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Try to imagine a tiny ball sitting on one fingertip yet also on your shoulder at the same instant. Are you struggling? Most of us can’t conceive of an object being in two places at once – yet physicists have just demonstrated the effect over a distance of half a metre, smashing previous records.

It’s an example of superposition, the idea that an object can exist in two quantum states at the same time. This persists until it is observed, causing a property called its wave function to collapse into one state or the other. The same principle allows Schrödinger’s cat to be both dead and alive inside a box until you open the lid.

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