Navigation Links
U of Toronto experiment named top breakthrough of 2011 by Physics World

Aephraim Steinberg and colleagues at the Centre for Quantum Information and Quantum Control at the University of Toronto had the top physics breakthrough of the year according to Physics World magazine.

Steinberg led an international team in applying a modern measurement technique to the historical two-slit interferometer experiment in which a beam of light shone through two slits results in an interference pattern on a screen behind. That famous experiment and the 1927 debates between Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein, seemed to establish that you could not watch a particle go through one of two slits without destroying the interference effect: you had to choose which phenomenon to look for. Thus the quantum mechanics quandary: how can we know reality if we cannot measure it without distorting it?

With their new experiment, Steinberg's group did what the physics textbooks said was impossible. They succeeded in experimentally reconstructing full trajectories which provide a description of how light particles move through the two slits and form an interference pattern. Their description of the experiment was published in Science and resulted in coverage by the world's science media, including a feature in Physics World.

"By applying a modern measurement technique to the historic experiment, we were able to observe the average particle trajectories undergoing wave-like interference, which is the first observation of its kind. This result should contribute to the ongoing debate over the various interpretations of quantum theory," said Steinberg. "It shows that long-neglected questions about the different types of measurement possible in quantum mechanics can finally be addressed in the lab, and weak measurements such as the sort we used in this work may prove crucial in studying all sorts of new phenomena."

With regards to the being named top breakthrough of the year, Steinberg said, "When I was a graduate student, I told a mentor of mine that I was perplexed and fascinated by quantum mechanics and wished to spend my career studying it. He nodded and replied, 'That's all right in a young physicist hopefully you'll grow out of it.' So what pleases me most about this honour is how much times have changed. Physics World is recognizing the study of the foundations of quantum mechanics as a respectable, even important endeavour. I hope that lifting taboos about what questions one can still ask will lead to continued discoveries about the implications of quantum mechanics and perhaps in the long term even new applications, as has been the case in the realm of quantum information processing."

Contact: Kim Luke
University of Toronto

Related biology technology :

1. GeneNews rolls out ColonSentry(TM) test in additional Toronto area labs
2. Cytopia Merger with Toronto-based YM BioSciences Inc.
3. French Ambassador for International Investment to Visit Toronto December 11
4. The iBridge Network Adds Torontos University Health Network as First Canadian Partner
5. University of Toronto chemists make breakthrough in nanoscience research
6. Intel Corporation acquires Toronto start-up CognoVision
7. Scientists from Toronto and Helsinki discover genetic abnormalities after creation of stem cells
8. University of Toronto chemistry technology promises more effective prescription drug therapies
9. U of Toronto to award quantum mechanics prize to renowned physicist Sandu Popescu
10. University of Toronto researchers create worlds most efficient flexible OLED on plastic
11. University of Toronto engineers solve energy puzzle
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... QUEBEC CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - ... the request of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto ... this news release there are no corporate developments that ... price. --> --> ... --> . --> Aeterna Zentaris ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software ... events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health ... state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... recent market research report released by Transparency Market Research, ... expand at a CAGR of 17.5% during the period ... Testing Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, ... global non-invasive prenatal testing market to reach a valuation ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... today announced that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience ... Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 ... Palace Hotel in New York City. ... . Twist Bioscience is on ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/17/2015)... Paris , qui ... Paris , qui s,est tenu du ... leader de l,innovation biométrique, a inventé le premier scanner ... sur la même surface de balayage. Jusqu,ici, deux scanners ... les empreintes digitales. Désormais, un seul scanner est en ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... EASTON, Mass. , Nov. 17, 2015 ... a leader in the development and sale of broadly ... the worldwide life sciences industry, today announced it has ... of its $5 million Private Placement (the "Offering"), increasing ... to $4,025,000.  One or more additional closings are expected ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 12, 2015  A golden retriever ... Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) has provided a new lead ... Children,s Hospital, the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard ... Brazil . Cell, pinpoints ... dogs "escape" the disease,s effects. The Boston Children,s lab ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):