Nano-beaker offers insight into the condensation of atoms
© Nature Publishing
An international team of physicists has succeeded in mapping the condensation of individual atoms, or rather their transition from a gaseous state to another state, using a new method. Led by the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel, the team was able to monitor for the first time how xenon atoms condensate in microscopic measuring beakers, or quantum wells, thereby enabling key conclusions to be drawn as to the nature of atomic bonding. The researchers published their results in the journal Nature Communications. more...
Cooling with the coldest matter in the world
© T. Kampschulte
Physicists at the University of Basel have developed a new cooling technique for mechanical quantum systems. Using an ultracold atomic gas, the vibrations of a membrane were cooled down to less than 1 degree above absolute zero. This technique may enable novel studies of quantum physics and precision measurement devices, as the researchers report in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. more...
How difficult is it to prove the quantumness of macroscopic states?
Audrey Fischer's cat
enjoying the "alive"
Can a cat be simultaneously dead AND alive? Surprisingly, quantum theory says yes. This naturally raises the question: Why don't we observe such dead-and-alive cats in our everyday life? Physicists from Basel, Geneva and Innsbruck have shown quantitatively that macroscopic quantum states are basically indistinguishable from classical states if they interact with their environment, even very weakly, or if they are observed with detectors with coarse-graining. These results which give us insights into the reasons that make it hard to observe quantum features in macroscopic systems and which might find important applications e.g. in quantum metrology, have been published in Physical Review Letters.
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