Quantum mechanics only applies to the realm of the invisibly, infinitesimally small, right? Not necessarily!
In what was deemed by the journal Science to be last year’s “Breakthrough of the Year,” a team of researchers at the University of California at Santa Barbara achieved quantum effects on the macro scale with a device they dubbed a “quantum paddle” — which can basically be in two states at the same time. Until now, such quantum effects were exclusive to the world of atoms, electrons and other unimaginably puny particles. The team’s device is still rather “small,” in the sense that it’s just barely visible to the naked eye, but that’s gigantic in quantum terms.
One of the researchers behind the discovery, Andrew Cleland, recently visited the Institute for Quantum Computing, and we sat him down in front of a camera to pick his brain about his work and its implications. In this clip, he explains how his team achieved quantum effects with their device — and why it’s still not possible for a person to be in two places at the same time (which is probably for the best anyway, judging by the final season of Lost).