Post Thumb

Turning ions into quantum cats

In Schrödinger’s famous thought experiment, a cat seems to be both dead and alive-an idea that strains credulity. These days, cats still don’t act this way, but physicists now regularly create analogues of Schrödinger’s cat in the lab by smearing the microscopic quantum world over longer and longer distances.
Such “cat states” have found many homes, promising more sensitive quantum measurements and acting as the basis for quantum error-correcting codes-a necessary component for future error-prone quantum computers.