Quantum balls

2019-03-07 03:03:17

BUCKYBALLS—molecules made up of 60 carbon atoms—can behave like waves, blurring the boundary between the everyday world and the realm of quantum mechanics. Markus Arndt and his colleagues at the University of Vienna sent buckyballs through a diffraction grating. A detector beyond the grating showed a clear interference pattern, indicating wavelike behaviour (Nature, vol 104, p 680). “The interference pattern can only be explained if, in effect, each molecule goes through at least two of the openings,” says Anton Zeilinger, who supervised the research. Zeilinger foresees similar results with objects as large as viruses. “People think that quantum is small and classical is large,” he says. “But really,