Home > Nature, Physics, Research, Science > A quantum superposition of living things

A quantum superposition of living things

September 12, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

“Having created quantum superpositions of photons, atoms, and even molecules, scientists are currently preparing to do the same for larger objects — namely viruses.

The technique will involve storing a virus in a vacuum and then cooling it to its quantum-mechanical ground state in a microcavity. Zapping the virus with a laser then leaves it in a superposition of its ground state and an excited one.

That’s no easy task, however. The virus will have to survive the vacuum, behave like a dielectric, and appear transparent to the laser light, which would otherwise tear it apart.

Now a group of researchers has worked out that several viruses look capable of surviving the superposition process, including the common flu virus and the tobacco mosaic virus. They point out that after creating the superposition, scientists will be able to perform the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment for the first time, which should be fun (but less so for the virus).”

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