Quantum Mechanics

Quantum imaging of Schrödinger's cat

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Science  05 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6201, pp. 1132
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6201.1132-f
PHOTO: GABRIELA BARRETO LEMOS/AUSTRIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

These images of a cardboard cutout of a cat were made with light that never touched it. Barreto Lemos et al. began with two identical photons, one shining through the object and the other going by it, and made them overlap and interfere. Each photon is also created with a photon of shorter wavelength; they share a quantum connection called entanglement which allows the researchers to make the shorter-wavelength photons also interfere. The pair can then go one way or the other when they hit a beam splitter. Thus, by scanning the longer-wavelength photon pairs over the object, the team can construct two images—one for each direction out of a beam splitter—using the shorter-wavelength photons that never actually touched the object. The technique makes it possible to image an object using a color of light that would normally pass through it.

Nature 10.1038/nature13586 (2014).

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