Does the Everyday World Really Obey Quantum Mechanics? A tale of atoms, SQUIDs and cats
Chan Centre, UBC - March 10, 2004

A. J. Leggett

Nobel Laureate in Physics, 2003
Dept. of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

According to quantum mechanics, the theory used by physicists to describe nature at the atomic level, an electron or atom faced with two alternative routes or possibilities can in some sense realize both simultaneously. But everyday objects consist of electrons or atoms; can they also "have their cake and eat it"? Can a cat be simultaneously dead and alive? I will review the conceptual basis of this paradox and describe the physics of the systems ("superconducting quantum interference devices" or SQUIDs) which have permitted some spectacular recent experimental input to it. I will speculate on possible future developments in this area.

For more information about A. J. Leggett, visit his web site.

Additional resources for this talk: video.

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