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Monday
Sep272010

Seeing the quantum world

Seeing the quantum world with your own eyes... When you cool down water to make ice, water undergoes a so-called phase transition: its microscopic constituents, molecules, rearrange themselves drastically at a critical temperature, and the result is macroscopically dramatic - liquid to solid transformation. The microscopy lives in the crazy world of quantum mechanics, yet the effect pervades dramatically to large distances. This phenomenon of phase transition can be extremely shocking when the underlying quantum effects are really pushed to the limit... superconductivity is a phase of matter where quantum mechanics jumps from the microscopy and slaps you in the face. It is a beautiful manifestation of balance in Nature at extreme small distances and low temperatures. Before posting more about this elegant microscopic mechanics, check out this cool video about the phenomenon:

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