Feb 23, 2012
Eyeball quantum mechanics
Quantum systems tend to be small, but now quantum states large enough to be seen with the naked eye have been made. Gab Christmann of the University of Cambridge and colleagues made microscopic cavities in which a quantum fluid of polaritons can be manipulated with laser light.
Quantum mechanics forces the flow of this fluid to be quantized in vortices that can be seen with the naked eye (albeit with the help of a microscope). It is hoped that these remarkable states could be created at room temperature with standard electrical circuits for a new approach to making sensitive gyroscopes and quantum circuits.
About the author
Compiled by John Swain, Northeastern University.
G Tosi et al. 2012 Nature Physics doi:10.1038/nphys2182.
S Braz et al. 2012 Science 355 303.