Wednesday, September 1, 2010

NIST researchers create 'quantum cats' made of light

NIST researchers create 'quantum cats' made of light: "The NIST experiments, described in a forthcoming paper,* repeatedly produced light pulses that each possessed two exactly opposite properties—specifically, opposite phases, as if the peaks of the light waves were superimposed on the troughs. Physicists call this an optical Schrodinger's cat...
'This is a new state of light, predicted in quantum optics for a long time,' says NIST research associate Thomas Gerrits, lead author of the paper. 'The technologies that enable us to get these really good results are ultrafast lasers, knowledge of the type of light needed to create the cat state, and photon detectors that can actually count individual photons.'"

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