Quantum mechanics just got REAL

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 18, 2010

The opening paragraph of the article says it all:

A team of scientists has succeeded in putting an object large enough to be visible to the naked eye into a mixed quantum state of moving and not moving.

Wait, what? Like, WHAT? Ok, let's start over:

Andrew Cleland at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his team cooled a tiny metal paddle until it reached its quantum mechanical 'ground state' — the lowest-energy state permitted by quantum mechanics. They then used the weird rules of quantum mechanics to simultaneously set the paddle moving while leaving it standing still.

The fuck? In my day, we were taught, with the help of non-graphing calculators and paper notebooks, that quantum mechanics was a lot of wand-wavey nonsense about wave/particle duality that you never had to worry about because it belonged to some magical tiny land that no one visits with their actual eyes. This...this is straight-up magic. [Cue Final Countdown]