August 27, 2012
US, French physicists win Nobel for quantum work
By KARL RITTER and MALCOLM RITTER | Associated Press – 22 hrs ago
NEW YORK (AP) — A Frenchman and an American shared the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for inventing methods to peer into the bizarre quantum world of ultra-tiny particles, work that could help in creating a new generation of super-fast computers.
Serge Haroche of France and American David Wineland opened the door to new experiments in quantum physics in the 1990s by showing how to observe individual atoms and particles of light called photons while preserving their quantum properties.
Quantum physics, a field about a century old, explains a lot about nature but includes some weird-sounding behavior by individual, isolated particles. A particle resists our idea of either-or: it's not here or there, it's sort of both. It's not spinning clockwise or counter-clockwise, but a bit of both. It gets a definite location or spin only when it's measured.
It's great that these humble men of science are being recognized for their accomplishments and contributions to quantum physics. Without them, none of the present day breakthroughs would be possible.
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