by Staff Writers
Vienna, Austria (SPX) Feb 15, 2013
Experiments on the quantum wave nature have enabled researchers to precisely measure tiny forces and displacements as well as to shed light onto the unexplored zone between the microscopic realm of quantum physics and our everyday world
Matter wave interferometry has a long standing tradition at the University of Vienna, where the first quantum interference of large molecules has already been observed in 1999.
Nowadays scientists are hunting down evidence for the quantum mechanical behavior of increasingly complex constituents of matter. This is done in experiments in which the flying of each particle seems to obtain information about distinct places in space, which are inaccessible according to classical physics.
Synchronised laser flashes for quantum interferometry
When precisely synchronized, the fleeting light structures form a device freed from many constraints that limited the measurement precision in earlier machines. "Interferometry in the time-domain with pulsed light gratings will become a central element of quantum experiments with nanoparticles" states Philipp Haslinger who is the first author of the paper.
Viennese prototype with powerful universality
During an experiment these particles line up for few nanoseconds in a periodic nanopattern. This structure may serve as a "nanoruler" which enables the detection of tiny external perturbations as well as the precise measurement of small forces and fields.
This project has been supported within the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Austrian Ministry of Science (BMWF). The experiments were performed within the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, VCQ, at the Faculty of Physics, University of Vienna.
University of Vienna
Understanding Time and Space
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