2,000 Atoms Appeared in 2 Places Simultaneously (New Record)

New experiments by scientists from the University of Vienna and the University of Basel tested quantum superposition for the first time at such a high level. The fact that 2,000 identical atoms appear in two places at the same time is a record in this field.

There was an event that redefined the boundaries of alternative theories in quantum mechanics. The experiment on quantum superposition broke a new mass record. The superposition principle, which is based on the Schrödinger equation, is one of the most fundamental equations of quantum mechanics. The superposition principle defines particles within the wave function so that they are almost identical to the waves visible and interfering on the pond.

For example, two overlapping pits or waves reinforce each other, or if a wave coincides with a pit, they also dampen each other. The general name of these events is called wave interference, but in quantum waves it works differently. Unlike water waves, it can also be seen in particles found alone.

One of the greatest secrets of science, the double-slit experiment:

water wave

One of the most successful experiments describing the nature of particles is the double-slit experiment. During the test, a single particle is thrown at the plate with two slits. This particle, on the other hand, creates wave-like interference patterns.

This phenomenon can occur in large particles such as electrons, neurons, photons, atoms and even molecules. This is the mind of physicists and philosophers "How does the transition of these strange quantum effects into the large classical world? " brings the question. To answer this question, Markus Arndt and his team at the University of Vienna conducted an experiment to demonstrate quantum attempts on larger mass objects.

Experiment and results:

double half test

Molecules with a mass several times larger than the previous record and higher than 25,000 atomic mass units were used in the experiment and the experiment was published in Nature Physics. The molecule C707H260F908N16S53Zn4, which was sent to the interferometer, brought together more than 40,000 neutrons, electrons and protons. The de Broglie wavelength of this molecule was a thousand times smaller than the diameter of a single hydrogen atom.

Marcel Mayor and his team at the University of Basel, who wanted to support the study, produced the enormous molecules that could help the experiment with a special synthesis technology that would make it unbreakable even in a very high vacuum environment. In order to study these molecules and prove their quantum nature, a two-meter-long material / wave interference meter was previously required for this purpose in Vienna.

Together with these models, it is claimed that the wave function, which is caused by the spontaneous collision of particles, changes depending on the square of the mass. With this claim, the quantum world, which is quite small in size, is being tried to be brought together with the world of classical physics. To see how often the particle experiences quantum leaps and how it is localized by the collision process, it is necessary to observe how a high-mass particle retains its superposition for a certain period of time.


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As a result of this experiment, molecules maintained their superposition for more than 7 milliseconds. This is a period that can allow new interference jumps in different quantum models.

The difference between quantum and classical physics is decreasing with each passing day. Through such experiments, nature can be explained better by revealing which models are more valid. The editor-in-chief of the article, Yaakov Y.Fein, uses the following words: "Our experiments show that quantum mechanics is fascinatingly robust despite all its oddities, and I'm hopeful that much larger (mass) tests will be carried out in future experiments."