Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quantum effects get a weirdness scale

Quantum effects get a weirdness scale: This makes it possible to compare theoretical and real experiments, and creates a list of chart-toppers. Attempts at neutron superposition in the 1960s score around 5 or 6, while modern experiments involving nearly 500 atoms hit 12. It is a logarithmic scale, so this is roughly a million-fold improvement, but it pales next to Schr√∂dinger's cat. Implementing this thought experiment with existing quantum technology would max out at 24. A version in which an actual cat simultaneously sits in two spots that are 10 centimetres apart, would score 57...

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