This object should not behave like this.  Where are the limits of quantum effects?

Quantitative properties usually reveal themselves in the context of research conducted on the smallest scale. despite this Scientists note Only such properties in a body consisting of more than a thousand atoms. This surprising result of the experiment may allow scientists to determine where, or rather on what scale, lies the boundary between the world that must be described using quantum physics and the world governed by the general theory of relativity. Ideally, it may eventually turn out that such a limit does not exist at all.

A surprisingly large quantum object

It all boils down to the fact that the tested object is made up of about 1,400 atoms and, just like a quantum particle, changes its physical properties depending on whether it is being observed or not. And if that wasn’t enough, you can influence him from a distance without having to exchange information. So far, such a procedure can only apply to photons. The problem is that these properties are completely counterintuitive to us because we never experience them directly in our daily lives.

Also read: Quantum Physics – Seven Facts Worth Knowing

For nearly ninety years, scientists have been trying to define the limits of size, above which physical objects behave according to our experience and intuition, and below which the logic of quantum mechanics begins to rule the world.

Testing the limits of the quantum realm, researchers from the University of Basel decided to look at two objects, each made of 700 rubidium atoms. Both objects were previously quantum entangled with each other.

An experience straight out of a sci-fi movie

In my opinion, for most people, the way to do this experiment is pure madness, which is a lot like a futuristic laboratory out of a sci-fi movie. In short, the researchers started by cooling 1,400 rubidium atoms to a temperature close to absolute zero. All atoms are held together by electromagnetic forces. Using pulses of microwave radiation, each atom was entangled with 1,399 other atoms, and then the entire cloud of atoms was divided into two separate parts.

Also read: Spin qubits, a new hope for quantum physics

After painstaking work, scientists made thousands of measurements of the pseudophospan of individual atoms, thanks to which they were able to determine that all atoms still behave as predicted by quantum mechanics. The question then arises whether all objects with fewer than 700 atoms also behave in a quantum fashion, or whether this only applies to objects cooled to near-zero temperatures. It is also possible that the same clouds of rubidium atoms referred to here lose their quantum capabilities at room temperature. And here another question automatically arises: at what temperature these properties disappear. There are no answers to these questions yet. However, the scientists plan to continue their research on the one hand by increasing the size of quantum objects, but also by testing them in a wider range of temperatures. I’m curious where quantum mechanics will show its limits. Knowing this will tell us a lot about the world around us and ourselves. However, perhaps pushing the boundaries will show that there are no boundaries and will eventually lead us to a true theory of everything.

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