Feb 25, 2016

Upper limit found for quantum world

Posted by in categories: particle physics, quantum physics

The quantum world and our world of perception obey different natural laws. Leiden physicists search for the border between both worlds. Now they suggest an upper limit in a study reported in Physical Review Letters.

The laws of the quantum domain do not apply to our everyday lives. We are used to assigning an exact location and time to objects. But fundamental particles can only be described by probability distributions—imagine receiving a traffic ticket for speeding 30 to 250 km/h somewhere between Paris and Berlin, with a probability peak for 140 km/h in Frankfurt.


Because the laws are completely different in both worlds, a clear boundary might exist between them. Size and mass could then be used to determine whether an object obeys quantum or macroscopic laws, but the edge of this boundary is elusive. Leiden physicist Tjerk Oosterkamp and his research group have now established established an upper limit for quantum phenomena, closing in on the answer.

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