It may surprise you: quantum technology is more than just quantum computing. I like to get upset that quantum technology is often equated with quantum computing because there are many ways to improve technology using quantum physics. Here, I want to talk about quantum computing’s big, modest sister: quantum simulation. They are closely related, and…
As Andy Williams sang: It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas – the Nobel Prizes were awarded! This year, the Nobel Prize Committee had a special gift for us: A Nobel Prize for Quantum Physics! Exactly 10 years after the last big Nobel Prize was awarded to the quantum physicists Serge Haroche and David Wineland. No question that we have to take a closer look.
Schrödinger’s cat is considered the mascot and heraldic animal of quantum physics. Ever since Big Bang Theory, at the latest, it has also been tapping into the living rooms of non-physicists. But as popular as she is, most people don’t really understand what she’s all about. Since Christmas is just around the corner and I strictly reject animal testing, I decided to do it a little differently: Let’s help Santa Claus and find out if a child is good or bad.
Nobel Prize week is over. The one week of the year when scientists are stars of the media and everyone seems to be interested in research. If scientists were celebrated every day like musicians or movie stars and printed on posters in teen magazines – our world would certainly look very different. But until that happens, we’ll have to make do with this one week of fame.
I think it’s worth it to look at the little phenomena sometimes, to find the wow moments in everyday life and to ask yourself silly questions sometimes. You guessed it: The other day I had such a stupid question in my head. I was sitting in a café eating an excellent chocolate tartlet. The logical thought that came to me as I ate was: what is the food with the most calories? Does that even exist?
It’s over! Six months after submitting my doctoral thesis, 5 years after starting my doctorate, 10.5 years after my first day at university – doctor rerum naturalium! The end boss is defeated, the disputation is over! And of course, I want to share with you what this defence is all about, how I prepared for it and also how disputations can differ from one another.
It’s 8th of March and that means: it’s International Women’s Day! In Berlin, it’s even a public holiday! This year’s motto is #BreakTheBias – for a world free of stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination. As a woman in physics, you can be sure that I can say something about this subject. Today, I don’t want to feed you too many numbers (there are plenty on the web), but rather tell you about my own personal experiences.
Even scientists are only human. That’s why success stories often read like a comic book: great heroes fighting for the good of humanity. From another perspective, however, it sometimes seems more like the nagging of old white men arguing over who is right. We have already seen a few examples of this: Boltzmann and Planck fighting over entropy, Thomson and Rutherford decoding the atom, Newton and the rest of the world racking their brains over the nature of light. And the Stern-Gerlach experiment, which celebrated its hundredth anniversary this month and which is a milestone of quantum physics, was ultimately the invention of a scientist who desperately wanted to be right.
Polar ice, the moon, the quantum world – what do these places have in common? There is no Wi-Fi? Possibly. It’s uncomfortable? Probably. They are uninhabited? Not at all! All these places have (allegedly) already been seen by a certain living being. Sometimes by choice, sometimes by design, sometimes by accident. What kind of creature is it that hangs around in such exotic, hostile places? It is small, chubby and it’s name: Tardigrade! In 2014, tardigrades were found in the Arctic that had been “hibernating” for over 30 years. Since a crash landing of an Israeli space probe in 2019, a few tardigrades have been lying on the moon. And according to a group of researchers, tardigrades have now also made the leap into the quantum world! But is that really true?
Santa’s gift tour is a headache for children every year: How does he manage to visit every child in the world in a single night? But Santa’s travel speed is not the only problem. I wonder: how does he know if the child whose chimney, balcony or front door he is standing in front of has been naughty or nice? Does he carry around the naughty-nice-list in paper form? Is he in radio contact with the North Pole? Or does he have a completely different method? We will ask the question: Is communication faster than the speed of light possible?
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