quantum physics

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Binary systems are not enough if you want to improve security. Flickr/Ivan Plata

Beating cyber criminals with quantum solutions

As hackers get more sophisticated in their cyber crime efforts we need to look to new technology to make our systems more secure, and potentially unhackable. So how can quantum physics help?
If kitty goes in, will she really be alive and dead? Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

Schrödinger’s cat gets a reality check

It’s a century-old debate: what is the meaning of the wave function, the central object of quantum mechanics? Is Schrödinger’s cat really dead and alive? I was recently involved in an experiment conducted…
Harnessing the quantum property of light takes security to the next level. Boris Skoric

Quantum physics can fight fraud by making card verification unspoofable

Decades of data security research have brought us highly reliable, standardized tools for common tasks such as digital signatures and encryption. But hackers are constantly working to crack data security…
Many different worlds but a finite number. Flickr/fdecomite

When parallel worlds collide … quantum mechanics is born

Parallel universes – worlds where the dinosaur-killing asteroid never hit, or where Australia was colonised by the Portuguese – are a staple of science fiction. But are they real? In a radical paper published…
When you shine a torch into a dusty room, not all the photons reach their destination. Simon Greig (xrrr)

‘Louder’ light could power a brighter quantum future

All of the light we see around us comes in chunks of energy known as photons. As well as making up light, photons can be used to carry and process information and their quantum properties make possible…
A cat, or the superposition of an inordinate number of wave functions? Blind Hen ⁑ Blind Höna

Schrödinger’s Qur’an – a 2012 thought experiment

Whenever I see angry mobs reacting to the destruction of religious books it makes me think of Schrödinger, iPads and how we should interpret fundamentalist religious teachings in the digital era. The brilliant…
No matter which way you look at it, you can’t find out everything.

Was Heisenberg too uncertain? In principle … maybe

The Uncertainty Principle, introduced by Heisenberg in 1927, applies to observations of the properties of the quantum world, which is typically microscopic in scale. As I explained a few months ago, it…
“We’re accused of sitting in our ivory tower when we don’t engage with the public, and of sensationalism when we do.” photosteve101

‘Rewriting’ the Big Bang theory – a personal perspective

Melbourne Researchers Rewrite Big Bang Theory sang a recent headline in the Sydney Morning Herald. It was one of many suggesting the Big Bang theory had been somehow overthrown. As the principal investigator…
Life would be pretty boring if we could predict what was coming next. ModernDope

Explainer: Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle

The term “uncertainty principle” suggests some grand philosophical idea, like “you can never be sure of anything”, or “there are some things you can never be sure of” and sometimes people use it as if…
Race to the bottomium: down the mind-blowing spiral of subatomic physics. Flickr/marc_buehler.

Large Hadron Collider hits the bottomium

A heavy variant of a particle first observed 25 years ago has been found in the debris of close-to-the-speed-of-light proton…
Artistic view of a close-up of a supermassive black hole. This image shows the material surrounding the black hole, which ultimately will fall in the central region releasing the X-ray radiation detected in this work. NASA/CXC/A.Hobart

Scientists discover ancient black holes

Astrophysicists have discovered black holes that formed up to 12.5 billion years ago – among the oldest examples of the phenomena…
Without quantum mechanics, we would not have the transistor. IvyMike/Flickr

Explainer: Quantum physics

This might surprise you, but there may be literally thousands, or even tens of thousands, of devices and components surrounding you right now that work because of our understanding of quantum physics…

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