable candidates for screening.

These mirrors act as a single object weighing 10 kilograms (22 pounds), a step above the typical size of objects analyzed for quantum effects, which amounts to about a quintillionth of a gram.

“Our scheme has broad conceptual implications.” He says Physicist Sugato Bose of the University of California. “It could expand the field of quantum mechanics and explore whether this fundamental theory of nature is valid only at certain levels or if it is true for larger masses as well.”

The research was published in Physical review letters.

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