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Weird Quantum Theory Works in "Big" Things

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The tiny drum was placed between two mirrors and illuminated with laser light, and the shaking of the mirrors revealed the uncertainty principle in action.
(image by Tom Purdy)

They knew it was true, but now they've shown it: Scientists have demonstrated that the uncertainty principle, one of the most famous rules of quantum physics, operates in macroscopic objects visible to the naked eye. In a new experiment, physicists have shown that the uncertainty principle effects can be detected in a tiny drum visible to the naked eye. The results of the recent experiment are novel in that they show both classical and quantum mechanics operating on the same scale. 'Half a millimeter is like something which we can actually hold in our hand.' 'Obviously classical mechanics is valid, but they make quantum mechanics relevant at that size.' As a technical accomplishment, it's also impressive. 'At that scale, even 10 years ago people would have thought there's no point of doing this experiment, because you wouldn't have seen anything.'

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As commenters on the link have pointed out, this i... by Jim Arnold on Sunday, Feb 17, 2013 at 6:10:48 PM