Jan 13, 2017

This Material Could Reveal the Link Between Classical Physics and the Quantum Realm

Posted by in categories: energy, quantum physics

In Brief

  • Scientists are a little bit closer to unlocking the mystery of how the rules of the quantum realm translate to the rules of the classical physics of the observable world.
  • Experts predict that the materials used in this research, topological insulators, will play a key role in furthering this development.

It’s no surprise that quantum physics can be disorienting to the casual observer; after all, it does follow its own set of rules quite different from those of classical physics which rule over our everyday experience. In the quantum realm, things can and cannot be at the same time (to a certain extent) or are continually moving without spending energy. These don’t apply to the physics of macro-level matter.

These two realms are related, in so far as they occur in the same physical space. This relationship is what N. Peter Armitage, an associate professor of physics at Johns Hopkins University, wanted to figure out in a study published in the journal Science. “We found a particular material that is straddling these two regimes,” Armitage said.

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