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October 13 2012

Physics Nobels go to cat herders (Schrödinger's cat, that is)


This year's Nobel Prize in Physics goes to a pair of physicists that pioneered experimental approaches to the quantum world. The two, University of Colorado-Boulder's David Wineland and Serge Haroche from the Collège de France, used coupled systems of single atoms and photons to provide ways of monitoring a quantum object without destroying its quantum nature. Like any good quantum experiment, there are multiple ways of looking at what they've done, but the Prize announcement highlights the fact that their work is already having practical applications, as it's being put to use in ultra-high-precision atomic clocks and attempts to build quantum computers.

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