science
Pushing Particles Forwards Might Make Them Go Backwards Because Quantum Physics Is Bonkers

You are very lucky that you ended up about the size that you are today, somewhere between one and ten feet tall and weighing somewhere between one and one thousand pounds. This is a very good size. Not to body shame, but if you were, say, a quadrillion times shorter and weighed a nonillion times less (that’s one followed by 30 zeros), that would be very inconvenient for you. Everything would be very inconvenient for you. Read More >>

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Scientists Just Observed an Effect of Gravity on Tiny Particles For the First Time

Bad news: humans will probably never explore the area around a black hole, at least while you’re alive. That’s mostly because most black holes are too far away, and even if we could travel to them, it’s unlikely we’d survive their gravitational pull. That means that if we want to study the wacky effects extreme gravity might have, we’ve gotta get creative—which is exactly what an international team of physicists have just done. Read More >>

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Scientists ‘Teleport’ a Particle Hundreds of Miles–But What Does That Mean?

Humanity is advancing rapidly towards a place where the news sounds an awful lot like science fiction. In fact, yesterday, Chinese scientists reported that they “teleported” a photon over hundreds of miles using a “quantum satellite.” But this isn’t Star Trek. It’s the real world. Read More >>

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Basic Assumptions of Physics Might Require the Future to Influence the Past

One of the most well-accepted physical theories makes no logical sense. Quantum mechanics, the theory that governs the smallest possible spaces, forces our human brains to accept some really wacky, uncomfortable realities. Maybe we live in a world where certain observations can force our universe to branch into multiple ones. Or maybe actions in the present influence things earlier in time. Read More >>

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New Quantum ‘Cat State’ Can Be in Two Places at Once

Chances are you’re familiar with the Schroedinger’s cat paradox, whereby a hypothetical cat inside a box is both dead and alive until we open the box to see for ourselves. Now physicists at Yale University have figured out how to make a cat that both lives and dies in two boxes at once. They described their work last week in Science. Read More >>

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Humans Can Still Do One Thing Better Than AI 

Google’s AlphaGo computer may have bested a human in four out of five matches last month, but human beings still excel when it comes to intuitive leaps in problem solving. That’s the conclusion of a new paper in Nature by Danish scientists. Blending the two approaches yields the best of both worlds in a marriage of man and machine. Read More >>

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There’s No Cloning in Quantum Mechanics, So the Star Trek Transporter Really is a Suicide Box

Remember last week’s video about the trouble with Star Trek’s transporter (a.k.a. a “suicide box”) by CGP Grey, delving into whether the teleported version of yourself would really be, well, you? Henry Reich of Minute Physics has posted a video response with his own resolution to the logical paradox. Read More >>

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Physicists Create ‘Pseudo-Particles’ for Error-Free Quantum Computing

We may be one step closer to quantum computing that’s inherently protected from errors. Physicists at the University of Copenhagen have successfully created an exotic type of pseudo-particle that is immune to outside interference. The results are described in a new paper in Nature. Read More >>

science
The Problem With Teleportation

Teleportation is a safe, convenient mode of travel in the Star Trek universe. But what if the Star Trek transporter is essentially a “suicide box” instead? That’s the unnerving conclusion of a new animated video from CGP Grey about the trouble with transporters. Read More >>

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Soon We Can All Join Paul Rudd in Mastering Quantum Chess 

Last week the internet learned that “Anyone Can Quantum,” when actor Paul Rudd faced off against Stephen Hawking in a game of quantum chess. The 12-minute video has racked up more than 1.5 million views, with Fast Company declaring it one of the best ads of the week. And soon we’ll all be mastering the rules of the subatomic realm, with today’s launch of a Kickstarter campaign to create a commercial version of quantum chess. Read More >>

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Paul Rudd and Stephen Hawking Face Off in a High-Stakes Game of Quantum Chess

What do you do if you’re Paul Rudd and itching to speak at an event about quantum mechanics? Challenge your arch-rival, Stephen Hawking, to a game of quantum chess, of course. The very future of the universe might be at stake. Read More >>

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Forget Schrödinger’s Cat: The Latest Quantum Puzzle’s About Three Pigeons in Two Holes

For decades, Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment involving a dead/alive cat has been the turn-to illustration of quantum mechanics. But now there’s a new quantum puzzle, which asks: can three pigeons be placed into two pigeonholes with no two pigeons being in the same hole? Read More >>

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Physicists Successfully Tie the Very First Quantum Knots

Theoretical physicists have been predicting that it should be possible for knots to form in quantum fields for decades, but nobody could figure out how to accomplish this feat experimentally. Now an international team has managed to do just that, tying knots in a superfluid for the very first time by manipulating magnetic fields. Read More >>

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These Bouncing Droplets Could Help Resolve a 90-Year Mystery of Quantum Mechanics

The drops of silicon oil bobbing in the mesmerising video do more than create aesthetically satisfying ripples across a slick surface. They could be indirect evidence of an alternate solution to a nagging question in quantum mechanics — one that dates back almost a century. Read More >>

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There’s a Hidden Connection Between Pi and Quantum Mechanics 

Physicists have uncovered a hidden connection between a famous 350-year-old mathematical formula for pi, everyone’s favourite irrational number, and quantum mechanics. At least one mathematician has pronounced the discovery “a cunning piece of magic.” Read More >>