Schrödinger's Octopus?

  • Author: David Bradley
  • Published: 07 April 2011
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Nature Communications/Nature Publishing Group
thumbnail image: Schrödinger's Octopus?

The quantum wave, or delocalized, character predicted by Schroedinger's equation exists in large molecules as demonstrated with high-contrast quantum experiments using near-field interferometry on an organic molecule comprising 430 atoms.

The international research team led by Markus Arndt , University of Vienna, Austria, worked with the large molecule, which is comparable in size, mass and complexity to the protein insulin in order to confirm that otherwise "classical" entities have the wave-particle character. The molecules studied were perfluoroalkylated nanospheres with a C60 core and eight or ten perfluoroalkyl chains. The team demonstrated that despite having 1000 degrees of freedom, the quantum nature of the molecule is manifest.

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