Scientists vibrate quantum drum to superpositional beat

You’ve probably heard about some quantum this-and-that where it was implied that certain particles can be here and there, or moving and not moving, simultaneously. “Splendid,” you said, disparagingly, as you adjusted your monocle, “that also explains my quantum state of simultaneously reading and not caring.” Oh, sir! How droll that was! You slay me. But you spoke the truth: on a practical level, who cares about a muon or something not being pin-downable on a scale so small that we have to build monstrous facilities just to observe?

Well, some scientists felt the same way, so they decided to implement quantum weirdness on a scale visible to the human eye: a “quantum drum” that they supercooled and then somehow both vibrated and did not vibrate. So…what did it look like? I don’t know, they don’t really say! What the hell, right?

It turns out that even at a (technically) visible level, in this case about 30 micrometers, an object in a state of quantum suspension can’t really be observed, per se. I think the amount of light it would take for us to see it would totally mess up the experiment. So the researchers had to trust their instruments. I know – these scientists and their instruments. I got your instrument right here, nerd.

[via Reddit]