TIME AND SPACE

Experiment in University of Florida laboratory corrects prediction in quantum theory
by Donna Hesterman
Gainesville, FL (SPX) Sep 21, 2012


An international team of scientists is rewriting a page from the quantum physics rulebook using a University of Florida laboratory once dubbed the coldest spot in the universe.

Much of what we know about quantum mechanics is theoretical and tested via computer modeling because quantum systems, like electrons whizzing around the nucleus of an atom, are difficult to pin down for observation. One can, however, slow particles down and catch them in the quantum act by subjecting them to extremely cold temperatures. New research, published in the journal Nature, describes how this freeze-frame approach was recently used to overturn an accepted rule of thumb in quantum theory.

“We are in the age of quantum mechanics,” said Neil Sullivan, a UF physics professor and director of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory High B/T Facility on the UF campus – home of the Microkelvin lab where experiments can be conducted in near-absolute zero temperatures. “If you’ve had an MRI, you have made use of a quantum technology.”

Read more: Experiment in University of Florida laboratory corrects prediction in quantum theory – spacedaily.com

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