Chances are you’re familiar with the Schroedinger’s cat paradox, whereby a hypothetical cat inside a box is both dead and alive until we open the box to see for ourselves. Now physicists at Yale University have figured out how to make a quantum cat that both lives and dies in two boxes at once. They described their…
Google’s AlphaGo computer may have bested a human in four out of five matches last month, but human beings still excel when it comes to intuitive leaps in problem solving. That’s the conclusion of a new paper in Nature by Danish scientists. Blending the two approaches yields the best of both worlds—a marriage of man…
Remember last week’s video about the trouble with Star Trek’s transporter (a.k.a. a “suicide box”) by CGP Grey, delving into whether the teleported version of yourself would really be, well, you? Henry Reich of Minute Physics has posted a video response with his own resolution to the logical paradox.
Teleportation is a safe, convenient mode of travel in the Star Trek universe. But what if the Star Trek transporter is essentially a “suicide box” instead? That’s the unnerving conclusion of a new animated video from CGP Grey about the trouble with transporters.
Last week the Internet learned that “Anyone Can Quantum,” when actor Paul Rudd faced off against Stephen Hawking in a game of quantum chess. The 12-minute video has racked up more than 1.5 million views, with Fast Company declaring it one of the best ads of the week. And soon we’ll all be mastering the rules of the…
What do you do if you’re Paul Rudd and itching to speak at a Caltech event about quantum mechanics? Challenge your arch-rival, Stephen Hawking, to a game of quantum chess, of course. The very future of the universe might be at stake.
For decades, Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment involving a cat has been the turn-to illustration of quantum mechanics. But now there’s a new quantum puzzle, which asks: Can three pigeons be placed into two pigeonholes with no two pigeons being in the same hole?
Theoretical physicists have been predicting that it should be possible for knots to form in quantum fields for decades, but nobody could figure out how to accomplish this feat experimentally. Now an international team has managed to do just that, tying knots in a superfluid for the very first time by manipulating…
The drops of silicone oil bobbing in this mesmerizing video do more than create aesthetically satisfying ripples across a slick surface. They could be indirect evidence of an alternate solution to a nagging question in quantum mechanics — one that dates back almost a century.
Katie Silver has penned an article for BBC Earth in which she explores the idea of finding a single theory that describes the entire Universe. But as her article aptly points out, it's a challenge that appears to be getting increasingly difficult.
According to the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum physics, we live in an infinite web of alternate timelines. It's a serious claim that carries some rather serious scientific, philosophical, and existential baggage. And here are the nine weirdest possible implications.
Han purple is an ancient pigment that wasn't reconstructed by modern chemists until 1992. After the chemists got done with it, it was the physicists' turn. Han purple, they found, eliminates an entire dimension. It makes waves go two-dimensional!
Some cosmologists speculate that black holes end their lives by transforming into their exact opposite — so-called 'white holes' that pour all the material they gobbled up back into space. A new theory based on quantum gravity could explain how this is possible.
Static electricity works because electrons are strongly attracted to protons, right? But, in atoms, electrons are right there, next to the protons in the nucleus. Why don't the electrons zip directly into the nucleus and stick to the protons?
The rules of the quantum world — where everything is probabilistic, until observation fixes it — may be a lot less indefinite than we thought. A new experiment shows that liquids have properties that physicists once thought were confined to the quantum level. And this could be a big breakthrough.
Scientists have teleported quantum information between two bits of diamond located 10 feet apart. It's a prime example of "spooky action at a distance" — and an achievement that could lead to quantum networks exponentially more powerful and secure than today's supercomputers.
Quantum mechanics is strange. Theoretical probabilities absolutely need to exist to match experimental observations: the quantum waveform really does describe particles in the world we live in. Inspired by this week's Friday Physics, I went hunting for the most decorative quantum waveform earrings.
According to artist Alejandro Guijarro and his Momentum project, what you end up doing is just seeing a graphic of line and color. But some people are definitely going to use what knowledge they have to try to figure out the subject of the lecture that day.
Most of us have heard of the famous double-slit experiment. Usually it's played out in a lab in seconds. But there's one version, dreamt up by physicist John Archibald Wheeler, that can be played out over much of the galaxy, over millions of years. His thought experiment suggests that we could retroactively…