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Zeno Effect Proven

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Tagged As: Physics, Quantum Mechanics, and Science

The Zeno Effect when applied to quantum physics boils down to the notion that if you observe a system with increased frequency, it ceases to change. As strange as that sounds, students at Cornell have proven it using near 0K temperatures and lasers to hold a Rubidium gas still by watching it. At just above absolute zero, the Rubidium atoms form into a lattice but exhibit an odd property of tunneling about from place to place. But if the atom's are observed using a pulsed laser (which causes them to fluoresce), the students discovered they stayed still as opposed to being observed moving about. The proof of the effect opens future opportunities according to the lead student by giving, "us an unprecedented tool to control a quantum system, perhaps even atom by atom."

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