Experimenting within quantum theory is an extremely complex process, where common intuitions are regularly inverted within shifting reality. Over the years several quantum features and methods of their study have been identified. Now scientists have investigated a new set of assumptions and proposed a novel experiment, to test the consequences of making quantum theory more intuitive.
"While quantum theory is the science behind almost all of our technology, its disconnect with our everyday intuitions is still worrisome and actively researched," says lead author Associate Professor Daniel Terno.
"How do you find your way in a reality which is shifting, where the opposites are allowed to coexist? Moreover, how do you conduct experiments in it? These are the questions that must be answered when dealing with the floating world of quantum mechanics."
Throughout the development of quantum theory, a set of reasonable ideas has led to strange paradoxes, such as the famous Schrodinger's cat, which is neither dead nor alive.
Another of the most famous (and useful) results of quantum mechanics is that every object can behave as a particle or as a wave, given the right conditions. Associate Professor Terno and colleagues proposed a new experiment in 2011, which was realised by dozens of research groups worldwide. This proposal made complicated experiments much simpler, such as an experiment formerly requiring 40 meters of optical cable now being performed on just a single chip.