Here’s the weekly overview of some of the most important research published this week. If you would like to receive these news to your email, please register for our email newsletter.
1. What if Quantum Physics Worked on a Macroscopic Level? (July 25)
As bizarre as quantum physics is, the counter-intuitive quantum effects have only been observed on the microscopic level. Despite that, a group of researchers from the University of Geneva has been working on an attempt to observe quantum effects on a larger scale. The newest achievement of the group is an entanglement of two optic fibers, populated by 500 photons. To achieve this, the team led by Nicolas Gisin, created an entanglement between two fiber optics on a microscopic level before moving it to the macroscopic level. The entangled state survived the transition to a larger-scale world and the phenomenon could even be observed with the traditional means of detection. Read more here.
How would a macroscopic quantum object look like?
2. Blackbody Radiation Induces an Attractive Force Stronger than Gravity (July 25)
Perfectly non-reflective objects, called blackbodies, produce blackbody radiation. Even though the properties of blackbody radiation depend on the temperature, this radiation has always been thought to have a net repulsive effect. However, the new paper on the topic suggests that theoretically blackbody radiation induces a second force on nearby atoms and molecules, which is usually attractive. The force has some interesting features: it decays with the third power of the distance and it is stronger for smaller objects. Also the force is stronger for hotter objects up to a certain temperature. Read more here.
3. Light Stopped and Stored for 60 Seconds (July 26)
A team of researchers from Germany’s University of Darmstadt has succeeded in stopping light and then holding it in place for 60 seconds. This great achievement is a continuation of the previous experiments done in 1999 and 2001 by other groups. In 1991 a group of researchers were able to stop light to only 17 meters per second speed. In 2001, the light was completely stopped, however it was stored for only a fraction of a second. The recent results from the German scientists take us another step closer to a quantum computer, which would require such a light-stopping mechanism to function. Read more here.