# Browse Physics

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Quantum mechanics permits particles to follow bizarre, looping and curving trajectories, usually with very low probability. But a calculation shows that in some cases, these paths can have significant and possibly measurable effects.

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Heat flow carried by electrons in a thermoelectric device requires a surprisingly wide “pipe”—a rare case where quantum effects have macroscopic consequences.

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Theorists quantum mechanically describe an apparatus that would measure interactions among a single photon, an atom, and quantum-scale vibrations of a macroscopic object.

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Weak gravitational waves that fill the Universe are enough to disturb quantum superpositions and ensure that large objects behave according to classical physics.

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David Wineland and Serge Haroche, who studied photons and atoms in new ways, have won the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics.

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The 1947 discovery of a small discrepancy in hydrogen’s atomic spectrum came at just the right time to push quantum theory forward.

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Variations in density in an ultracold gas reveal sound waves of quantum origin.

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A new thought experiment makes it clearer than ever that photons aren’t simply particles or waves.

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In the Aharonov-Bohm effect, proposed in 1959, quantum particles are affected in measurable ways by the classical electromagnetic potential, previously regarded as a purely mathematical construct. The electromagnetic field is too far from the particles to have any direct influence.

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Two objects made of the exotic materials known as topological insulators could repel one another through the quantum-mechanical forces that cause most other solids to attract, theorists predict.

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A new laser-based technique can directly probe the coupling of electrons in photosynthetic proteins and other complex systems.

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In the near future, a vibrating bar could be made small enough and cold enough to violate Newton’s laws and behave quantum mechanically, according to calculations.

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Davisson and Germer showed in 1927 that electrons scatter from a crystal the way x rays do, proving that particles of matter can act like waves.

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In 1935 Einstein and his co-authors claimed to show that quantum mechanics led to logical contradictions. The objections exposed the theory’s strangest predictions.

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