The effect of “Zeno” is verified: the atoms do not move when they are observed

One of the experiments most intriguing of physics is the double slit, where he launches a stream of particles on a grid and observe what happens. The experiment is repeated with two grids parallel and what is surprising is that the result changes when we measure it. If there is anyone who is observing the experiment, then a result is produced. If you notice, the result is another. The conclusion can’t be more startling: “the observing alters the environment”.

For this reason, it may not be very surprising, knowing the above, that physicists from Cornell University have tested. It is there shown that the atoms do not move when someone is watching. This is known as the effect Zeno and this result is reflected in one of the predictions most bizarre of quantum mechanics which has been shown in the UltraCold Lab Muknud Vengalattore, Cornell.

For this experiment, Muknud Vengalattore, assistant professor of physics, and graduate students with yogesh Patil and Srivatsan K. Chakrams, were generated and cooled a gas of close to one billion atoms of Rubidium into a vacuum chamber, and was suspended the dough between laser beams. And it was then when the computer detected something unique: the atoms are not moving while there was still some kind of observation. While most often the computer used a laser to measure the movement, the less they saw. The only way of moving the atoms was when the researchers lowered the strength of the laser or when it died out completely. Then the atoms organized themselves in a pattern that was a mesh, as if they had been crystallized.

A new attempt to understand the dark matter

Must be great to see a stop to the atoms by the fact of seeing them, but there are many consequences of this effect Zeno. For example, in quantum cryptography, we could have a system that when an intruder wants to see the data, these are destroyed automatically.

“This gives us an unprecedented tool to control a quantum system, maybe even atom by atom,” said Patil, the lead author of the article. Moreover, this work opens the door to a new fundamental method to manipulate the quantum states of the atoms, which could lead to the creation of new sensors, for example.

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